At the same time that Congressman Paul Ryan was unveiling his plan to restore fiscal sanity in Washington and address unsustainable spending programs that threaten the nation’s economic future, a similar effort was launched in Austin to do likewise for the Lone Star State. Yesterday Texans for a Conservative Budget held a press conference announcing its budget recommendations for 2013 and beyond. Texans for a Conservative Budget, of which Americans for Tax Reform is a member, is a coalition of policy and grassroots organizations dedicated to cutting wasteful and unnecessary government spending in the Lone Star State.

To guide legislators in the right direction, Texans for a Conservative Budget offers “Real Texas Budget Solutions: 2013 and Beyond,” which provides lawmakers a path to decrease state spending by $1.1 billion in 2012-13 and $8.3 billion in 2014-2015. By cutting unnecessary programs, reducing government dependence, and prioritizing spending, lawmakers can save Texas taxpayers millions of dollars.

Though Texas has led the nation in job creation over the past decade, the state’s spending habits could stand in the way of future economic success. The numbers speak for themselves. State spending in Texas increased by 310% between 1990 and 2012, while population growth and inflation totaled 132%. Such spending is not sustainable and is not conducive to long term economic growth and prosperity.

While the Texas legislature is not in session this year, lawmakers are already beginning to pay attention. Just today, Representative Phil King (R-Weatherford) endorsed the coalition’s budget solutions.

The need to prevent job-killing tax increases at the state level is even more imperative in light of the fact that the largest federal tax increase in U.S. history is scheduled to hit Lone Star State families and employers in less than ten short months. ATR encourages all Texas legislators to join Rep. King in support of the recommendations offered by Texans for a Conservative Budget. Any lawmaker serious about continued economic success and prosperity in Texas must recognize the importance of cutting wasteful spending, reform or eliminating ineffective and unnecessary programs, avoiding tax increases, and balancing the budget. If tax hikes are taken off the table, spending is kept in check, and lawmakers prioritize government functions, Texas can be a model of fiscal responsibility for the nation.

For a copy of the the coalition's path to prosperity, click here.