Paul Krugman Is Very Worried About Texas

Categories: Politics
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Speaking of the great state o' Texas's $25-billion budget shortfall ...

Clearly, there are many Get Him to the Greek fans amongst the Friends of Unfair Park who've spent the better part of the morning filling the in-box with a copy of actor and Nobel Prize-winner Paul Krugman's piece in today's New York Times: "The Texas Omen." In it, the economist asks the question: If Texas is so recession-proof, then, like, what the hell? Didn't Governor Rick Perry say in that campaign ad back in February that "we have billions in surplus"? Yeah, he sure did. So, Texas, WTF?
The truth is that the Texas state government has relied for years on smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of sound finances in the face of a serious "structural" budget deficit -- that is, a deficit that persists even when the economy is doing well. When the recession struck, hitting revenue in Texas just as it did everywhere else, that illusion was bound to collapse.

The only thing that let Gov. Rick Perry get away, temporarily, with claims of a surplus was the fact that Texas enacts budgets only once every two years, and the last budget was put in place before the depth of the economic downturn was clear. Now the next budget must be passed -- and Texas may have a $25 billion hole to fill. Now what?
Now what? I'm gonna see if Schutze'll let me borrow his shotgun, that's what.
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29 comments
Jay
Jay

As expected, responses are nothing but ad hominem attacks. There's nothing left to cut in Texas to balance the budget. The education system is already one of the worst in the country, the infrastructure is in worsening shape and those responsible for maintaining it (TxDOT) are out of money. Health care for its citizens is also among the very worst in the country. Because of this, even if something is done to address the budget deficit successfully today without raising taxes, in 10 years what businesses are going to relocate to a state full of uneducated people only suited to flipping burgers at McDonalds and with high costs for terrible health care? What innovative businesses are going to be started by that same population? And how much will the migration that has driven the Texas economy slow as that infrastructure continues to crumble to pieces? Just like Lehman, Citi, etc. the business buddies in the Texas legislature sold the state's long term future down the drain for short term benefit. Neither Cali or Texas have the answer to any meaningful question besides how to get things wrong, but at least in the case of Texas state officials were business minded. They'll come away with healthy bank accounts while your garbage isn't picked up, and your neighbors and their children become more ignorant and sick by the day - a recipe for great communities if ever there were one.

EAT SHIT
EAT SHIT

A media-Jew giving a plug to another media-Jew? No way! How fucking unusual.

Rooster
Rooster

Or Michigan. The world really just can't have enough Detroits.

.....but then again, that state's problems could never have been caused by a miltant unionized workforce, high taxes, or corrupt politicians.

Publius 2010
Publius 2010

Paul Krugman is a complete idiot. He has become more of a political hack writer than a serious economist, as is evidenced in some of the ignorant pieces of writing he has published in recent years, particularly in his writings on the stimulus bill, which has been a spectacular failure. Every policy prescription he has made has been debunked. So I will ignore this ignoramus.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

I knew Perry was a lie and everyone else should have.How the News voted this man Texan of the Year is a mystery to me.Should have been named is lie of the Year.

Had Enuf
Had Enuf

Really, all the Leg must do is defund all welfare programs, including the welfare health care programs; privatize TXMHMR (sell it all and defund); and kick all of the illegal aliens and their illegal alien anchor babies out of Texas. That alone will decompress the expenses of the school districts and then we can repeal property taxes. The Leg can do that in a day.

justwonderin
justwonderin

It will be interesting to see who Rick "the clown" Perry will blame for the 25 B shortfall. LOL, he is as pitiful as the people who voted for him. What platform will he run on in 2012?

Buckerru
Buckerru

You already know who: Obama, Pelosi, Reid and all other "liberal Democrats."

Jerry Goolsby
Jerry Goolsby

Krugman should put his liberal political views to rest. He should be worried about the other 49 states and not Texas. When our Republican legislature finished the budget for the next two years, it will be balanced.

