So, a liberal federal judge who in the past has hogtied Texas and mandates big time spending finds the bilingual education system is not performing. We all knew it was not functional. We all knew the English immersion was the better choice to teach English, but our legislators and statewide's did exactly nothing.
TCR and other conservatives have for a long time advocated ending the bilingual education system like they successfully did in California. As Peter Duignan of the Hoover Institution said, as quoted by William Murchison in The Lone Star Report, "Objective analysis shows that bilingual education is ineffective, keeps students too long in Spanish-only classes, and slows the learning of English and assimilation into American society. It has undermined the future of the Latino children it was meant to help and has created a sense of victimization among young Latino students …[T]he evidence is clear that Latinos taught in bilingual programs test behind peers taught in English only classrooms and earn less money after they leave school."
So once again Republican control in Austin doesn't result in advancing another part of the conservative agenda. Maybe this wakeup call will finally get answered.
America is looking for leaders regardless of party, any other volunteers?
The Coming Entitlements Train Wreck
Richard Fisher, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas recently took a look at the coming fiscal crisis due to entitlements. If we look at the big two: Social Security and Medicaid, we find a scary future. Social Security unfunded liabilities are $13.6 trillion. For Medicare Part A (hospital stays) $34.4 trillion, Part B (doctor visits) $34 trillion, Part D (new drug benefit) $17.2 trillion for a total of $85.6 trillion. Combined, these unfunded programs require seven times the annual output of the entire U.S. economy!
How did we get here? Fisher suggests demographics, reducing worker-retiree ratio, life spans expanding, more liberal benefits and cost of living adjustments, added to this the ever costlier advances in medical technology, the willingness of Medicare to pay for it, and the expanded benefits in Medicare (drug benefits).
How do we pay for it? There are many choices, all bad. We could make a lump sum payment of $330,000 per person. We could increase federal taxes by 68% and we would fully fund the programs or we could shift 68% of the current tax revenues to pay for unfunded entitlements or we could cut discretionary federal spending by 97% (things like defense, education, etc.)
Another option is reduce what has been promised.
We got here by buying things we didn't want to pay for over and over again, and now the chickens are coming home to roost. We have tough decisions to make.
Thoughts This Fortnight
- SD 17
We start in the SD 17 jungle primary. As predicted in the June 6th issue, negative campaigning between Republicans will hurt retaining the seat. On August 11, Dr. Steven Hotze attacked conservative candidate Judge Joan Huffman for who she received money from and then concludes she is owned by "gambling, liquor and nightclub interests." Dr. Hotze forgets that the same Landry's Restaurants Group also donated to "his" candidate Austen Furse, III. Does that make Mr. Furse a captive of the gamblers? These mindless attacks have no place in the campaign. It's suggested that Dr. Hotze focus on the real enemy, Chris Bell, not shooting at your fellow Republicans. By the way, using Dr. Hotze's flawed reasoning, since he is a critic of Texans for Lawsuit Reform and he supports Furse, does that mean Furse is in bed with plaintiff's personal injury bar? You get the point, keep your eye on the "Bell."
- Back To The Future: Russia, The Cold War And U.S.
It seems like only yesterday when President George H.W. Bush presided over the fall of the Soviet Union and the end of the cold war and now thirty plus years later it's back. The invasion of Georgia, a western ally, by the Russians is a wakeup call. Russia is returning to its Soviet authoritarian roots. It is seeking to reestablish hegemony over the former Soviet states and, of course, since Georgia hosts a major alternative energy pipeline, also may be seeking to smash competition.
Was this preventable? Maybe, if we had pushed for NATO membership last spring for Georgia the Russians would have hesitated, but it did not happen.
Lessons? It's still a dangerous world and our next president better be ready for "the 3 am phone call." Only one candidate for president has those skills and he is John McCain. Experience we can believe in.
- Property Tax Relief: Not If Comptroller Has Anything To Say
The appraisal battle between Comptroller Susan Combs and the Harris County Appraisal District continues and conservatives are asking why is a Republican official (Combs) pushing for even higher Harris County appraisals, which means tax increases? Didn't we elect Republicans so this would not happen? No wonder the GOP base is angry.
Red, White & Blue, featuring TCR Editor Gary Polland and liberal commentator David Jones. Airing weekly on Fridays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 5 p.m. on PBS Houston Channel 8. Next broadcast on August 22, 2008: Congressman Al Green. Coming soon The Great Debate Series beginning October 3rd and featuring the first televised standoff between Senator John Cornyn and Rep. Rick Noriega. On October 9th, live at 8 pm with every major Houston area race.
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 twelfth year of editing a newsletter dealing with key conservative and Republican issues. The last seven years he has edited Texas Conservative Review. Gary is a practicing attorney and strategic consultant. He can be reached at (713) 621-6335.