The Texas legislature is nearing completion of a budget for the next biennium that, like the two spending plans approved in the House and Senate, does not raise taxes and does not touch the Rainy Day Fund. In fact, the final product will likely represent a decrease in All-Funds spending from the previous biennium, the first time this will have happened in over 50 years.
While this is good news for taxpayers and employers in the Lone Star State, the establishment press is none too happy. Texans for Fiscal Responsibility recently highlighted some journalistic disdain for taxpayers who think that government should do what families and businesses must by putting expenditures in line with revenues. In the Texas Tribune’s weekly podcast, Managing Editor Ross Ramsey had the following to say:
"The voters don't — I'm going to say this gently — the voters don't know what's going on here. They don't know the details of this [budget debate] and they don't understand the particulars of this, and yet the legislature is taking all of its advice from a public that is not informed on this stuff."
Michael Quinn Sullivan, President of Texan for Fiscal Responsibility, gives a good summary of Ramsey’s sentiment:
“…voters like you are ‘children’ who legislators need to tell to ‘shut up’ and force higher taxes upon.”
This is just the latest in a long history of instances in which the establishment media slipped up and vocalized their antipathy for taxpayers who believe that the state has plenty of revenue to work with and should be right-sized to live within it’s means. The Sacramento Bee editorial board, which does not consist of a single right-of-center view point, published a similar outburst in 2009 when California voters resoundingly rejected a two year extension of the largest state tax increase in U.S. history:
HEADLINE: "You did it! Uh, so what now?"
TEXT: Good morning, California voters. Do you feel better, now that you've gotten that out of your system?
You wanted to show the state's politicians just how mad you are at them. And you did. Boy, did you ever. …
… you're sick and tired of all this political mumbo-jumbo. So you showed those politicians who's in charge. You. You're now officially in charge of a state that will be something like $25 billion in the hole for the fiscal year beginning July 1.
So, now that you've put those irksome politicians in their place, maybe it's time to think about this: Since you're in charge, exactly what do you intend to do about that pesky $25 billion hole in the budget?
After realizing that tone probably wasn’t the best way to convince readers to renew their subscriptions, the SacBee removed that editorial from its website.
While the legislative majorities in control of California and Texas couldn’t be more different, the media elite that reside in Sacramento and Austin would get along just great.