In one of the most outrageous displays of arrogance by Washington in recent memory - which is saying a lot, of course - the House Democrats have inserted specific language on top of $10 Billion in funding for education included in a War Supplemental bill targeted directly and solely at Texas - language that demands the money be spent in certain ways.
According to the Houston Chronicle, "The proposal would allow the federal government to give money directly to school districts, provided Perry certifies that the federal support will not replace the state money. Perry must also agree not to proportionally cut education funding more than any other item in the next budget. While the measure includes $10 billion in education funding nationally, Texas is the only state that must make such a certification before receiving the federal funding."
The thing is, besides being an affront to federalism and our right to live free from far away know-it-alls in DC telling us what to do, Perry's office makes the good point that, "[t]he House-passed version requires that the governor guarantee the Legislature will provide a certain level of state funding, which is prohibited by the Texas Constitution..."
Llolyd Doggett (D-TX), who never misses an opportunity to expand the reach of liberals in Washington (see, e.g. his stubborn and senseless involvement in the judicial nominations process and ridiculous criticisms of Senator Cornyn), complains that Perry misspent $3 Billion that should have been used for education. But, in truth, Texas used the funds exactly the way every other state used them. They were passed through to school districts through state formulas.
What's really going on is that the statists are aggravated that Governor Perry keeps telling the Feds to stuff it when he believes it is better for Texans that they not take federal money and the strings that comes with it. And they cannot stand it.
It gets even better when you realize that they moved money from some congressional districts to others (want to guess how Republican districts made out vs. Democrat districts?). Even more, hundreds of school districts in Texas are going to lose funds compared to what they would have gotten if we were allowed to distribute using state formulas like every other state. And, every other state can use these funds to cover budget shortfalls they are experiencing. Texas, if we are awarded such funds which is in doubt, can only give these funds over and above existing levels which will create a funding cliff when they run out. In other words, it will lead to teacher layoffs which is what these funds are designed to prevent.
Look - Texas is not without faults. Nor is any state in the Union. But this kind of nonsense coming out of Washington is precisely the problem we have today - where federal money taken out of the pockets of the American people is then held hostage and used coercively to manipulate the choices of states and prevent the people from living free.
Looking forward to more Washington involvement in healthcare are you?