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Pratt: Texas Constitution: Beware the Rewriters

By Robert Pratt, host of “Pratt on Texas”
5p-7p on News/Talk 790, KFYO

The Austin-American Statesman reports that during the budget debate, State Rep. Mark Strama, rabid liberal Democrat of Austin, said “the two-year budget is a vestige of bygone days when members traveled to Austin by horse and is no longer feasible.”

“No economist could possibly anticipate what such a huge economy as Texas’ is going to generate over a two-year period. We might be looking at a much better fiscal scenario a year from now if we can avoid these draconian budget cuts,” Strama is reported to have said.

Sounds good but it’s truly specious. First, other than in just a few instances, Texas’ budget predictions have been in line with reality. Second, we created the Rainy Day Fund with a dedicated source of revenue to cover the few times when revenue didn’t pan out as expected.

It’s important that you understand what sharpies such as Strama and others intend when they want a rewrite of the Texas Constitution. This issue comes up on a regular basis complete with opinion pieces in major newspapers decrying the outmoded nature of our constitution, usually by pointing how many times it has been amended. You also get the technocrat class from both parties echoing similar concerns.

Just remember this: This Texas Constitution is amended often because it puts most of the power in your hands, Texas voters, instead of in the hands of the political class – they don’t like that. And, they don’t like budgeting for two years because it slows down how fast they can grow government programs and spending. It really is that simple.

Robert Pratt is host of the top-rated Pratt on Texas radio program which can be heard at

© 2011 Pratt on Texas

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