In the growing cities of Texas, Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, San Antonio and metro Houston, appraisals have exploded with an average increase of 30%.
An increase in appraised value equals significantly higher property taxes unless an automatic rollback occurs which then forces the public officials to vote to raise your taxes! With figures ranging from up to 50% in Austin, 25% in San Antonio and between 15 and 30% in Houston, taxpayers are about to be blasted.
Thank goodness Senator Paul Bettencourt's property tax reform bill passed in the last legislative session with the support of Governor Abbott and Lt. Governor Patrick. It will, if the Constitutional Amendment passes, increase the homestead exemption and slow property tax growth and we need to do more.
Does Texas need a California Prop 13 limitation on home values? Do we need a broader and lower sales tax? Are we giving out too many exemptions on property taxes to big business and weekend farmers?
One thought, we have many brilliant free market thinkers in Texas, maybe we should study if we are creating a fiscally conservative Texas, what Texas system would encourage business and employment, and raise the necessary revenue for our government's core duties.
Does Biden Want Them To Win Or Cut A Deal?
It seems the way the U.S. has operated under President Biden, we talk big, but have limited the supply of necessary arms.
Recall last fall it was clear an invasion was coming, and yet the supply of critical heavy weapons was slow. Now with the Russians seeking to take Mariupol, the Donbas and then Odessa, to cut off Ukraine to maintain commerce is troubling.
The good news is Ukraine does not want NATO troops, it has equipment, remember the Polish MIGS the U.S. said no, and they need heavy weapons like longer-range artillery, tanks, jets and missile defenses.
The goal should be to give Ukraine what it needs to free their country and stop the Russian advances and force Russia to stand down.
The alternative is too horrible to contemplate.
Biden's Inflation, Getting Worse
Runaway deficit spending by the Federal Government is the primary culprit of our high inflation.
Don't you believe Biden's spin here. Just go to the grocery store and almost everything is up 10, 15, 20 or even 30%!
The most authoritative measure of U.S. inflation is John William's Shadow Stats who measures inflation using the blue chip standards that politicians have abandoned to hide the real rate.
Presently, inflation is running at 17.15%, the steepest inflation since June 1947 (75 years).
Oh, and it's not Vladimir Putin's fault.
Misinformation About Florida Law Regarding
Parents Say In Their Children's Education
To be clear, there is a lot of smoke around this law. So to be objective, what is the liberal Washington Post saying about the law?
"What Does The Florida Law Do?"
- "It bans instruction or classroom discussion about LGBTQ issues for kindergarten through third grade. For older students, discussion about gay and transgender issues has to be 'age appropriate or developmentally appropriate.'
"The law is effectively a statement that classroom education about sexual orientation and gender shouldn't start at an early age, and that parents have final say about what their children learn and when. It aims to 'reinforce the fundamental right of parents to make decisions regarding the upbringing and control of their children,' according to the text of the legislation.
- "It empowers parents to sue the school district over teachings they don't like. And the district will have to pay for it.
- "It requires school to tell parents when their child receives mental health services.
"How This Bill Pushes The Lines On The Parental-Rights Debate
"Proponents argue that parents, above all else, should be in charge of what subjects their children are exposed to and when.
Does The Houston Chronicle Have
"It makes sense parents should be able to determine what their children are taught regarding sexual matters. Why it is controversial, I don't understand."
An Anti-Semitism Problem?
TCR Comment: THIS IS AN EXCERPT FROM THE ASTUTE EDITORIAL BY IRA BLEIWEISS PUBLISHED RECENTLY IN THE JEWISH HERALD VOICE. THE MALFEASANCE OF THE Houston Chronicle is well known and it continues to mislead regardless of the facts.
"Imagine if a newspaper depicted a vegan food festival with photographs from a Barbecue Brisket Cookoff."
"On the First Day of Passover (April 16) the Houston Chronicle published a large picture entitled "Passover Begins." The picture is from a messianic Jewish church. Messianic Jews believe in the Christian messiah; their movement was started as a means to proselytize and missionize Jews. Their "seder" incorporates many distortions about our Passover ritual as they weave Christian theology into our Passover story and symbols. Their methods are shamelessly deceitful.
