Even with a relatively strong economy and fiscally conservative state government during the last decade, there is room to improve Texas’ stance as the model for individual liberty and economic prosperity.
This is evident from the 63 percent increase, or 12.2 percent increase above population growth plus inflation, in the state’s total budget since 2004. The Foundation’s research finds that the current weak spending limit needs substantial reform to control the excessive growth of the state’s budget that’s burdening taxpayers with funding an ever-growing state government.
Table 1 shows reform proposals by the Governor and Senate Finance’s committee substitutes for SJR 2/SB 9 and should be amended to reach closer to the Foundation’s recommendation. However, they are both closer to our recommendation than the status quo. My calculations use quarterly data for Census’ state population and the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ consumer price index retrieved from the Legislative Budget Board.
Table 1: The Current Spending Limit Expands Government Spending at a Faster Pace than Governor Abbott’s, Senate’s and TPPF’s Recommended Spending Limit Reforms
It’s encouraging to see state officials offering key reforms to restrain a growing footprint of government safeguarding Texans from higher taxes and fees and helping Texas remain the model of opportunity and success for the nation.