Despite his long career on the taxpayers’ payroll, Attorney General Greg Abbott is running for governor as an anti-government candidate. Yes, that’s inconsistent, but it’s hardly unique. More significantly, if you are anti-government, you are anti-public education, because one of the single biggest responsibilities of state government is public education.
Now, if Abbott and dozens of legislators and legislative candidates have their way, education won’t be a major state government responsibility much longer because public school funding will continue to be cut in favor of privatization, and thousands of school kids and educators will be out in the cold.
Abbott already had been defending the $5.4 billion cut from public school budgets by the legislative majority three years ago.
Then, more recently, he ratcheted up his anti-tax, anti-government rhetoric by suggesting, at a meeting of red-meat conservatives in Fort Worth, that he would be open to repealing the state’s main business tax. Although a spokeswoman has since said that Abbott didn’t really mean what he wanted his audience to think he meant, he told the RedState Gathering, “Think how many more jobs we could attract to Texas if we also had no business franchise tax.”
A more realistic translation, though, would be, “Think how many more teachers we can lay off, how much larger our classes can get and how large our dropout rate can grow.”