In politics, TCR has found over the years that some politicians are show horses and some are work horses. Quietly and without fanfare, Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was able to get through the Senate (in the FY2010 Budget Resolution) a permanent income tax deduction for Texans sales taxes paid. This will save Texans $1.2 billion a year in federal taxes.
A little history here. Prior to her involvement, along with Congressman Kevin Brady, sales taxes paid in non-income tax states were not deductible, but state income taxes were. This wasn't fair in the eyes of Hutchison and Brady. The result was a temporary tax break in 2004 for a two year duration. With House concurrence and a Presidential signature, it will be permanent.
For conservatives and for all Texans it is important to recognize a good deed was done. Hats off to Senator Hutchison.
Somali Pirates and an American Hostage,
This Will Not Be Obama's Version
of The Carter-Iranian Hostage Crisis
Many recall the Iranian hostage crisis in the late 1980's and the inept reaction to it by President Jimmy Carter (paving the way for President Reagan's election in 1980), it's clear the Somali pirates crisis will not be Obama's version.
The world was watching to see if President Obama is weak and indecisive or that he knows how to project power. He got it right and TCR says good for him and America.
Thoughts This Fortnight
Time To Say Goodbye To Straight Ticket Voting Or Just Free The Judges?
- Without the $11 billion in federal stimulus money, Texas would have had to either empty the rainy day fund or cut spending by $11 billion. The tough decisions are being kicked down the road for two years.
- Texas public school financing after being "fixed" three years ago now seems headed toward unconstitutional imbalance. "Robin Hood" still lives because we never really fixed the problem. The dirty secret is that actual state education funding has declined over the years. Hold on to your wallet here.
- Did you know that even after the significant property insurance company losses for Hurricane Rita and Ike, that over the last five plus years the same insurance companies made a profit of $11 billion dollars? Not a bad return and maybe why Texas has the highest property insurance rates in the country, twice the national average!
Thirty-five states ban straight party ticket voting. Of the fifteen that allow it, seven are Democratic states, five are Republican and four are mixed. What about Texas?
Over the years, especially during Republican ascendancy, it was helpful in electing a slew of GOP candidates in major counties. More recently, Dallas County in 2006 and 2008; and in Harris County in 2008, the Democrats benefited, but what about our citizens and the election of the best men or women?
To be frank, citizens lose under the present system. Regardless of party sweeps or near sweeps, straight party ticket voting results in some unqualified or just bad candidates winning.
Voting is a responsibility and the parties need to know that who they run matters and they will when voters have to know who they are voting for. The other idea here is to raise the standards for qualification to run for judge or at a minimum, Sen. Dan Patrick's bill to ban straight ticket voting for judges needs to be the law of Texas.
TCR Back on the Air
Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones returns after a four month hiatus. The co-hosts want to thank you, our loyal viewers, past guests, and the leadership of the University of Houston and its great Board of Regents who have been very supportive. This Friday at 8:30 pm on PBS Houston 8 (308 on Comcast cable) and Sunday at 5:30 p.m. our guest will be Lt. Governor David Dewhurst. Next week, a roundtable with three candidates in next years Houston mayor's race and coming soon Chancellor Renu Khator, Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and other exciting guests.
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his twelfth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last seven years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.