Editorial: Perry continues down dangerous path

With only two weeks remaining in the legislative session, the focus has turned to finalizing a budget that will carry Texas through the next two years. If Gov. Rick Perry gets his way, and it seems as though he will, it will be a budget with even more cuts that will continue the state down the dangerous path of limited funding for education and critical services.

There is a cavalier way in which our lawmakers have approached budgeting in the last few sessions, as though it is a badge of honor to create this Spartan budget, but we need to be thinking about what we will do when the cracks begin to show.

What will we do when our education system truly begins to fail our students? We are already suspected of it, and everyone expresses dismay over funding cuts, yet all we hear about is leaner days to come.

We have trimmed every social service to the bare bone, and we will be left wondering one day why there are no adequate mental health services and why the cost of indigent health care and the like is ballooning out of control.

Even in the midst of these cuts, the fervor continues over additional tax cuts. Texas is proud of its low tax rates and is determined to push them lower. The legislature has not found a way to restore funding cut from education, but it renewed a margins tax break for small businesses and will be taking up another tax-cutting bill next week. This second one is projected to cost the state at least $397 million in revenue and quite possibly more, but the legislature plans to bulldoze ahead even as questions remain over how much revenue will be lost.

Have we ever considered it can be just as fiscally irresponsible to cut so much that we create a larger burden for the future? If it were as simple as the government cutting taxes and making do, then the job of a legislator would be easy.

But we need the government to provide certain services, a basis for a quality education for our children and infrastructure that is now failing to keep up.

Perry does nothing but tout Texas as business friendly, but how business friendly will we be in 20 years when we can’t provide water, quality roads and an educated workforce to these companies we will do anything to draw into our state?