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Republicans and Democrats “Bust the Bubble” in Teacher Retirement System


By Ray Myers

Pop the BubbleEstablishment Republicans and Democrats in Austin have a problem.  The health care portion of the Texas Teacher Retirement System (TRS-care) will have a budget shortfall of $1.2 billion by 2016.  Legislators must meet the state’s obligations to its teachers, but that takes money.  They could cut some waste out of the state’s budget, but that would endanger their pork barrel projects.  What’s a self-serving politician to do? Fear not!  They have a solution, and it’s one you’ve heard before: Raid the Rainy Day Fund (RDF).  The RDF is for emergencies.  In the Austin bubble, saving pet pork is an emergency.  Those of us outside the bubble know better.  

Believe it or not, there are some Republicans in Austin representing you.  There are 11 freshmen members of the Texas House-God bless ‘em-who have come up with a novel idea: They want to cut spending, wasteful spending in particular.  To do this, they have filed 3 dozen amendments “each of which proposes taking money away from a state program or agency and allocating it toward the Teacher Retirement System’s retiree group health insurance plan.” 

The state agencies they want to defund are:

  • Texas Tourism Fund
  • Governor’s Commission for Women
  • Texas Film and Music Marketing
  • Pollution Prevention and Recycling
  • Feral Hog Abatement
  • Wine Marketing, Research and Education
  • Taking Care of Texas Program (environmentalists)
  • Commission on The Arts
  • Board of Professional Geoscientists
  • Board of professional Land Surveyors
  • Texas Lottery Commission Marketing and Promotion Strategy (because Texas needs new schemes to get Texans to waste their hard earned money on the Lottery)
  • Steroid Testing
  • Agricultural Commodity/Commodity Supplemental Food Program
  • Doctoral Incentive Program
  • Texas Clean School Bus Program (because it takes a village to clean a school bus)
  • Education Service Centers (the good people who brought us CSCOPE). 
  • TEA (the Texas Education Agency will be cut back to the funding from 1997 and the savings will go to TRS-care. 

Those of you who want a return to Constitutional-style governance should have no problem with cutting these programs.  But the Establishment Republicans who run the Texas House have a big problem with it.  This is not the way business is done in Austin-not on their watch!

There are people in Austin who are actually fighting for us and they are asking for your help.  They want everyone reading this, especially educators, to contact their representative in the House and ask him or her to support the amendments that will defund these programs.  

Texas 11 Freshman

The Texas Freshman!
Photos by the Texas Tribune

Go here to find out who your Texas State Representative is & how to contact them.  Each of their names is a link that will take you to their contact information.

Tired of business as usual?  Somebody is trying to put a stop to it.  They need our help and they need it now. Let’s bust the Austin bubble. Contact your representative today.

Ray Myers a Tea Party Activist and Leader of the Kaufman County Tea Party

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