By BRIAN SMITH
Parker County residents “live in the greatest state in the greatest country in the world” and need to continue to take advantage of it in the eyes of Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst.
Dewhurst’s remarks came during the annual Lincoln Day Dinner, hosted by the Parker County Republican Party Saturday night. Dewhurst said Texas has gone from being a good state to a great state economically in the last 10 years and it has shown nationwide.
“In several economic and business categories we are number one in the nation,” Dewhurst said. “It’s harder to stay on top than it is to get there.”
USA Today says Texas has the strongest economy in the nation and has created more new jobs than the rest of the country combined in the last few years. Texas is also number one in the U.S. when it comes to exporting items, Dewhurst said.
“Thirteen hundred people are moving here or being born here every day,” Dewhurst said. “The population of Texas is expected to grow from 26 million to 52 million over the next 40 to 50 years.”
With those increases come the need to double such vital programs as infrastructure, water, highways and classrooms. If state leaders continue to stay the course and practice conservative principles, Texas will remain fiscally conservative and solvent, Dewhurst said.
Some of the ways Dewhurst proposed to keep the state on top include getting state government out of the way of business, which is the opposite of what the federal government is doing in Washington. Dewhurst said, adding more and more liberties are being “trampled on” by the Obama Administration.
Dewhurst contends if Texas can have a balanced budget, which it has for the last several legislative sessions, so can the nation. To ensure Texas continues to stay on top, Dewhurst is supporting a constitutional amendment which will allow for budgetary increases only at the rate of inflation plus population growth.
Keeping taxes low will also enable Texas to keep its advantage over other states. Since he became lieutenant governor, Dewhurst said 51 bills have been passed to cut taxes and fees by $14.5 billion statewide. He hopes to add another pair of bills during this current session.
“Tax relief is the genuine economic stimulus,” Dewhurst said.
Dewhurst said the U.S. could learn a lot by following the principles that Texas has used to be one of the last states to enter the most recent recession and also be one of the first ones to recover from it.
“If you want to change the economy nationally, there is one word with five letters: T-E-X-A-S,” Dewhurst said to applause. “Just follow what we’re doing.”
Keeping substantial growth continuing must involve educational reforms, Dewhurst said. Keeping good teachers and administrators in the state must involve being “confrontational” with educational labor unions.
Working to end “teaching the test” and end of course exams will help cut the number of students falling through the cracks and also keep the best and brightest teachers and administrators exactly where they belong: in the schools.
Dewhurst also told the crowd he would definitely seek re-election to another term.
To close the fundraising dinner, where all proceeds go to the party, Phillip Trew was named volunteer of the year. Trew has served as a precinct chair, an election judge and also as vice chair of the party from 2006-12.