Fairy Tales, the Medicaid Credit Card, Formula One Racing & Pork - During the 82nd Legislative Session and the subsequent special session, Texas lawmakers dealt with the budget shortfall and balanced the budget with no new taxes and no tax increases, but $12 billion in cuts were the one-time federal stimulus funds used to balance the 2010-2011 biennium budget. The 2012-2013 budget is balanced with some cuts, tax payment speed ups, accounting gimmicks, and deferrals.
In other words, the leaders of our state government and key legislators once more engaged in “fairy tale budgeting” by declaring a balanced budget. The budget may be balanced, but the Rainy Day Fund (or the People’s Savings Account) is spent! Delaying the $2.3 billion payment for public school funding and charging $4.8 billion to a “Medicaid credit card” means the budget is short by $7.1 billion. That’s right! Texas has a planned budget deficit for 2013! If kicking the can down the road and delaying tough decisions is wrong in Washington, DC, what makes it right for Texas?