Gnou90
Gnou90

It has to be....it is mandated by the Texas Constitution.

East Dallas Mark
East Dallas Mark

Please do not deflect the impact of Jerry's statement with facts.

Rcamitz
Rcamitz

Unfortunately, Krugman, a once brilliant economist (though a Keynesian), has become ideologue first, economist second. Hence his weekly vitriol. His "told ya so/so are you" language evinces this point. And as far as economics goes, for Krugman the Keynesian, there can never be enough money printed and in circulation. The same can be said with regard to deficits-as any surplus should be put into use.

Buckeye
Buckeye

National Review Online disagrees.

http://www.nationalreview.com/...

scott
scott

NRO is the funny pages, are you serious? They are the same ones that said Iraq was a cakewalk and would be cheap. They cheer for the war industry, that's who funds them.

Augie
Augie

Whether you like Krugman or not, the fact can't be avoided that we have a $25B Billion budget shortfall, at the same time as Governor Perry was claiming on his highly produced "homespun" t.v. barage this last summer that we had a surplus. We do have different issues than other states, but one we share is, we can't afford to provide what we have been providing....and what we have been providing is precious little compared to other states that also have budget deficits. So, our shortfall will now be made up by ballooning our class room sizes, proving once again, that Republican politicians hate children and grandchildren, because they don't mind screwing them over, if it means they don't have to pay for what we are spending now. AKA why pay for today, what you can make your progeny pay for tomorrow?

Rooster
Rooster

"proving once again, that Republican politicians hate children and grandchildren"

I hear they kick puppies, too...and spit in the face of the elderly.

Hannibal_Lecter
Hannibal_Lecter

I think you guys have misinterpreted this.

Since Krugman thinks that deficit spending is the most wonderful thing in the world, and that the federal government should be even further in the hole, he isn't railing against Texas. This is a LOVE letter!

Likeicare
Likeicare

I was wondering where that surplus went during the election. Still hasn't shown up yet. Hmmm.

Rooster
Rooster

For the love of god, what is it with all the East coast blowhards hatin' on Texas?....

John_McKee
John_McKee

Arizona is a huge mess as well due to "fiscal conservative" governance: http://www.harpers.org/archive...

Texas, Arizona, 8 years of G.W.B. terrible and fiscally irresponsible presidency. In the last election Republicans once again ran on fiscal responsibly and managing the deficit and once again people believed them, now it is estimated that repealing health care reform would at $230 billion to the deficit, you would think this would surprise House Republicans who promised they would do nothing to raise the deficit but it doesn't because they specifically exempted it from the new House rules that prohibit adding to the deficit, a tacit admission that they know repealing it will add to the deficit, yet, it is their number one priority.

There are cases to be made for Republican's pro-business politics, I personally don't agree with them but there is room for debate on the matter but I continue to be shocked that the Republican party is viewed as fiscally responsible when almost all evidence of that appears to be a cheap smoke effect with disastrous consequences.

Phelps
Phelps

Ehh, Krugman is so spectacularly wrong so often that this is a good sign.

Jay
Jay

Phelps nailed it. Krugman is a wanker. A year ago he predicted a "double dip" recession unless the stimulus package was doubled. I'm absolutely not fan of Governor Big Hair, but if Krugman predicts problems for the Texas economy, that pretty much insures that we'll do very well.

Tom L (No, Not That L)
Tom L (No, Not That L)

I'm with you, Jay. I'm also not a fan of Governor Fake Smile, but that Krugman article practically drips with Inferiority Complex. He comes off as desperate for a reason -- any reason -- to show us we're not so great.

BoHan
BoHan

Just as long as Texas makes awesome decisions like trucking in nuclear waste from 50 States, Krugman could be proven wrong. I mean those are jobs that no one in their mind would think Texas would want.

Montemalone
Montemalone

(laughing hysterically)

Perry reminds me of Charles Durning in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas

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