Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Texan GOP reveals its budget priorities

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Luxury yacht
Pictured: More important than education and healthcare (to GOP)

Texas is currently facing the worst state budget crisis since World War II, and in response, the legislature is forced to make a number of drastic cutbacks, slashing funding for education and healthcare, amongst others. But don’t think that stops the Republicans who control the State House from expressing its heartfelt desire to help … themselves, and in an almost cartoonish manner:

In response to the worst state budget crisis since World War II, the Texas House has proposed slashing $27 billion from the budget, including huge cuts to education, nursing homes, and health care for the poor. Yet last Friday, the Texas House Ways and Means Committee approved a tax break for those who want to buy yachts costing $250,000 or more.

The bill, HB 2187, was proposed by Houston Republican Rep. John Davis, and would cap the sales tax the state could collect on the sale of a personal boat. According to AP, Davis authored the bill out of fear that yacht owners would start buying their boats in Florida, which has a similar law. Davis described it as “economic development,” while Ways and Means Chairman Harvey Hilderbran (R-Kerrville) said it was “one of those things you have to do.”

One of those things you have to do. Did Rep. Hilderbran just try to make this sound like it was some sort of sacrificial effort? Why, yes, the children get to stay stuck in overcrowded and under-equipped classrooms, and the sick and the poor get to basically screw themselves rather than have proper healthcare services … but, hey, at least the obscenely rich are now able to shop more freely for Texan-sold floating palaces.

Is there really no end to the GOP’s transparent plutocratic depravity?

(via Pharyngula)