Conservatives have long questioned whether welfare is the best way to help the least fortunate among us. More recently, the debate has shifted to a different type of welfare. Conservatives today are challenging whether “corporate welfare” achieves its stated goal of boosting economic growth. And, as in the case of traditional welfare, the debate extends beyond the effectiveness of corporate welfare to the effect it has on the principles on which this country was founded–particularly that of liberty. The Policymakers’ Guide to Corporate Welfare examines numerous examples of corporate welfare in Texas in light of liberty and the Texas Model that has made Texas the nation’s economic leader. It is available on Amazon for 99 cents.
I recently saw this headline claiming that abortion rates increased after Texas defunded the abortion provider Planned Parenthood in 2011. After claiming that the new policy resulted in the closure of some “women’s health clinics,” The Huffington Post article stated, “the abortion rate among teenagers in the state rose 3 percent over what it would have been had the clinics remained open.”
That sentence set off alarm bells in my head. Note what it didn’t say; that the abortion rate actually increased. The “would have been” language is usually code talk for statistical gymnastics in order to justify a position or theory that can’t be proven by the facts.
That is certainly the case here. In this research, the obvious point being made by the researcher is that by cutting funding for Planned Parenthood, Texas conservatives actually achieved the opposite results they intended: an increase in teen abortions. That would be news; except it isn’t true. Though that didn’t stop the HuffPost’s headline writer from writing that is was.
Residential electricity prices have steadily increased for years, up more than 15 percent in the United States (not including Texas) since 2004. A newly released U.S. Department of Energy report on electricity markets and reliability makes it clear that renewable energy subsidies are contributing significantly to the increasing cost—and the decreasing reliability—of the national electric grid.
Yet the report stops short of making the most obvious recommendations to address this challenge—eliminating the subsidies and forcing renewable energy generators to pay for the costs they impose on the grid because of their intermittency and unreliability.
Unless the federal government and the states eliminates these policies, we will find ourselves suffering through energy poverty—a sharply reduced standard of living caused by high energy costs—in the future.
“Property owners do not acquire a constitutionally protected vested right in property uses …” – Texas Supreme Court; City of University Park v. Benners, 485 SW 2d 773 (1972).
To fully solve the problem of local regulations making Texas cities less and less affordable for the average Texan, delaying construction, and costing Texans jobs, the Texas Legislature must undo the damage done by Texas courts that have subjugated private property rights to the whims of local government planners.
Under the Texas Supreme Court’s 1972 University Park v. Benners decision, property owners must have permission from the government to use their property for anything. So cities can tell owners how they can and can’t use their property, tell them how much of their property they can or cannot use, and can even allow property owners to use their property for a specific use for a time then later prohibit that use. Owners must bear the full cost of these restrictions to serve the “public interest.”
Fortunately, the solution to this is simple. The Texas Legislature should subject cities to the provisions of the Texas Real Private Property Rights Preservation Act, just like every other Texas government entity, giving property owners the ability seek compensation for losses due to regulations. By removing the exemption for cities found in Sec. 2007.003 of the Texas Government Code, the Texas Legislature will provide Texans their day in court to recover the costs of local government regulations that result from outcomes like these:
- In Harris County, media reports indicate the approval process for business permits can cause delays of up to six months while trying to comply with unnecessary provisions.
- A 2015 study found that bureaucratic procedures can add up to 3.5 months to the already lengthy Austin permitting process.
- A survey from the National Association of Homebuilders found that “government regulations represented 25 percent of a [residential] unit’s final sales prices.”
Look’s like some folks aren’t happy:
Below is a table that shows (on line 2) the numbers of bills and joint resolutions, i.e., bills that can become law, that were sent by the Texas Legislature to the governor for his signature by April 24 of the session in question. One thing that obviously stands out is that the Texas Legislature has reached a new low in 2017 with zero bills being sent to the governor at this point. The likely explanation for this is the fight for control between the House and the Senate which appears to be increasing each session.
|Bills sent to governor by 04/24||44||11||9||30||8||22||10||2||0|
|Bills that became law||1538||1626||1576||1702||1688||1508||1610||1388|
Imagine there’s no Medicaid
It’s easy if you dare
No plans to hinder us
People receiving care
Imagine all the people
Living in good health
Imagine private health care
It’s no so hard to see
Less death or illness
Without the Fed’s decree
Imagine all the people
Living in Freedom
You may say that I’m a dreamer
That there’s no way to be free
But life without Medicaid
Is a world that could be
Wendell Cox’s new report, 2013 Metropolitan Area Population Estimates, is the latest confirmation that Paul Krugman and other liberal critics of the Texas Model are wrong; Texas has far and away the most dynamic economy in the United States.
Late in the last decade, Dallas-Fort Worth passed Philadelphia to become the fourth largest metropolitan area. Then, Philadelphia was passed by Houston in 2011. The result is that, for the first time since the nation’s founding, two of the five largest cities (which are functionally defined as metropolitan areas) are in a single state (Texas).
Here are the leaders in population growth from 2010 to 2013:
One of the top priorities of the left today is shifting the national balance of power by turning Texas blue, using tactics it claims were responsible for a similar transition in Colorado.
However, based on the results of the recent Texas primaries, it’s obvious that the people of Texas are not cooperating with the left’s agenda.
Despite the focus on red versus blue, the battle for Texas is at its heart ideological, not partisan. Liberals in both Texas major parties today battle conservatives over spending, while free market supporters joust with the bipartisan business lobby over corporate subsidies.
It is in this context that the progressives’ national assault on Texas began, just over a year ago, when Battleground Texas opened its offices here. Armed with outreach efforts honed by President Obama’s Organizing for Action and tested in states like Colorado, Battleground Texas’ mission is to “turn Texas into a battleground state” in which “elected officials — from Austin to Washington — represent all Texans”— presumably all Texans except those who have made Texas the reddest state in the country.
I get my news from a variety of places and through a variety of ways. I browse websites, use RSS feeds, read emails I have signed up for, and follow some twitter feeds. None of these ways is perfect, and I am not always consistent with them, finding that I have other things to do than follow the news—though it is important to follow the news in my line of work. Here are a few places/ways I get news:
I really like Doug Wilson’s blog as much as anything. Not so newsy, but when he writes about a news issue, he does it from as solid a Biblical perspective as you will find. Plus, lots of good faith/theological posts as well. I also like Albert Mohler’s blog—it also covers news and religion. Peter Leithart’s blog is more religious than newsy, but is good nonetheless. World Magazine is more newsy and always from a strong biblical perspective, but a bit busy. The easiest place to find national news stories selected from a conservative perspective is the Drudge Report. The easiest places to find commentary on national news from a conservative perspective are National Review Online and Red State.