Hundreds of brave Texans were brutally murdered at Goliad and yet the Fannin memorial there is often overgrown and not well maintained. Texas should care for and protect sacred sites pertinent to Texas liberty including, but not limited to: the Alamo, San Jacinto, Goliad, Washington on the Brazos, and Independence.
The United States has never been effective at protecting the border of Texas. Since the point that Texas joined the union in 1845 until now, Washington D.C has failed to protect Texas. Texans died to secure our soil and it is immoral for Texas to cede any land, particularly along the border, to Washington. Iwill fight the federal policy that disallows states from protecting their own borders.
Texas is a diverse state that consists of many ethnic groups. Texas should enjoy a positive and mutually beneficial relationship with Central and Latin America. However, the complete and utter incompetence of the federal government over more than a century has left Texas the victim of a virtually open border. Furthermore, the Federal “war on drugs” has had the result of increasing the wealth and movement of drugs across our border. Texas should seek to achieve autonomy over its own border.
I support the right of all Texans to carry firearms in accordance with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution.
Federal property on Texas soil is still Texas soil, and Texans who inadvertently carry a weapon into Post Offices should not be charged with federal crimes. The Texas Legislature should strongly condemn this practice. Federal law and court decisions have ruled that the US Government can assert federal law merely based upon the fact that they rent or hold the deed to the property within the sovereign state of Texas. This is unacceptable.
Texas should never remove the constitutional rights of citizens using “red flag” laws without due process.
Texans can legally marry and start families at age 18 but are prohibited from protecting their families with handguns and from obtaining licenses to carry. I believe Texans should not need licenses in order to exercise constitutional rights, but I believe that the rights of adults aged 18-20 are being especially infringed.
The rights of the federal government are “few and enumerated.” All powers not specifically delegated to the Federal Government are reserved to the states, or to the People. However, over the past two centuries, the rights of the states have dwindled to the point that Texans struggle to identify any area in which Texas retains any autonomy. Even in areas where the constitution is silent, the Federal government uses its power of taxation to bribe and extort Texas to bend to its will. The Texas Legislature must strongly reassert the terms of our contract with the Federal Government per Article 1, Section 1 of our Texas Constitution. Texans died for our liberty and we must endeavor that Texas be governed by Texans and not by unelected, career bureaucrats in Washington D.C.
Law enforcement exists to save citizens time and money. Half of Texans carry a firearm and can protect themselves if necessary, but if a bank robber initiates a heist, how many of us have the time or the training to respond? Certainly though, as citizens we have the legal right and responsibility to do so, in the absence of any alternative. Thus it is important to remember that law enforcement officers are civilians that bravely step forward and take the responsibility to deal with the ugliness of society head on, day after day, so that we rarely need to. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize why we have law enforcement: because some people are bad people, and because most of us don’t have the proper training. We must have suitably trained and staffed law enforcement in our cities and in our counties. It is our responsibility to stand behind law enforcement.
While it is the case that many municipalities pay more than they should for most everything because wasting money is what we have come to expect from government at all levels, the current effort to de-fund the police is an assault to our way of life and to the rule of law, which is the hallmark of Western Civilization.
In contrast with Governor Abbott’s plan to cap the property taxes of municipalities that de-fund the police, a better plan is to bill municipalities at an increasingly steep rate, for services rendered by DPS answering 911 calls and requests made by cities which have less-than-adequate police departments. Such cities, having to pay Texas for these services, would have to pass on the costs to their residents and those residents would be properly penalized for electing public officials that threaten public safety. Governor Abbott’s plan, by contrast, rewards uninformed citizens with a frozen property tax (don’t we all want a frozen property tax?).
Governor Abbott is absolutely correct in declaring that property tax is nothing less than renting your property from the government. If you don’t pay your property tax, then the state can take your land, so therefore you really don’t own it in the first place, right? However, I think that all of us would much prefer a property tax to a state income tax.
The costs of some services, such as schools, have gone up at an increasing and unsustainable rate. Addressing this problem would go a long way toward alleviating our frustration with property taxation (please review the Schools section). However, property tax itself is an anchor around the necks of all property-owning Texans, and we must seek a better alternative which does not provide a disincentive for Texans to own their piece of Texas.
