-by Barbara Harless
• Texas population: 26 million
• Registered Voters in Texas: 13,445,285
• Nov 5, 2013; 9 Proposed Amendments to the Texas Constitution – 8.5% of registered voters showed up to vote (1,144,844)
• Less than 1 million voters in Texas amended the Texas Constitution.
Good News / Bad News
Good News: 3% more voters showed up in 2013 to vote on Amendments to the Texas Constitution than did in 2011 (almost double the 2011 showing)
Bad News: Less than 1 million voters amended our Texas Constitution this week
More Bad News: In November of next year (2014) there will be another proposed amendment on the Texas ballot. This one will also pass because low-information Texas voters believe what the TV and radio tell them is good for them, at least the vast majority of those who vote believe it. Texans will bend over again and approve the raiding of our state savings account for “transportation”, only this time it will be more voters showing up because of the state and national elections on the ballot in November 2014.
This week, less than 1 million Texans just voted to:
• Raise my property taxes to include more qualifying veterans and their spouses to have property tax relief – again (like we have every 2 years since 2007), without a sunset provision or value threshold provision
• Raise my property taxes so that a manufacturer of aircraft parts can operate with a tax exemption in my taxing district (government picking winners & losers) while other taxpayers are left to make up for the loss in revenue stream to the local government
• Allow a 62 year old Texas property owner to take out a reverse mortgage to purchase a home
• Allow the state of Texas to raid the state’s savings account ($2 billion) when the state hasn’t tapped the $6 billion that voters gave them in 2011
• Change the rules for home rule cities to fill vacated elected seats
• Raise the property taxes in Hidalgo County (on the Rio Grande River) in order to pay for an indigent care hospital district
• Expand the sanctioning powers of the State Commission on Judicial Conduct
I bet these < 1 million voters that just amended our state constitution think the same way I used to think. I used to think that the federal government should send our men and women off to die in other countries for the benefit of the oil barons, and these same men and women deserved not only tax benefits doled out by the federal government (my taxes) but also by my local taxing district (my money), regardless of whether Congress voted to go to war or whether the military action was through a presidential executive order. I used to get my news and information from TV and newspapers/magazines and I’m a product of our government schools.
I bet these < 1 million voters think that it is governments’ duty to stimulate the economy, not private enterprise. I’ve learned that governments are not created to produce a profit, but they act as though they should through Public Private Partnerships (PPPs), and in doing so they contract and pledge my tax dollars as guarantee against the default of the private corporation.
I bet these < 1 million voters think that Texas legislators and appointed bureaucratic boards can create water where God has been less than generous, by throwing money at lobbyists. Texans just gave these bureaucratic boards $6 billion 2 years ago, and yet only $500 million has been tapped for water funding. This year less than 1 million voters just gave away another $2 billion. We’re now rich with water money but God still hasn’t produced more. I might add that Governor Perry is running around the country on my tax dollars recruiting more people to come to Texas and enjoy our drought. I see insanity here; repeating the same mistakes and expecting different results.
I bet these < 1 million voters didn’t think twice about raising the taxes on property owners in Hidalgo County from 10 cents per $100 property valuation to 75 cents per $100. It’s not THEIR money so it’s easy to give it away, right? Let’s see, Hidalgo County is on the Ro Grande River across from Reynosa, Mexico. Its population is 775K+ with a community containing a high rate of uninsured residents and an abnormally high population of them are indigent. Thus, making health care costs difficult to manage (on the supply side as wells as demand side). I bet these < 1 million voters also didn’t know that this amendment to the Texas Constitution made it possible for only fifty (50) registered voters in Hidalgo County to place a proposition on the ballot (in Hidalgo County) to create a hospital district (taxing property owners up to 75 cents per $100 property valuation), BUT once the hospital district is created it requires fifteen percent (15%) of registered voters to dissolve the hospital district. In other words, only 50 petitioners can create a taxing district but it takes 45,000+ petitioners to get it back on the ballot to vote to dissolve the hospital taxing district. This is a prime example of good intentions gone badly. But hey, it’s not in my backyard so – let’s feel good and grant charity to the indigent in south Texas at someone else’s expense, right? And good luck to those suckers that continue to own property in Hidalgo County (hee hee). Let’s see how fast they can scramble up I-35 north. You know, Mexico would really like to take Texas back. What is it they say; possession is 9/10 of the law?
Finally, I bet these < 1 million voters don’t have a clue as to what the State Commission on Judicial Conduct does or what types of cases are brought before this body, what action brings the cases before the body, and what case(s) brought this proposed amendment to the ballot in the first place. But hey, it is more than likely a good idea because the state legislature put it on the ballot so it has to have SOME merit, right? You’ll have to pass the legislation to find out what’s in it!
I love Texas and I plan to live my final days here but Texans need to cancel their soccer games and turn off the TV. Government is growing by leaps and bounds and that means that your taxes are going up. Did you think that Austin has a counterfeit money machine like Washington, DC? Well in one sense they do when they create policies that comply with the monstrous federal grants (your money too). Except most often these grants are cancelled after the programs are up and operating, then Texas is left to plug the resulting budget hole with your state revenue (taxes) to continue such oppressive programs, not your federal income taxes. Don’t you just love it! I hope voters will vote “no” next time they have an opportunity. If one “no” vote causes a good measure to fail, have faith, it will come up again later for another review.
These are my thoughts and I own them.