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Our Governor the liar

Earlier I noted that Governor Perry lost a battle to keep drafts of budget proposals secret. Now we see why Perry wanted to do this: his initial budget proposals broke nearly all of his campaign promises.

At a debate at Rice University, Perry bragged that public education funding has increased $6 billion over four years.

“We must continue those trends and continue to put every new dollar that we can into the public school system in the state of Texas so that we can try to mitigate the effects of Robin Hood,” Perry said, referring to the public school finance system.

But Perry’s draft budget cut $2.9 billion from the Foundation School Program, the basic allotment to public school districts. Such a cut would force local districts to pick up more of the costs of public education.

The document is not clear, but the cut also likely would eliminate part or all of a $1,000-a-year payment to teachers to help them purchase supplemental health insurance.


Perry on the campaign trail also promised to increase pensions for retired teachers. Perry’s budget writers, however, wanted to double their premiums for health insurance to raise $435 million. The budget also would have increased the retired teachers’ annual health insurance deductibles from $240 a year to $500.

The average pension of a retired Texas teacher is $2,000 a month.

In the area of human services, Perry’s budget would have eliminated Medicaid simplification, a measure he bragged about signing during the campaign. Rescinding the law would save $1.3 billion, his budget writers said.

They also proposed cutting the Children’s Health Insurance Program by at least $81 million. Perry on the campaign trail had promised to do “everything in our power to enroll more children” in the program.

I can’t say I’m shocked by this. I never believed that Perry or Dubya really gave a damn about education funding except for the warm and fuzzy photo ops that they afford. When push came to shove and good times dried up, I knew they’d gut education and not lose sleep over it. I can only hope that there’s a political price for him to pay for this, but given that the next election he’ll face is in 2006, I’m not holding my breath.

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  1. Ginger says:

    Perry is such a gutless coward. He wants all these cuts, but he doesn’t have the cojones to ask for them, just like he didn’t have the cojones to campaign on the platform those of us who were paying attention knew he was going to run the state on once he got into office. That’s because *nobody would have voted for it* except a few fringe anti-government types.

    All you Republicans who bitch about Lee Brown’s shoddy governance, this one is yours. All yours.

  2. Chris Quinones says:

    Sounds like Gov. Pataki here in New
    York, who denied there was a serious budget problem till he was safely reelected and then dropped the bombshell we knew was coming on us. And now he’s ignoring Mayor Bloomberg supposedly to polish the Bush Admin’s apples. GOP governors? Cowards, the lot of them.