Rick Perry creates his own reality. You got a problem with that?
Gov. Rick Perry, sticking to his guns against further use of the state’s rainy day fund, dismissed a question Tuesday about whether he’s planning for dislocation of tens of thousands of elderly Texans if the House budget is passed and many nursing homes close.
“Those are … estimates that are not on my radar,” Perry told reporters outside the Texas House, where he made his first casual visit of the session to chat with members on the floor.
On April 18, Dewhurst said, “The last thing we want to do is force every nursing home operator who has Medicaid beds to shut down and some 50,000 to 60,000 grandmas and grandpas are pushed out on the street. Now, that’s not Texas.”
On Tuesday, though, Perry made it clear he’s not excited about using rainy-day money to avoid nursing-home closures.
“Look, everybody’s got concerns,” he said. “I don’t get confused about that. It’s also on people’s radar screens what they’ve been through the last two years, where people have had to make huge and hard decisions in their personal lives and their small businesses. And for the government to not have to make those is inappropriate. Look, nobody says it’s going to be an easy period of time. We all understand that. But to sit here and say, ‘Hey, sorry, we’re just going to have to raise your taxes,’ because we don’t have the courage to pass a budget that meets the requirements of being in our revenue stream, I don’t think is appropriate.”
When a reporter noted that Legislative Budget Board officials have told Senate budget writers that the rainy day fund very well could have $12 billion by August 2013, Perry snorted with derision. “I’ve lost so much faith” in the board’s “ability to estimate what’s going,” he said, after it estimated last month that 335,000 jobs could be lost in fiscal 2013 if as many cuts to state spending occur as the House budget proposes.
Perry’s been Governor for more years than I’ve been a blogger. I’ve long since run out of ways to characterize him. The Legislative Budget Board displeased him by contradicting his worldview, so he dismisses them and continues on. If anything about this surprises you, you haven’t been paying attention. And if you think he’ll change his tune when the LBB’s projections pan out, I’ve got some lakefront property in Midland to sell you. After all this time, what else is there to be said?