Escape From Texas

The Republican-controlled legislature in Texas is ready to embark on a series of budget cuts that have not been seen in this state since World War II, according to this NY Times piece. Reading through the article and what the Republicans are wanting to do, I’m at a loss. Here’s a taste:

In a party-line vote, the House slaughtered dozens of sacred cows. The budget bill makes huge cuts to public education, nursing homes and health care for the poor. It slashes financing for highways, prisons and state parks. It eliminates full-day preschool, cuts teacher incentive pay and reduces scholarships for college students by two-thirds.

The House plan would give schools almost $8 billion less than current state law requires over the next two years. Medicaid would be about $4 billion short of what officials say is needed to meet the growth in caseloads. One group of budget analysts predicted that 97,000 teachers and school employees would be laid off. Other analysts said that the cuts to Medicaid would force hundreds of nursing homes out of business and would have a devastating effect on rural hospitals and doctors.

Stunning. And there are some within the party, Tea Party types of course, who woud go further still. Texas already ranks near the bottom in educating its students, we are last in high school graduation rates, and we are terrible at providing health care to our citizens. How do Republicans respond to these numbers? By making cuts to health and education their top priority, despite our growing population that is increasing school enrollment and the number of citizens in need of health care.

Apparently, Republicans are not only okay with this, but they seem to take pride in the possibility that we will rank last in these categories in the future, after their cuts have gone into effect. Maybe I am just pissed off right now, but if I could, I would move the family out of the state pronto. It is sad, really. I was born and raised here and I find myself wanting nothing more than to leave. Why should I want to stay in a place where its political leaders have nothing but contempt for the majority of its citizenry and the institutions that seek to make them healthier and more educated. It is so illogical and so blatantly anti-poor and anti-middle class. It goes against everything I stand for, and I know my credibility may be weakened by the fact that I am a teacher, but I assure you I would be equally repulsed if I were not.

With these Republicans in control of the Legislature and the Governor’s office, the future of Texas seems incredibly bleak at the moment. I hope I am out of here by the time the state implodes.


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