(Above–The Donley County, Texas Courthouse received Texas Historical Commission funds for renovation. Governor Perry wants to end funding for the Commission. Photo by Billy Hathorn.)
Due to longstanding Republican mismanagement of state finances, we have a massive budget deficit in Texas.
The leading “health” issue being addressed is legislation that would force some pregnant women to have a sonogram as they engage in a constitutionally-protected medical procedure.
If the state can force unwilling people to undergo a specific medical procedure, what is there to stop the state from forcing other medical procedures on free citizens?
We have the option of raising taxes or using the $9.4 billion Rainy Day fund to help make up the shortfall.
Governor Rick Perry has said many times that Texas will not use the Rainy Day fund.
Texas is 43rd in the nation in state tax burden, while at the same time the overall tax burden in our nation is as low as it has been since 1950.
People can say they are overtaxed, but they are not. We either have the self-respect to meet the responsibilities of running a decent society, or we can let people suffer and fall behind as we go about our way.
In addition to the cuts in vital public services, Governor Perry has now also proposed to eliminate funding for the Texas Historical Commission and the Texas Commission on the Arts.
It makes sense that a state that places no value on the future would also place no value on the past. All there is are the current political and ideological aspirations of a far-right Governor and a far-right legislature.
The only time history has value is when the State of Texas alters history text books to lie about our past.
Real history goes out the door while fake history goes in our textbooks.
The revision of history is right up there with forced medical procedures with how a totalitarian state would conduct business.
As for the arts, you either feel they have value or you do not. I’m not going to change your mind.
People of all kinds have creative talents. Those with the resources to pursue those abilities will be able to go ahead.
People who need some help in the form of a Texas Commission on the Arts grant, will have to decide where to go in life where what they have to offer will be valued.
The direction of Texas is clear.
* Darwinian cuts for the least amongst us.
* Government control of the bodies and the medical decisions of women.
* Historical indoctrination over historical fact.
* Rejection of the arts and of the people who pursue the arts.
The people of Texas can decide that this is all okay, or they can decide that the past has meaning and that the future has value.
It is up to you.
(A great Texas artist was Jerry Bywaters. You see below one of his works depicting Texas. Governor Perry feels the arts have little value to Texans.)