Self-Licking Ice Cream Cone

Posted on Feb 21, 2022

Good Monday morning everyone! I pray you had a great weekend and made it through this winter weather. 

We are one week away from the beginning of early voting beginning for the GOP primary election. Yes, the commercial ads are running, and ours will start today. If there is one thing that politicians count on, it’s that people will pay more attention to the political soundbites in ads. Instead, I have taken an approach each week to try and write these missives to better educate you, the Texas voter. There is no doubt that as a society we have a fast food mentality when it comes to information. That is a fact recognized by slick marketing and political consultants, mainly to our detriment.

We are being bombarded with commercial ads by the current Governor telling us how great the Texas economy is. True, but not the full truth. Yes, Texas is the 9th largest economy in the world. Yes, we have many corporations and businesses relocating to Texas, some that we wish would stay in California, Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. Furthermore, we should eliminate the Texas Enterprise Fund, the Governor’s personal slush fund of Texas taxpayer dollars used to incentivize these corporations to move to Texas. They get breaks, but you cannot catch a break on your ever-growing property taxes, which preclude you from ever truly owning your home.

The Communist Chinese Party-controlled telecommunications company, Huawei, gets tax breaks for its headquarters here in Plano, Texas, but, where is your property tax relief? — @AllenWest CLICK TO TWEET

The Communist Chinese Party-controlled telecommunications company, Huawei, gets tax breaks for its headquarters here in Plano, Texas, but, where is your property tax relief?

The title of this missive is reflective of what is really happening in the Lone Star State. Our property taxes, the sixth highest in the nation, keep rising. Property taxes are a progressive system of taxation, first proposed by Karl Marx. Marx also advocated for the elimination of private property rights, ownership, in his book The Communist Manifesto. Taxes keep rising in Texas and government spending keeps growing: “the self-licking ice cream cone.”

Since 2015, when Governor Abbott took office, Texans have endured a state budget increase of 19 percent, and spending is up by $47 billion. Ask yourselves: what has been the benefit to you, the Texas taxpayer? We know that our very own federal government has racked up a phenomenal number of $30 trillion in debt. Well, the Texas debt grew from $96.7 billion in 2020 to $107 billion in 2021. This translates into a $13,100 individual burden to every Texas taxpayer, up from $11,300.

In FY 2020, Texas sent $292 billion in tax remittances to the federal government, third behind California and New York. It’s time Texas retained those dollars, especially for the purposes of fulfilling the abdicated constitutional role of securing our border.

So, where have all these increases in taxes and spending gone?

Well, it certainly has not gone to improve our system of education in Texas. Texas ranks at 46 or 47 in the nation in education. But, we have school superintendents making some lucrative salaries, $200,000, $300,000, and more. We also have some magnificent high school football stadiums that rival some small college facilities. As well, we still have cultural Marxism (CRT), and Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) infiltrating our school systems, indoctrinating, not educating, our children.

We have a Texas National Guard that, since December 16th has had 16 members, perhaps more, with behavioral health issues . . . sadly, five have committed suicide. They have not been receiving timely compensation after being deployed on Operation Lone Star. They do not have adequate equipment, including cold weather gear, body armor plates, and ammunition. Sadly, they are cramped into deplorable living conditions and have even had to relieve themselves publicly due to a lack of portable latrines.

Texas has received tens of thousands of dollars in COVID relief from the federal government. Upon the last review, some of these funds went to colleges and universities for construction projects. Little went to small businesses that Governor Abbott forced to close, or to Texas taxpayers who were put out of work — 2.7 million — and we are climbing back out of that hole. Here in Texas we have shortages of monoclonal antibody infusion therapy treatments and COVID test kits. Why didn’t we purchase our own supply stock of these critical items? After all, we have received close to $30 billion in federal aid.

Yes, Austin has become a self-licking ice cream cone. It is raising taxes, and also increasing fines by way of increased bureaucratic regulations, all to perpetuate its growth. Fiscal conservatism is just a political soundbite in a commercial ad.

It is imperative that the Texas State budgeting system is no longer a baseline system, but rather a zero-based budgeting system where every single program and agency is justified each budget cycle. — @AllenWest CLICK TO TWEET

So, how do we correct this? 

First of all, we turn back the budget to pre-2015 spending levels. We must adhere to the Texas Sunset Advisory committee recommendations and “sunset” ineffective and inefficient state government agencies and bureaucracies. It is imperative that the Texas State budgeting system is no longer a baseline system, but rather a zero-based budgeting system where every single program and agency is justified each budget cycle. No longer shall we just increase spending based upon a previous budget cycle baseline. This is the reason why we have seen a 19 percent increase in the state budget since 2015, but only a 5.4 percent increase in population. The old formulas aren’t working.

We will ensure that Chapter 313 abatements and subsidies for renewable energy, and any corporate interests, are ended, and not resurrected or replaced under any other name.

As Governor of Texas, this is a priority: transitioning away from the liberty-killing Marxist property tax system and lowering state government spending. I know this may seem boring, not as exciting as slick commercial ads, but this is about your economic independence. Texas will be about making Texans victors, not victims, and certainly not renters of their own homes from the government in Austin.

Steadfast and Loyal,

Lt. Col. Allen B. West (Ret.)