Reverse Robin Hood

In Rick Perry's Texas, Socialism is okay so long as the socialized funds in question are being transferred to the right people. And by "right people" I mean those who need it the least.

Three commissioners appointed by Gov. Rick Perry may grant some of the nation’s largest refineries a tax refund of more than $135 million — money Texas’ cash-strapped schools and other local governments have been counting on to help pay teachers and provide other public services.

The refund would mean more pain for some communities after a year in which state lawmakers had to grapple with a $27 billion shortfall and slashed spending on public schools by more than $4 billion. Nearly half the refund would be taken from public schools, and those in cities where the refineries are based would be hurt the most.

Texas cut funding for education by over $4 billion dollars while managing to keep billions more off the books through economic slight-of-hand, delaying the day on which teachers are paid so that it falls on the next fiscal year. Now they are planning to cut another $134 million so that they can hand it right over to the most successful among us -- Oil Companies.

Republicans will argue that the tax refunds will create jobs, and I will argue that those jobs wouldn't exist in the first place without the education system.

Schools are far more vital to the long-term economic health of the nation than a transient tax-refund that may or may not prevent a handful of people from being fired just to make the balance sheets look better.

While we're on the subject -- this is a shining example of why the philosophy that tax cuts do not amount to government spending is toxic. This is a tax-expenditure. This is government spending. It's spending on the wrong thing, which the Republicans are experts at.

  • BuffaloBuckeye

    “Republicans will argue that the tax refunds will create jobs, …”

    Interesting concept. A friend of mine is a COO of local company and very right-wingish (I know, I know). I asked him “if you got a tax break/refund at your current level of business, would you hire more people?” Of course, the answer was “No, because I need more volume to justify hiring”. Bingo.

  • MrDHalen

    This may be harsh, but maybe it is time for us to adopt an “Equal-In, Equal-Out” policy towards federal taxes. I can’t see another way to wake people up to see the truth behind Republican policies. The only way people in states that use more federal funds then they give will stop voting for Republicans is when Republicans can’t secretly cover their corporate & wealthy tax give-away with federal funds from states that actually tax properly.

    This is harsh on the Democrats living in these states, but how else do we stop this ugly trend?

  • Bob Rutledge

    It’s spending on the wrong thing, which the Republicans are experts at. which is the Republican raison d’etre.

  • horatiogalt

    I don’t see a problem here. The people of Texas elected Perrry, and they elected their legislature, so obviously they want what those people are offering.