Another root problem for Texans is that so much money flows up to Washington, only to trickle back down to the states after a dozen agencies take their cut. Waste in Washington is the biggest threat to the pocketbooks of Texans, and the Texas Legislature should take bold steps to “de-fund Washington” and to keep state money in Texas. In the late 18th century, Americans in Boston rebelled over a half-a-cent tax on tea, and today we are paying up to a third of our income to Washington D.C, and getting very little in return. Texas must re-negotiate a working relationship with Washington.
I support improving the homestead exemption benefits for homeowners by reducing the maximum taxable property value increase from 10% per year to 5%.
All single family residential properties that don’t qualify for a homestead exemption should have a standard exemption that limits the amount of taxable property value increase to 15%.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown everyday Texans that there are alternatives to the one-size-fits-all public schools that they remember from their childhoods. While many young Texans have thrived in private schools, home schools, and charter schools for years, now in post-COVID-19 2020 Texans are fully aware that these are real and viable alternatives.
The biggest social change for Texas and America in the 20th century was the movement of folks from rural areas into cities to live and work. I fully expect that the big change in the 21st century will be technology allowing workers and students to work and learn from anywhere. This is a good thing and will be an even greater thing for rural Texas as people will be coming back.
School is changing and Texans finally have real, viable choices. However, our property taxes only support one educational possibility, and this needs to change. Texans should be able to apply the money that they earned to whatever option (private, home-school, public, charter, etc…) that they prefer for their children.
Some schooling options, such as public school distance learning or home-schooling, are often cheaper per student. By opening up the number of options to parents, funds that are available via property tax can be directed to the entities that need it, such as Texas’ teachers.
Because of our geography, coastline, and many large cities, Texas has a much greater natural need to be able to mobilize and react in the case of a natural disaster or other emergency.
Texas has a proud military tradition and the Texas Guard is composed of both federal (Texas National Guard) and exclusively state troops (Texas State Guard).
The Texas Legislature should expand and formalize the Texas A&M Corps to other state colleges and otherwise formalize the normative commissioning process of state troops via this system.
Texas should support and encourage participation in state military forces including but not limited to:
Opening up the purchase of state insurance to any activeTexas Guardmembers. This would not be free to participants but could actually reduce the costs by adding a population of healthy soldiers to the plan. State troops would worry less about holding a certain type of job simply to have access to health insurance, and instead pursue careers that make them more accommodating to state active duty deployments.
Freezing property tax for all active Texas Guardmembers.
Any member of the Texas Guard should have access to affordable loans available via the Texas Veterans Land Board.
Enforce existing benefits that are currently ignored. For instance, Texas Guard members are not required to pay tolls while on duty, but the Texas Toll Authorities provide no mechanism for members to avoid paying these tolls. Also, Texas Guardsmen are not required to pay property taxes directed toward roads and bridges, but municipalities have narrowly construed this to essentially nullify this provision.
All branches of the Texas Guard should be sufficiently funded so that troops are always compensated for drill attendance, training, and deployments.
All Texas Guard members should have access to state-provided life, disability, and accidental death and dismemberment insurance.
Texas should seek to strengthen its military for state-active-duty contingencies by establishing a statewide high-frequency communication network in collaboration with the Amateur Radio community, with equipment that can be used for routine amateur communications in peacetime, and which can serve as a backbone to be leveraged by trained Texas Guard members on military channels during times of emergency.
Texas Sovereignty/Federal Relations
Texas is unique in that it joined the United States as a treaty between two equal nations. Both Texans and Americans died to secure our freedoms. This is why it is appropriate for Texans to choose to fly the Texas flag at the same level as the American Flag. Similarly, Article 1, Section 1 of the Texas constitution states unequivocally that Texas is a free and sovereign state, subject to the federal government only insofar as our local rule is unimpaired. Our local rule is clearly impaired.
Through decades of mismanagement and crushing bureaucracy, the federal government is undeniably standing at an economic cliff. In the coming years, it appears possible that the dollar will no longer reign supreme and the ability of Washington to debt-finance trillions of dollars per year will be impaired. In contrast, Texas has a tradition of maintaining a fairly balanced budget with a relatively minimal debt.
The Texas Legislature needs to consider and support fairly expansive measures that will ensure that Texas is, as much as possible, insulated from current and past decisions made by Washington D.C.
