This is how it works in this state.
Some of Texas’ most vulnerable residents – the very poor, the mentally ill, those suffering from birth defects, and children from troubled families – would lose state support and services under several new budget-cutting proposals.
In one of the deepest proposed cuts, made public Tuesday by the Health and Human Services Commission, monthly welfare payments to extremely poor households with children would be cut about 20 percent, to an average of about $57 per person a month. In two-parent families, payments per person would be slashed by half, to about $33.
Earlier, agencies overseen by the commission proposed other deep cuts, such as reducing by 6,000 the number of mentally ill people in North Texas who receive treatment from the region’s mental health system; closing 26 beds for psychiatric patients at the Terrell State Hospital; and eliminating 40 percent of the slots in a program that provides medical services for children with conditions such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy , and to people of any age who have cystic fibrosis.
So, to sum up: We cannot ask people who own million dollar homes to pay a few more bucks in property taxes because, well, we just can’t. It’s not on the table, so don’t ask. People who have nothing, on the other hand, are just gonna have to tighten their belts and get by with less. Any questions?
The sidebar to this Chron story about the different budget-balancing approaches of Rick Perry and Bill White goes into some more detail.
The Texas Grants college financial aid program would be slashed, dropping the number of students getting grants by 23,745.
Child-abuse prevention and early intervention would be cut, dropping 14,000 youths from abuse, neglect and juvenile delinquency prevention programs.
Beds would be cut at five state hospitals, including San Antonio State Hospital. This means 1,400 fewer Texans with mental illness would be served at the five hospitals each year.
Community mental health services would be cut, so nearly 10,000 fewer adults and nearly 2,400 fewer children would get services each year.
Immunizations would be reduced, leaving an estimated 56,000 children without state-paid vaccinations.
The Department of State Health Services’ children’s preventive dental services would be eliminated, leaving 9,000 children without care from the program.
The South Texas Health Care System in Harlingen would get funding cuts that would mean 49,000 fewer prescriptions would be offered and 6,000 fewer procedures performed.
If these sound like good ideas to you, ideas that will actually save money in the long run, then you should be voting for Rick Perry. If you think that maybe, just maybe, it’s a better idea to find enough funds to prevent some or all of these cuts from being made, then you should be voting for Bill White. The choice is clear.