The federal spendulus package passed by Congress is going to require the State of Texas to change its laws and expand unemployment benefits in ways the public doesn't know because it's slipped into the bill. Congress was so intent on forcing states to change their laws that they required the them to make permanent changes, no questions asked. The effects will burden Texas businesses in a time where they need to expand, not contract.
I applaud Texas Governor Rick Perry for rejecting the federal spendulus money with the strings that came attached. These strings would requre a change unlike any other in how the state defines umpemployment thus increasing the burden on the job creators.
“Texans who hire Texans drive our state’s economic engine. During these tough times, Texas employers are working harder than ever to move products to market, make payroll and create jobs. The last thing they need is government burdening them with higher taxes and expanded obligations,” Gov. Perry said. “I am here today to stand with Texas employers and the millions of Texans they employ to resist further government intrusion into their businesses through an expansion of our state’s unemployment insurance program.”The problem is the funding isn't permanent, just the changes. While the federal government tries to entice states to expand the program with funding to pay for the expanded benefits in the short-term, the expansion would likely leave Texas employers with higher taxes to fulfill the obligations in the long-term. What’s more Texas employers will start to feel the effects immediately, as tax rates are recalculated to reflect the changes.
The move was also praised by conservative think tank Texas Public Policy Foundation:
The Texas Public Policy Foundation praised Gov. Rick Perry’s announcement today that he would formally reject the $555 million offered by the federal government in exchange for Texas loosening its eligibility requirements and increasing payments for unemployment benefits.
“Legislators must keep in mind that every additional dollar that Texas employers have to pay for people who aren't working is one less dollar available for job creation and economic recovery,” said Talmadge Heflin, Director of the Foundation’s Center for Fiscal Policy. “We are glad that Gov. Perry has chosen to keep our state’s focus on those goals, as they are the best path forward for the people of Texas.”
It's important to have a conservative Governor in office fighting for Texans and understanding the job creating engine we have in the Lone Star State. We've been lucky to be bringing in jobs during the rough times and leadership like this will only help us stem the tide created by the socialism of Washington. It's also another example of his conservative bona fides.