"The "rabbis" from this messianic church are self-ordained. A man from that church told me he's not Jewish. Then, a few weeks later, he appeared across the street from the JCC with a shmatte on his head and telling people he's a "rabbi." This messianic "rabbi" couldn't recite the Shema. His church is the source the Chronicle chose to highlight Passover.
"Messianic "Jews" claim to be Jewish; however, it is Judaism and Jewish Law that determines who is a Jew, not former-Jews or Christians role-playing as Jews. Their goal is converting every Jewish person to accept Christian beliefs.
"There's a deeper and far more troubling pattern developing at the Chronicle of publishing articles that demean, degrade, delegitimize and even foment disdain and hatred toward our local Jewish community. Much of this incitement is in the form of anti-Zionism, which is the contemporary vehicle for antisemites.
"On April 12, following two weeks of terroristic attacks against Israeli civilians, the Chronicle published a large photo entitled "A Day for Mourning," invoking sympathy for the family of a young Arab terrorist. Only near the end of the caption did we learn "officials said he was throwing a firebomb at [soldiers]." Eleven Israelis murdered in random terrorist attacks in the previous two weeks merited no mention.
"The pattern gets worse. Last summer, the Chronicle published a shockingly distorted description of Israeli defense against Gaza attacks by omitting any mention of 4,000 Hamas rockets. Instead, the Chronicle simply said there was an "11-day armed Israeli aggression" against Gaza (www.jhvonline.com).
"The Chronicle did publish an easily overlooked, brief two-sentence correction about the messianic "seder" the next day. The damage was already done, which also is part of a pattern: Print a distortion and retract it later. In the case of the "11-day armed Israeli aggression," Chronicle editors promised to correct the article, but waited 10 days to do so.
"Houston Chronicle editors have a remarkably cavalier attitude about their malfeasance. After their intentional failure to mention Hamas rocket attacks, I arranged a meeting with their top managers to highlight how they are fomenting and inciting antisemitism. I brought local Jewish leaders from two high-profile organizations, a major advertiser and a BIPOC [Biracial Indigenous People of Color] rabbi to our meeting.
Constitutional Amendments, Our Suggestions
"The Chronicle listened politely. We encouraged them to contact any of us for clarity or fact-checking on topics related to Jews and Judaism. We implored them to apply codified journalistic ethics to their reporting. We left feeling they were just going through the motions."
Please vote for Propositions 1 and 2 to lower your property taxes. It is simple, easy, and important.
This Week's Michael Ramirez Great Cartoon
An Interesting Special Election
In House District 147 there is a special election due to the retirement of Garnet Coleman. In the runoff are two candidates, former Houston City Council member Jolanda Jones and realtor Danielle Keys Bess. What is interesting is that Bess is running as Sheila Jackson-Lee's choice.
See the photo of her sign below. There are no Republicans in the runoff so it seems whoever Sheila wants, we do not.
U.S. Economy Inflation Caused By
Governmental Action And Lack Of Leadership
By Brian Ettinger, Contributing Editor
Why have we not learned inflation is never transitory? It leads to destructive economic results which leads to a recession or worse, a depression. This inflation was caused by government spending and the Federal Reserve printing more money leads to the cost of goods and services going up which restricts consumer spending and leads to higher unemployment and higher interest rates. When will the government leaders learn that lower taxes, interest rates and encouraging private sector businesses with tax incentives and a reduction in regulations will lead to a robust economy? The housing industry will be the first to feel the effects of increasing interest rates, wages will not keep up with the cost of goods and our current government lacks leadership. First, get rid of policies with regulations on the energy industry. Do a moratorium on restrictions on leases and give energy companies a tax break to drill on federal land, build more pipelines and use more natural gas. Do not charge these companies more to drill on public leases who take the risk just to satisfy a group of green energy fanatics. Next, do the same for the U.S. manufacturing sector and agricultural sector, engage all governmental agencies to fast track these industries which means the government does not restrict or hinder it. REDUCE the federal government employees by 20 percent across the board except D.O.D. and National Security. These industries are vital to our economy and in the interest of our National Security. Immediately fire the Federal Reserve Chairman and all Federal governors such as the Secretaries of Treasury, Energy, Interior and Transportation. Their policies are destructive to the U.S. economy and they need to be fired. Their policies caused this inflation and massive debt by constant spending and printing money.
