Friday, May 15, 2015

Abbott Aversion

I can’t imagine in my wildest dreams that a mother in her right mind would trust someone who hated children to care for their child. Why on earth, then, would rational citizens choose groups such as the Tea Party which hates government to be in charge of government? Recent events demonstrate our current Governor mistrusts not only the United States government, but also local governments within our state. These recent actions show not only hypocrisy but bring into question whether or not Governor Abbott has what it takes to lead our state successfully into the twenty-first century.

In a recent speech, Governor Abbott stated that Texas should lead the way in combating the United States government, as well as local governments. In the past week our Governor had the opportunity to speak for sanity and rational government by denouncing the wackos who were promoting the rumor that the United States Army was moving into Texas for the purpose of declaring marshal law and confiscating Texans’ guns. Instead of having the courage to denounce such an outlandish scenario, the Governor simply wrote a letter to our state guard instructing them to keep an eye on the United StatesArmy.

Who can believe that loyal Americans who join our armed forces, putting their lives on the line to protect us all, could be a party to a mass conspiracy whereby the U.S. Army would move into Texas for the purpose of imposing marshal law?

The level of hypocrisy further extends to local government. While conservative Republicans have for many years preached that government that governs best is that closest to the people.  Now, with the Governor’s seeming acquiescence, the Republican Legislature has passed bills which would prevent cities and the voters in those cities to enact ordinances which would protect them from invasive oil drilling activities.  

On the theory of creating uniformity in state law, our Legislature has bowed to big oil by denying cities the right to put limits on activities which have led to earthquakes, toxic pollution and contamination of local water supplies.  While pushing more and more responsibility for funding onto local school districts and cities, numerous bills have been introduced to limit the ability of local taxpayers to allocate what they consider adequate money to pave streets, improve education and provide health facilities for city residents.

While promoting the idea that the United States government is the enemy of the people, Abbott and others ignore the fact that thousands of Texas children go without adequate medical care, educational opportunities or health services.  Even though Texas leads the nation in worker deaths, almost nothing is done or said about workplace safety in this state.  In fact, Abbott and his army of so-called tort reformers have made it almost impossible for an injured worker to seek redress through the court system.  While Abbott continues to enjoy his almost $10 million lawsuit settlement, he supports measures to make it more difficult for citizens injured by others to receive adequate compensation for their injuries. 

Public schools in Texas are clearly underfunded. Roads and bridges have serious needs while our leadership turns down billions of dollars in federal funds which could provide medical help to needy Texans, and the $5 billion robbed from public education remains unrestored. 

In spite of all of these needs, our Governor and Lt. Governor seem absolutely locked in on the proposal to take $4 billion+ dollars out of the Texas budget in order to be able to say that they gave a tax break.  Such a break to each individual Texan would amount to somewhere between $160 to $200 a year.  

To me, a $200 a year tax break in exchange for the opportunity to have better roads and a better education for my grandchildren is not good. 

It makes me angry that these folks continue to refer to the government of the United States of America as the enemy and also attack local government--both levels of government are making serious and valid attempts to address some of the real needs of citizens. I find little resemblance between some of these folks who call themselves patriots and our ancestors who dumped the tea in Boston Harbor.

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