State budget’s impact on Milam County

We are finally beginning to see what impact Gov. Perry’s proposed budget cuts will have on our area’s economy and it’s not good.

The non-partisan Center for Public Policy Priorities analyzed HB1, the governor’s current budget proposal. According to the four-part report, Milam County stands to lose 32 school jobs.  But, because our school districts will have fewer employees buying things like gasoline and groceries and stuff, we stand to lose an additional 44 private sector jobs.

Even conservative economists say that for each public sector job created, the private sector adds between 1 and 1.5 jobs. The converse is also true. This means that 76 of your friends and neighbors stand to lose their jobs by the end of the year, just in Milam County.

Things are worse in the counties that surround us. Falls County stands to lose a total of 122 jobs, 144 in Lee County and 117 in Burleson County. Over in Robertson County, they could lose as many as 533 jobs simply as a result of school districts having to layoff employees.

That’s a total of 992 jobs in our five-county area that could be lost if Gov. Perry and the Tea Party Republicans in power in Austin get their way with this budget — and, absent any major impetus to the contrary, they are likely to get their way. After all, this is what they believe they were elected to do.

If you add in Williamson and Bell counties (we share county lines with both), that spikes to a horrendous 10,000 jobs that stand to be lost in the next few months.

And, because these things don’t happen in a vacuum, rest assured that we’ll share Bell County’s unemployment problems … and the problems that Falls County has, and Robertson and Lee and Burleson counties as well.

All of this in an area that has yet to really recover from losing more than 600 good jobs when Alcoa bailed on us. The rest of the nation has an unemployment rate under 9%, and Texas’ hovers around 8% … but Milam County’s rate is 11% right now. What will it be in September? What will it be next Christmas?

But wait, there’s even more bad news! In addition to the school funding cuts, Milam County will likely lose $15 million in funding for health and human services. So, not only will there be greater unemployment, there will be less money to help feed all these newly unemployed or to take care of them when they need medical care. And, there will likely be a few dozen other public sector jobs cut as well.

How will Judge Barkemeyer foster job creation — one of his primary campaign promises — when it will be everything he can do to balance Milam County’s budget in the face of these massive budget cuts and all the unfunded mandates sure to come sliding down the hill from Austin in the next biennium?

Tea Party Republicans vowed to cut taxes and expenses so they are doing exactly what they promised to do. The problem is, they are doing it without regard to the fact that Texas already delivers fewer services than any state in the Union (and we have the high school graduation rates to prove it!) and has one of the lowest tax burdens in the country.

So, when your wife or best friend or next door neighbor loses a job, you owe your friends in the Milam County Tea Party a debt of thanks. And, if you voted for Perry or Ogden or Dewhurst or any of the rest of them, you are getting exactly what you voted for.

Source: Center for Public Policy Priorities


About Richard Stone

... is a husband, a father, a writer, a journalist, an activist, an avid reader of trash science fiction and an occasional folk/bluegrass guitar player. He loves to travel, UT sports, community theater and sharing a good bottle of wine with good friends.
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2 Responses to State budget’s impact on Milam County

  1. Pingback: Rick-o-nomics and other examples of hypocrisy | Milam Blues

  2. Pingback: Who has your cookies? | Milam Blues

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