The Texas Legislature will need to secure and protect the interests of Texans as increasingly draconian actions will be taken by Washington to cover (through taxation) its diminished ability to provide services due to the accumulation of debt.
Texas needs to recognize that the fate of Texas is, and should be, in the hands of Texans.
Intrastate Commerce should not be subject to any Federal scrutiny or regulation.
Texans should have the right to opt-out of Social Security.
We are at a critical juncture where the costs of acquiring land and the costs to comply with federal and state regulation has become so great that young people are not seriously considering farming as a viable profession. We must have a new generation of farmers to feed our communities, as well as supporting existing farmers to stay in business. Our farmers and ranchers are the backbone of our rural communities, and we need to support these small businesses.
The Texas Legislature should reduce the five-year waiting period for lowering property taxes for agricultural use to one year. This encourages the continued use of land for agricultural purposes, as well as supporting the next generation of farmers who are starting out.
Texas farmers and ranchers are burdened with senseless regulations that drastically increase costs. The Texas Legislature should seek to reduce or eliminate unnecessary regulation, particularly for small farms and those selling directly to local buyers.
Supporting Texas farmers and ranchers also means supporting the businesses they rely on. The Texas Legislature should take steps to reduce the burdens on small-scale slaughterhouses, commercial kitchens, and other infrastructure needed to build a resilient, secure agricultural and food system.
Small farmers should be able to sell produce without having government officials inspecting their farms.
Texas has tremendous access to natural gas and much of that gas is being discarded. Furthermore, natural gas needs minimal refinement, compared to crude oil, and burns extremely cleanly.
Texans should have the ability to affordably convert their vehicles to use natural gas, and all impediments that currently exist for any mechanic to convert a vehicle should be removed. Furthermore, the state should expand its assistance in building pipelines to well sites to assist in the movement of this natural gas to processing stations and refineries.
Texas must take steps to ensure that it retains control of its electrical grid, and that it remains as independent as possible.
The Texas Legislature must take steps to ensure that the Texas grid is protected from natural and man-made calamities, including Electromagnetic Pulses (EMP) and Coronal Mass Ejections (CME).
Texas is a vast and varied country, composed of areas that get regular, consistent rainfall, areas with irregular rainfall which is sufficient over a long period, and areas which do not receive enough rainfall to account for the needs of Texans.
Texans shouldn’t be victims of water shortages–we have the technology to address our water needs (i.e., we are not California).
In the mid-20th century, Texas had a long-term water plan that would have met the needs of Texans today, had it not been abandoned. This plan involved continuing to build reservoirs and, more importantly, to interconnect these reservoirs with pipelines that would move water from wetter areas in East Texas to areas in the west that currently are depleting their underground water reserves. The plan must be revisited.
Even the dry areas of Texas often have deep brackish water reserves which, along with pipelines to coastal regions, could provide an almost endless supply of water if we had the ability to desalinate it. Miraculously, God also blessed Texas with an almost infinite supply of natural gas, which could provide the energy to run such facilities. The Texas Legislature should enact legislation which would provide funding for a feasibility study of using natural gas as a fuel for desalination plants, and create a new 100-year water plan for Texas.
Conservation is great, but having plenty of water to drive a booming agricultural production is even better.
Life begins at conception. Abortion has killed tens of millions of Americans and is a stain on our republic. The use of federal tax dollars to fund abortions against the public will of Texans justifies virtually any action by the states to put an end to this practice.
Texas has an abnormally high number individuals convicted of crimes and then later exonerated. Thus, the Texas Legislature should conduct an investigation into the leading causes for this, and enact legislation that will help to ensure that only the guilty will be incarcerated or worse, executed.
Civil Asset Forfeiture is theft. The Texas Legislature must end this practice and return assets seized from the innocent.
In order to succeed, Texas requires statesmen: citizens who step up for a short time to work and serve their neighbors, and should shortly return home when their task is done. Career politicians are in opposition to this ideal. A reasonably low limit (2-3) of consecutive terms should apply to every elected office. Citizens should be able to run for the office again after at least a one-term break.
Voting and Elections
Voting is one of the most fundamental basic rights of our republic and fraud via duplicate votes and votes from deceased people disenfranchises all legal voters. Therefore, I support measures which keep elections fair including purging voters from rolls after a set number of missed election cycles and requiring all voters to re-register every four years.