In response to the worst state budget crisis since World War II, the Texas House has proposed slashing $27 billion from the budget, including huge cuts to education, nursing homes, and health care for the poor. Yet last Friday, the Texas House Ways and Means Committee approved a tax break for those who want to buy yachts costing $250,000 or more. ...
The bill was originally estimated to cost Texas $1.4 million annually in lost revenue. It will now move on to be considered by the full House, where several top Republicans have expressed confidence it will pass. ...
Texas faces one of the worst budget outlooks in the country, and amazingly, only about a third of it was caused by the economic downturn. The state has had a chronic shortage of revenue after years of slashing property and business taxes and creating numerous tax breaks and exemptions, just like the proposed one for yacht owners. Yet Republicans still insist on not raising taxes, and as a result have had to rely on draconian cuts to balance the budget.
Under the current proposal, $7.8 billion will be cut from Texas public schools, four community colleges will close, 60,000 students will lose college financial aid, as many as 97,000 teachers and school employees will be laid off, 9,300 government jobs will be eliminated, Medicaid will be shortchanged by nearly $14 billion, and health and human services funding will plummet by a quarter.
But luckily, yacht buyers will get their tax break. Doesn't that make you feel good? The rich, after all, have already suffered so much!
And this way, when all that wealth finally trickles down to everyone else - as Republicans continue to promise us - the rich will be able to ride out the flood in their yachts.
Hmm,... I wonder how many decades of tax cuts will be required before paradise finally arrives? Well, we must have faith, right?