Foolish short-term cash infusions from the federal government have proven to be costly. They provide a huge new expense for the state government, while only funding the first year or two. Our state has wisely turned down these overtures from the federal government in recent years. We must continue on this prudent path if we are to stay at the head of the pack.
Texas rebuffed the Obama Administration’s attempt to expand unemployment insurance (UI) as part of the 2009 stimulus package. It happened again with the 2010 Race to the Top initiative to centralize education standards. Governor Perry publicly rejected both of these long term claptraps, eager to protect the Texas government from federal encroachment.
Liberal media portrayals of these actions were short sighted, as liberalism almost always is. Forsaking long-term thinking (or even medium-term, really), media portrayals of our refusal of these programs generally focused only on the short term cash Texas turned down.
Both instances of self-control kept Texas in manageable shape fiscally, and in powerful shape nationally. Time has proven Texas right in refusing the UI overture from the Obama administration.
In early 2009 states were offered money to increase UI rolls. This was part of the President’s stimulus bill. Three years later deferred federal loans are coming due. States that couldn’t control themselves in 2009 are having to raise taxes to cover their unpaid debt and expanded UI rolls. Texas is sitting pretty by comparison.
Outside the Texas Democratic Party, Republican State Senator Kevin Eltife of Tyler was the only major opposition to conservatives in Texas fighting off this expansion.
ObamaCare was even more direct in its attempt to expand welfare. The bill forced states to expand Medicaid coverage to 133% of the poverty line or lose all Medicaid funding. The Supreme Court eventually protected states from this bit of blackmail but, as with the UI expansion, there is likely to be pressure to accept the terms anyway.
The UI case study is important to keep at the ready as Texans brace for ObamaCare.
Cash infusions sound too good to be true because they are. In Obama’s stimulus Texans have proof that avoiding these traps is a no brainer.