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Texas' debt growing at faster rate than federal government's

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douglas9 Donating Member (762 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 11:42 AM
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Texas' debt growing at faster rate than federal government's
For all the controversy over the national debt ceiling, here's a surprise: Since 2001, the debt load in conservative Texas has grown faster than the federal debt.

Texas has been borrowing more than most other states, too. And local entities, from cities to school districts to transit authorities, have been piling up even more debt.

From 2001 to 2010, state debt alone grew from $13.4 billion to $37.8 billion, according to the Texas Bond Review Board. That's an increase of 281 percent. Over the same time, the national debt rose almost 234 percent, with two wars, two tax cuts and stimulus spending.

The sets of numbers are not easily comparable, and not just because one is counted in billions and the other in trillions. National figures exclude some obligations, and the Texas total includes so-called conduit bonds, for which the state is not necessarily liable if the borrowers default.
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sonias Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jul-13-11 12:46 PM
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1. Not surprised at all
Texas is where Enron economics was born, and the same mentality of "smoke and mirrors" books and budgeting is the core of the Texas Legislative process. In order to fake their "no new taxes" pledge the Texas Rs shifted a whole lot of payments into future budgets. Oldest trick in the Texas budget playbook.

Texas is growing in population yet the money the state is allocating to cover services it has to cover - like education - is shrinking. The only way that works on paper is to borrow money and shift the payments into the future.

"We're not a pay-as-you-go state and we're not averse to debt, as some people believe," said Eva DeLuna Castro, a senior budget analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities in Austin. "Maybe you're not paying for it now, but your children or grandchildren will."

Great article. thanks!

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