Former Sachse Mayor Pro-Tem Jared Patterson, who recently announced his candidacy for Texas State Representative (District 112), is calling on the state of Texas to show more fiscal responsibility in budget matters.
In a statement released Monday, Patterson criticized the Texas legislature for raising spending 26% in their recent budget, while also raiding the "Rainy Day Fund" to underwrite infrastructure improvements. He called for the adoption of zero-based budgeting, something he implemented during his tenure on the Sachse City Council.
"When the state of Texas found record revenues gushing into our state coffers, moderate Republicans and Democrats teamed up to spend lavishly and to get the special interest groups everything they’ve ever asked for," Patterson said. "This type of spending is commonplace in Washington D.C., but it shouldn’t be in Austin, Texas."
Patterson is hoping to unseat current D-112 Rep. Angie Chen Button, who has held the office since 2008. Even though Button is a Republican, and often supports conservative legislation, she has been criticized for her past support of, and donations to, Democratic candidates.
Patterson's complete statement follows:
Picture this: Just before the start of the year, your boss calls. Recognizing your hard work, she gives you an incredible 26% raise. Can you imagine? When you and your spouse are determining your household budget for the next year, you plan a lavish vacation, hire help for around the house and get the kids everything they’ve ever asked for. Even though you knew it was critical to your family’s survival, when you’re done crafting your budget, you realize your mortgage payments and grocery bills weren’t even funded.
While this probably isn't what your family would do, it sums up what our state's Legislature did this year.
Incredibly, when the state of Texas found record revenues gushing into our state coffers, moderate Republicans and Democrats teamed up to spend lavishly and to get the special interest groups everything they’ve ever asked for – a spending increase totaling an eye-popping 26%.
But what about that water and transportation crisis Texas’ families and businesses are facing? The Texas Legislature elected to draw down the Rainy Day Fund by 50% to pay for those basic essentials. The spending was so out of control that the conservative Wall Street Journal even opined that “[t]his may be the first time in history that a state experienced a rush of new tax collections and lowered its reserve fund.”
This type of spending is commonplace in Washington D.C., but it shouldn’t be in Austin, Texas – and it isn’t in Sachse, Texas. While on the Sachse City Council, I fought to implement zero-based budgeting so that every tax dollar spent was justified, openly, before the elected body and the citizens. Rather than assuming that each department’s budget starts at the same amount of the previous year, plus an increase, everyone starts at zero and builds a budget with specific dollar amounts for specific purposes.
Quite frankly, the old business-as-usual method is just plain lazy – and lazy isn’t the way we do things in Texas. You wouldn’t fund your family’s budget that way and we shouldn’t fund government that way. I know what it’s like to prioritize spending so that you budget for the basic essentials. I know what it’s like to cut $25 line items from a multi-million dollar budget. I know because I’ve already done it.
If you elect me as your State Representative, I will fight day-in and day-out to implement conservative budget practices like zero-based budgeting. Texas can do better. Texas has to do better – for your family and mine.
Victor Medina writes for Yahoo News and his political blog WhenLiberalsAttack.com. His other writing credits include The Dallas Morning News and SportsIllustrated.com. He has served as a Dallas County election judge and on the Board of Directors of The Sixth Floor Museum. You can follow him on his blog, VictorMedina.com or on Twitter at @mrvictormedina. He can be reached by email at email@example.com. Click here to receive a weekly email update from WhenLiberalsAttack.com. To be notified of future stories by Victor Medina, click the SUBSCRIBE link at the top of this page.