We need to stop printing money, the Federal Reserve buying up bonds that create an inflationary spiral. Look at reducing the Federal debt as the cost of government borrowing will cost more with increased interest rates. These groups of economists and government political misfits are the problem. Radical decisions are now needed for our economy, or we will be back in the President Jimmy Carter years 1976 to 1981 of long gas lines and interest rates at over 18 percent with inflation over 10 percent. No more blame game on Putin or greedy energy companies or as these green energy fanatics state, "you need the pain with the increased price of oil and gas to save our environment." It is President Biden and his incompetent group of ideologues that has caused our inflation and price of goods to be higher with no way out but continue to spend and then raise taxes. Their policies have failed and now is the time to institute what I laid out above. Lastly, the U.S. needs to get away from China and stop doing business with them. That means if U.S. companies like Apple, Nike, Disney, Coca-Cola, etc. need to pay a heavy tax by doing business there, then let's institute it now. The U.S. needs to get its own house in order and be a smaller government with lower taxes We need to address the national debt that the last four Presidents have ignored. This will be only the start as we need to revise our public education systems and how to teach our students to remain competitive in the future and get off issues that divide us as a society. Then we can address the crime issues and secure our borders which has a direct effect on our economy. Our government caused this inflation with its policies and will do long term damage to our economy if not fixed now. Food for thought.
Brian Ettinger is a practicing attorney and contributing editor to TCR. He is a strong conservative who is concerned about America's future.
Giving Our Money Away Again
By Bruce Bialosky, Contributing Editor
President Biden thinks his real title is "Spender in Chief," not Commander in Chief. He is always throwing our money around. It seems every answer he provides has him committing our money without any clear explanation of his authority. His recent failings have caused him to refocus his efforts on a new, but recurring subject - student loans.
Biden is not the only one who wants to spend wildly. He has gotten immense pressure from his party (particularly the Left). Now that the Build Back Better boondoggle has tanked, the Left and other Democrats feel compelled to spend money somehow. They want to relieve the debt from student loans, and they are using the pandemic as a front for their battle on the issue.
Student loan repayments have again been deferred until August 1, 2022, with no interest accruing during the deferred period. Biden had said the deferral to February 1, 2022, would be it, but that did not hold for long. This is the sixth time the repayments have been deferred during the pandemic with zero evidence that the people who owe the loans are not capable of repayment.
The drumbeat for relief rolls on. Katrina vanden Heuvel who writes for the Washington Post and is a darling of the Left wrote "But the move also raises the question: Why restart payments at all?" She states, "89 percent of borrowers reported they are not 'financially secure' enough to resume payments." That is some new financial standard that has been created. Loans used to be based on whether someone has the financial capability to repay the loan, not their state of mind.
There is extensive duplicity being displayed by the people favoring loan relief.
While people argue to eliminate college loan debt, they likewise encourage people to attend college. They tell young adults how much more they are going to make than with only a high school degree. If you get a bachelor's degree, it is estimated you will make on average 75% more over your lifetime - or roughly $1.2 million. Those with a master's degree will earn an additional $400,000 above a bachelor's degree and it gets even better for a Ph.D. who will earn $1.2 million more than a bachelor's degree. Coming in at the top is a professional degree which will earn a stunning $1.9 million more over their careers than having a bachelor's degree.
That begs the question: Why would we let any of these people off the hook for their student loans? It seems like people are making a conscious investment in their future. A lot are obtaining their degrees or advanced degrees with the idea they will make more money, and statistics proves that out.
