Some in the liberal blogosphere are claiming that a 2009 letter written by those in the Texans for a Conservative Budget coalition show they would be fine with using the Rainy Day Fund to balance the budget. This is not the case at all.
Texans for a Conservative Budget - a group of five conservative organizations - encourage our lawmakers to not use the Rainy Day Fund to balance the 2012-2013 budget. This message from them has been consistent and clear from the beginning of the current session and remains the same today. Governor Perry also continues to state his intention to leave the Rainy Day Fund alone for the 2012-2013 budget.
In order to make clear, again, the position of Texans for a Conservative Budget coalition, a letter was sent to the state senate floor on Tuesday, May 3. This letter clearly states their position.
This is the letter:
Delivered By Hand
In 2009, we signed a letter urging the Texas legislature to not use the Economic Stabilization Fund, better known as the Rainy Day Fund, for state-government activities in the 2010-2011 biennium. In it, we stated, "Retaining the entire balance in the Economic Stabilization Fund is important so that the state does not have to cut essential programs or raise taxes in response to an anticipated budget shortfall in 2011."We want to make two things clear:
• We stand by our 2009 letter.
• We stand by our 2011 declaration that using the Rainy Day Fund now is unnecessary and unwise.
In 2009, we were explicit: Rainy Day Fund use should be contemplated if and only if the alternative is higher taxes or essential-program cuts. Fortunately, Texas and its state budget are not at that impasse. The Texas House of Representatives, in particular, has shown that with political imagination and courage, it is possible to craft a budget for the coming biennium that does not raise taxes, does not cut essential programs — and does not demand a penny of the Rainy Day Fund.
Any person claiming that our 2009 letter validates use of the Rainy Day Fund ignores our clear intent then and now. We have been consistent in our position that the Fund should be preserved in full — not just in the last biennium, but in this one as well.
Talmadge Heflin, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Arlene Wohlgemuth, Texas Public Policy Foundation
Michael Quinn Sullivan, Texans for Fiscal Responsibility
Peggy Venable, Americans for Prosperity-Texas
Jonathan Saenz, Liberty Institute
The liberal bloggers would like readers to believe that there is some contradiction between then and now, between 2009 and 2011. The facts are there in writing. The coalition does not support use of the Rainy Day Fund and also predicted the shortfalls faced in 2011. The liberal bloggers claim Governor Perry and the coalition state one position in public and one in private.
Who is playing politics now?