The Texas Miracle Is Under Threat, Thanks to Lone Star State's Cheapskate Ways

This week, Gov. Greg Abbott held a news conference in Mumbai to celebrate an Indian firm’s $500 million investment in a Houston-area steel mill. Then he touted plans by another Indian company that could bring up to 600 jobs. Earlier in the month, he was boasting about Texas again attracting more development than any state.So much winning, so many photo-ops — so what to make of the alarm bells that went off at a Senate hearing a week earlier?A top state official warned that Texas’ credit rating could be downgraded because long-term liabilities are rising and tax revenue is not keeping pace. And he didn’t blame only underfunded pensions, a common affliction among states, or the costs of Hurricane Harvey.He also pointed to funding problems with education, health care and transportation — the very underpinnings of government.“That’s hard to match up with the Texas miracle,” Comptroller Glenn Hegar told the Senate Finance Committee in Austin.Hear, hear! How often does a top Texas Republican acknowledge that there are cracks in the foundation?In effect, Hegar was saying the state’s balance sheet is looking wobbly and lawmakers ignore it at their peril.   Continue reading...

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