Texas deserves better.
Our state has a reputation for being a bastion of freedom within the United States, where the frontier ethic of individual responsibility and hard work holds sway. But if the Texas Legislature continues down the path of promising one thing and doing another, we all stand to lose the essence of what makes this great state special.
I believe our legislature should be transparent. Communications from the Texas government to its citizens should be straightforward and to the point. Unelected bureaucrats shouldn’t be given the same powers as legislators or judges. Government should be limited, and it shouldn’t be wasteful.
I believe that a strong economy is propelled by free enterprise, not corporate welfare. The “Rainy Day” fund shouldn’t be a slush fund. The pensions that our teachers and other public servants depend on after a lifetime of service should be dependable and efficiently managed. The best thing we can do for Texas business is to get government out of the way so it can grow. As for the energy sector, I have a formula: Low Cost Energy + Freedom = Prosperity.
I believe in education, at every level from kindergarten through doctoral programs at universities. But we must make way for innovation in education in the 21st Century. Creating a partnership between online education and the classroom, a renewed emphasis on vocational education, measuring performance and maintaining standards without over-relying on standardized tests – these are all ideas that we must consider. These changes cannot be mandated and micro-managed from Austin. We need to empower our local school districts to do what is best for their students.
I believe there is simply too much regulation. The number of occupations that require a license grows with each session of the legislature. We should eliminate licenses that are more about protecting established businesses from new competition than they are about protecting the consumer from harm.
All of these things taken together may seem to be a simple exercise in common sense. Yet, for every one of them, the members of the Texas legislature disagreed. They kept rules that allowed a powerful minority of legislators to decide which bills would pass. They proclaimed that they passed a balanced budget, but did not disclose that they raided the “Rainy Day” fund to do so. They ignored the recommendations of the Sunset Commission and kept unnecessary regulations on the books. All of these are examples taken right from the records of the most recent legislative session in Austin.
If Texas is to remain Texas, this foolishness must end. The 129th should send someone to Austin who cares less about special interests or finding the next campaign contribution, and more about the needs of the people who sent him there. If you will grant me leave to do so, I will travel to Austin, roll up my shirtsleeves, and help clean up this mess. The person you send to Austin should represent all the people of the district. So, I ask that you share with me your thoughts on what Texas should be, since no one man has all the answers. Let’s come together to make Texas everything that it should be.
Texas deserves better. The Bay Area deserves better. Let’s make it happen.