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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Opinion

Perry proves problematic for Texas


In an article published Wednesday in the New York Times, writer Gail Collins astutely pointed out that it might be time for Gov. Rick Perry to honor his words.

“Perry used to be famous for his flirtation with talk of secession. Maybe we should encourage him to revisit it,” Collins said.

Collins wrote about the incredibly poor track that Texas is on, and she may be right that as a state, we are the weakest link in the long run if we don’t fix our ways.

Texas is in very big trouble — and there is absolutely no sign that we have anyone in power that is willing to find solutions that work. Instead, we have a governor who is more focused on creating a name for himself and a state congress that is almost completely Republican controlled.

So how much trouble is Texas in? Well for one, population growth in our great state is extremely high. Among the states with the three highest teen birth rates, “states like Mississippi, Texas and Oklahoma recording teenage birth rates of more than 60 per thousand,” according the examiner.com. The rate of teen births in Texas is almost double the national average.

To make matters worse, Texas is extremely biased when it comes to contraceptives, sexual education, and options for pregnant women — especially pregnant teens.

The bill that Perry recently introduced and also put on emergency status would require all women to have a sonogram before being able to receive an abortion.

This puts Texas in a very safe spot as far as leading the nation in birth rates and teen pregnancies.

But it gets worse; Texas is almost dead last in education. In Texas, “High school dropouts cost Texas $9.6 billion,” according to the united ways of Texas.org. Texas ranks “47 out of 50 states, in terms of English literacy levels,” according to the US Department of Education.

Teen pregnancies don’t usually have a positive effect on education once they derail a student’s academic career. Furthermore, teen women who do take responsibility for raising their children often find themselves in need of help, with or without getting a high school diploma.

The programs that help these women and children are necessary, but adequately funding these programs becomes impossible when teen pregnancy rates are among the nations highest.

What does the Texas leadership plan to do about these huge problems? Well Gov. Rick Perry surely doesn’t want to raise taxes, something he should do. He also hates taking federal funding, which is perfectly aligned with his demented beliefs and Reagan-inspired rhetoric; you can read all about this in his new book.

The state Legislature doesn’t provide a very optimistic picture either. As Collins pointed out, the Legislature is looking to cut about $4.8 billion over the next two years from the schools.

Perry and the Legislature seem to be on the same page, but this will be devastating to Texas in the future.

To no surprise, Gov. Perry is ready to make things worse.

He is “refusing $830 million in federal aid to education because the Democratic members of Congress from Texas — ticked off because Perry used $3.2 billion in stimulus dollars for schools to plug other holes in his budget — put in special language requiring that this time Texas actually use the money for the kids,” Collins wrote.

The behavior of Gov. Perry and many Republicans in the state Legislature are not only reprehensible but almost surely to cause Texas considerable amounts of trouble in the future.

The solutions that have been proposed by Perry and many Republicans in the Legislature are good for their party ideology, and votes but very bad for Texas and its budget.


  • Louis

    Are you being a troll or do you actually believe these deluded thoughts of yours? We're almost last in ALL of our SAT levels, English aside. So there goes your argument for that. Birth rate issues? Well guess what education your "demographic" receives from the state? I'll give you a hint: it follows along the lines of "abstinence only" and we see how well it works don't we?

    I mean my God, look around you. What more proof do you need that Texas is being driven into the ground by politicians who don't know the first thing about anything?

    • Mac

      So we should take the lead of states that have driven themselves into the ground? I do see texas driving itself into the ground. I don't see the job loss and a housing market that was over inflated like those states.

  • Texan

    Go Andrew. You are right. Sadly Texas is going nowhere because of the people who refuse to see how bad it is and how much worse it's going to get. Sadly – I truly wish more people in the state would quit thinking how great the state is. There is a growing distance between the woring poor and the wealthy people who run the state.

    Get Texas solvent? Have the Government officials take pay cuts or quit giving themselves raises and we would be better off.

    I fear for my job because if I lose it then I'm outta of a home and have no place to go. No one really cares

    • cakewalk

      state governments are only committees to manage the affairs of the bourgeoisie, but only texas is so brazen about this fact. they don't even hide the corruption and greed. because really, when your state collects 87 billion in tax money and has the infrastructure of a third-world country, what other explanation is there except that the money is being embezzled?

  • Indignant

    This article is biased BS! If the federal government protected our borders, as they should, then we wouldn't rank 47th out of 50 in English literacy, because we wouldn't be saddled with the illegal immigration problem we have! Which, by the way, also accounts for the skewed teen pregnancy rate. Do they teach critical thinking at journalism school? Alas, I think not.

    • uhguest

      Oh yeah, blame it all on the federal government. Wah Wah Wah, Obama blah blah blah, where's the birth certificate yada yada yada. Put some big boy pants on and man up, we got issues.

  • Jim

    I'm confused. I thought Texas was the best state in the country for business, but it's also near last in education? I thought Texas was in better standing than the rest of the country. How is this possible? Isn't there a link between education and opportunity?

    There certainly is a connection here on the east coast in Rhode Island, the most communistic, anti-business state in the union, ranking among the bottom 10 worst tax climates for businesses.The only current path to prosperity and freedom is to work for the state (with their iron-tight grip on grandiose pensions and benefits) or go to Brown or RISD, where one can gain exclusive access to internships in Manhattan from just merely riding on connections. In Rhode Island, you turn to the finger-wagging nanny state deity or elitist left-wing education institutions. There simply aren't other options, since the free-market business community has been suffocated to death. No jobs, no industry, no opportunity.

    The concerns about population is ridiculous. Every state wants population growth, it's more tax revenue for the state. It's also plain good for businesses. The more people, the more goods and services they need to purchase. Period. The only detrimental population growth would be that of illegal immigrants, and that is a problem Texas DOES face that, like another poster said, the federal government refuses to act on.

    In Rhode Island, the population has been decreasing year after year, as people are forced to move away due to the high cost of living, lack of opportunity, and steadily rising taxes each fiscal year. Former Providence mayor David Cicilline (now, unfortunately, a congressman) gave himself a pay raise before property taxes were raised across the board in the city – which affects everyone top down from property owners to renters.

    So no matter how 'bad' critics say Texas is getting, the state is still moving in the right direction towards fiscal responsibility, no matter where the cuts come from. Hey, if the public education system isn't working, then private schools are an option. I'll never fully believe Texas isn't working however, because I know it's nothing compared to the ugly, bleak circumstances of southern New England, where capital cities like Hartford and Providence have become stale, underdeveloped deadzones of neglect and poverty.

    • uhguest

      Are you seriously comparing the smallest state in the Union to the 2nd largest?

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