Pay It Forward, Tex, So Future Generations Can Enjoy the Oil Boom, Too

We believe in miracles, even the one about Texas' economic transformation. But even in these boom times, there are cracks in the economic foundation of the state. So it is refreshing to see a statewide Republican leader acknowledge the cracks and offer an idea on how to patch 'em: creating a new endowment out of a portion of the surplus in Texas' rainy day fund.By 2030, this separate investment — think of it as Texas' own sovereign wealth fund — could generate close to $1 billion in annual earnings with the principal continuing to grow, according to the state comptroller. That wouldn’t solve all the state's spending challenges, but it is good money that could be put to good use. It also would create an economic legacy that would sustain us through the ups and downs of the oil and gas markets.That’s how to pay it forward, Tex.This opportunity has fallen into our lap thanks to the fracking boom. Taxes on oil and gas production account for most of the rainy day fund, and the balance has soared. In 2005, after money was withdrawn primarily for education, the fund had $7 million. Today, its value approaches $11 billion, easily the highest of any state.  Continue reading...

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