Recession Hits Texas
by Gary Polland on August 1, 2009 at 1:58 PM
Despite some calls for secession by Texas politicians we are still part of the USA and are affected by national trends. Thus we are seeing rising unemployment in Texas; combine this with lower economic growth, especially in the oil patch, and we can safely say that recession is here! Recently, it has been revealed the State needs a 2 billion dollar federal loan to bail out our empty unemployment funds and this is after Tom Pauken's strong leadership here. How did this happen?
First, the ill-advised unemployment tax cut last year at Governor Perry's insistence helped exhaust the fund early. Second, the Governor also rejected 3 per cent of the Obama stimulus related to unemployment for around 550 million dollars as it would require expansion of benefits for unemployed part timers for example. Third, unemployment is rising at a much quicker pace in Texas causing the fund to deplete.
Conservatives are wondering what happened to all the new job creation our business friendly environment is suppose to give us. Maybe some the other issues affecting us like high insurance rates, lagging education success, a more congested transportation system, some of the highest property taxes in the country, the gross receipt's tax and high utility rates factor into the equation. It could be time to stop resting on our laurels and figure out how we can do better to get more Texans working in the private sector.