A new conservative uprising is stirring and no one should be surprised. The Republican establishment has been drifting leftward, and a backlash had to come against the big government spenders in legislatures and against supremacist judges who order the spending.
Witness the conservative complaints against the Texas Republican leadership for trying to railroad through, in a special legislative session, a new tax on businesses that would impose $3 billion in new taxes on the most productive workers in Texas.
Is this justified by a shortfall in the budget? No, Texas has a budget surplus of more than $8 billion this year and business is booming.
Contrast that with California, which runs annual multibillion-dollar budget deficits and has a bond rating that ranks as low as hurricane-damaged Louisiana. The major difference is income taxes; California has the highest effective top rate (factoring in lack of deductions), while Texas has no personal or business income tax.
If Texas Republicans think they are helping their state or party by imposing a tax on business, they are badly misguided. Despite carefully obtaining the blessing of key leaders in both political parties, the grass roots are rising up against higher taxes.
The revolt is a replay of what happened after President Bush lined up bipartisan support for his personal top choice for the U.S. Supreme Court, Harriet Miers. Conservatives rallied against her nomination, and Bush replaced her with Justice Samuel A. Alito.
The failed Dubai Ports deal gave us another example of how conservative natives are getting restless. Despite Bush's threat to veto any legislation to kill the deal, Congress heeded the loud and clear message from the grass roots and did exactly that.
Apparently these lessons were lost on Republican leaders in Miers' home state of Texas. Her chief booster (the one who assured us that Miers is conservative), Texas Justice Nathan Hecht, writing for the state Supreme Court, ordered the Texas Legislature to revamp its public school funding by June 1.
Activist judges in other states, notably Kansas and Arizona, have been ordering state legislatures to appropriate more funding for public schools. The judges have convinced themselves that only judges are wise enough to know how much taxpayer money is "equitable" or "adequate," and Hecht is apparently infected with that same judicial conceit.
Conservative Texas Supreme Court Justice Scott Brister wasn't fooled by his court's decision. He dissented vigorously. The Texas Legislature should not be fooled nor intimidated because levying taxes and appropriating money are legislative, not judicial, powers.
Phyllis Schlafly is a national leader of the pro-family movement, a nationally syndicated columnist and author of Feminist Fantasies.
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