My favorite Senator, Lizzie Warren, sponsored a resolution with Majority Leader Schumer and Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass and Squad member) urging Biden to cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt which supposedly would relieve 36 million people from their loans. This equates to $1.8 trillion. There is no mention President Biden's "authority" to cancel any student debt in the resolution. Once again Congress is shirking its own responsibility by not passing their own bill. Me thinks the reason they sponsored the resolution is because they could not get a bill through Congress.
None of these proposals are accompanied with any procedures to change the accumulation of this debt in the future. As has been previously discussed in this column, colleges shovel these loans out to students with one concern - feeding the colleges' coffers to pay the fat salaries of their overstuffed staffs. There is no counseling by perhaps asking someone if it might be a bit nuts to get a master's degree in sociology with no prospects for a job when you graduate that will allow you to repay the $150,000 you borrowed. There is no explanation that once you graduate from college with your $75,000 debt you will have to start making payments of $600 per month and how long it will take to pay off your debt. There is no mention of the fact that 40% of people with college degrees are working in positions that don't require having a college degree.
There are three major objections to these proposals:
1. What about parents who went into debt to make sure their child doesn't acquire these student loans? Or how about the many people who have paid back their student loans? Or the 70% of Americans who do not attend college who will be saddled with this debt.
2. These college graduates earn more than high school graduates. They made investments in their futures so why should they be relieved of their investment obligations?
3. If we relieve these debts, if we piled that $1.8 trillion or more onto the national debt, what are we doing to stop the same situation from reoccurring ten years from now? We are doing nothing at present. We are not requiring these universities to be more financially responsible as evidenced by them loading up on average 45 staff for DEI. We are not requiring outside people to advise these students of the risks involved in taking on these loans.
This is a manufactured crisis to continue to feather the beds of a major constituency of the Left - university personnel. We are looking at relieving debts for people who by definition are the less needy of Americans. Relieving this debt will do nothing but put our national government in a bigger hole of which it cannot dig itself out. It is feathering the nest of special interest groups to get them to vote for Democrats for the remainder of their lifetimes. It is inherently un-American for someone to shift their debt onto the backs of other Americans when they are capable of repayment.
Call me when the problem has been fixed going forward by taming costs and properly educating borrowers by a disinterested third party. Until then this is the ultimate boondoggle.
Bruce Bialosky is the founder of the Republican Jewish Coalition of California and a former Presidential appointee. You can follow Bruce on Twitter @brucebialosky.
Tune In To What's Your Point?
On Fox 26 Sunday, May 1st at 7:00 AM
TCR Editor Gary Polland returns to Fox 26 Houston this Sunday, May 1st, on What's Your Point? hosted by Greg Groogan. The show will be a wide ranging discussion of current political issues. As always, Gary will bring a reasoned conservative viewpoint to the show. Just tune in at 7:00 am live, YouTube it, set your DVR or go to:
TCR on the Air
Gary Polland is now a regular on "What's Your Point?" hosted by Greg Groogan on Fox 26 Houston, appearing every other week. Tune in or set your recorder for 7:00 am Sundays.
Red, White, and Blue featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland on Fridays at 7:30 pm on Houston Public Media TV 8, replaying Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on Channel 8, Monday at 11:30 pm on Channel 8.2 and on the web at www.houstonpublicmedia.org.
Red, White & Blue returns in who knows?
About Your Editor
Gary Polland is a long-time conservative and Republican spokesman, fund-raiser, and leader who completed three terms as the Harris County Republican Chairman. During his three terms, Gary was described as the most successful county Chairman in America by Human Events - The National Conservative Weekly. He is in his twenty-sixth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last twenty-one years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. As a public service for the last 18 years, Gary has published election guides for the GOP primary, general elections and city elections, all with the purpose of assisting conservative candidates. Gary is also in his 21st year of co-hosting Red, White and Blue on Houston Public Media TV 8 PBS Houston, longest running political talk show in Texas history. Gary serves on the Board of Directors of American Values, a national pro-family, pro-faith, conservative organization supporting the unity of the American people around the vision of our founding fathers and dedicated to reminding the public of the conservative principles fundamental to the survival of our nation. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.