Texas stands for: 1. Small government. 2. Local control. 3. Low taxes. And 4. Personal freedom.
And even as I write this, on a Sunday morning before church, I have lied to you about four things allegedly true in Baja Oklahoma. So, as I fess up, let’s examine each fib above knowing full well such issues are hard to measure with complete accuracy.
But … using my personal motto of “Often wrong but never in doubt,” we’ll press on.
- Small government. Hardly. The power brokers in Austin are about to spend over $20 billion building and expanding roads, which is 2½ times Oklahoma’s total budget. They can do that because spending on children’s health is the least in the country as measured by kids without health insurance. And who is second worst in this category? That’s right. Oklahoma.
2. Local control. What a belly laugh this phony claim is. As long as the Texas Legislature agrees with decisions made by school boards and city councils, say in Lubbock or Luckenbach, no problem. But adopt an ordinance or rule that differs with the Taliban in Austin? No way, Jose.
3. Low taxes? Yes, there is no personal income tax, but the property tax is second highest in the nation and our neighbor to the south attaches fees to most any action, responsibility or function. Texas ranks middle of the pack among states on taxation when combining both state and local assessments. Money is money and The Lone Star state is hardly in the low end of the taxation chart.
4. Personal freedom. Tell that to pregnant women in Texas. The male- and Republican- dominated Legislature has unleashed “bounty hunters” to chase the females down, report them to the authorities for the simple act of becoming pregnant and then exercising their constitutional rights to seek an abortion within the law as formulated by Roe v. Wade. For this effort the snitches could receive up to $10,000 for their Gestapo tactics unimaginable prior to the law passed by the Texas lawmakers. And, by the way Oklahoma women of child bearing age, your Republican-, male-dominated Legislature passed a similar provision here last spring.
God help us all, but especially in Red States dominated and directed by men who act more like Nazis of the 1930s than rank-and-file citizens who happen to get elected to public office in 21st century America.