The first paragraph reads, “Texas lawmakers unveiled a Spartan budget late Tuesday night that slashes $31 billion in spending to close the state’s massive budget deficit. Education, Medicaid and corrections would be hit particularly hard.”
The Texas Tribune (1/19/2011) wrote, “The proposed budget doesn’t include funding for increased numbers of students, for projected declines in property values and related local school taxes, or $3.3 billion in the current budget from federal stimulus money. Public education spending would drop a total of $7 billion from current levels.”
Two points: (1) The title of the first article (Even budget deficits are bigger in Texas) may or may not be an accurate picture of Texas’ budget deficit, but it is cute; and (2) The proposed budget is designed, in part, for shock value; it is meant to be scary, and it is! The proposed budget will not be the adopted budget. The adopted budget should be less frightening than the proposed budget. For example, the proposed budget does not call for using any of the Rainy Day Fund. The adopted budget may call to use some of that fund.
The bottom line: The budget crisis is real and it’s scary, but not as scary as the proposed budget.