Today, I will conclude this three-part open letter with the political sticky wicket. The plan I have presented will represent a significant investment in our state. To adequately fund this investment will require actual courage and statesmanship (statespersonship), as opposed to lip service and pandering.
Some of the funding is already available. Through the action of moving of athletic and extra-curricular practices and activities to outside of the school day, there will be a small, but not insignificant cost savings. Because coaches and sponsors will actually teach content classes all day, this will reduce staffing needs on secondary campuses. Just note that you can’t sell this as being THE answer. It is not
The plan will cost and cost means taxes (but think “investment”). I propose that the plan should be paid for with increased taxes on the industries the represent a long-term hazard to the state. This means industries that harvest non-renewable resourses (oil, gas, and coal) and hazardous industries (refining, chemical, waste storage/processing). Yes, these industries are driving our economic recovery, but we must make sure that we equip the state to prosper when the oil is gone and the chemicals are leaching into the water table. These industries need to help educate a bumper crop of engineers, scientists and doctors to solve the problems the state will face twenty years from now.
Additionally, we need to increase the business tax. The unspoken truth is that Texas businesses essentially get a free ride. It is the consumer that is paying the biggest piece of the taxation pie. We must face the fact that a No Tax policy on business is much more detrimental to the long-term success of the state than Excessive Taxes. In Texas, we are not excessively taxed. This is especially true for business, industry or those who own lots of land.
The candidate that comes the closest to enacting the plan I have proposed gets my vote. Thirty years ago, a coalition of Republican and Democrat leaders tackled hard problems like these, and implemented tough solutions like these. Current candidates step up and be a Texas Leader. Channel your inner Bill Hobby, channel your inner Mark White, and channel your inner Ross Perot. Show me your mettle.
Think. Work. Achieve.
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