First all of you liberals who are gearing up to defend your party’s excesses relax. This column is not about the federal budget and your inability to write a balanced budget. This column is aimed at and written for the conservatives and our governor in Austin. First look at the economy, booming! State wide, the economy is booming. Fifty miles wide and over four hundred miles long, the Eagle Ford Shale is causing an economic boom state wide. Drilling, infrastructure, refining, steel, drill rigs, pipes, trucks, workers, engineers, housing, education, food, energy, medical needs, retailers, and entertainment. The needs and requirements for this spread out from these counties throughout the state, country, and worldwide. The more oil and gas produced, the smaller the amount of fuel imported, and thus the better the trade ratio. Texas, North Dakota, and all the other new fields or plays are dragging the American economy out of recession as well as reducing the unemployment rate. For decades Texas has survived the boom and bust
nature of the oil field. At this moment we are in a boom period but
eventually we will enter a bust. Drilling will be reduced, the fields
will mature, and pumping will slow. As this happens the record surpluses
will go the way of the Dodo. As this happens the state will once again
be scrambling for revenue; for the money to pay our bills, to complete
improvements, and to meet emergencies. Texas is already known as a low
tax state. That is why many companies are moving here. So why, why, why
is Governor Perry demanding tax breaks for businesses? Look at the roads
in and around the shale plays they need maintaining, while other roads
throughout the state need repair and still others need to be built or
expanded. Are toll roads the answer to our transportation needs? What
can be done to correct or alleviate the water needs of the state?
Billions were taken out of education and replaced with….promises, and
law suits. How to replenish the development fund and what about the
rainy day fund? So many questions and what is the possible solution?
Admit that the oil business is cyclical and that this means the surplus is only temporary. Therefore use the current surplus to the best advantage for the state. Plan out the water needs of the future, what are the infrastructure needs, what special projects can be funded, and do so. Do it now when the money is available, not later when the funds are no longer there and the needs and wants are now emergencies.
A budget surplus is to be used to benefit the state and communities not increase the profits of select businesses. Use the surplus to buy more gold to hold in the state, for the state. Use the budget to buy emergency equipment for rural communities and to build and stock emergency shelters. Develop and fund pilot projects for education, endow some of the state universities to plan and develop test beds for development of new industries, or design new systems of power generation and transmission. Invest in new agribusiness in the state. Give incentives for groves of olives; develop new vines for the wine/ grape industry. Spend some of the surplus to research new and alternative crops to strengthen our agricultural base. Do not forget to spend some on rehabilitation studies and programs. Also do not forget about job training and adult education, In other words, use this blessing for the state, or for the people, not some good old boy business. Well until next week may you have fair winds and a following sea.
ROY POKLADNIK, is a teacher and problem solver welcomes comments and suggestions for topics . He may be reached at : email@example.com.