Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who contends that his fiscal conservatism should win him re-election, is sparring with critics who contend that the state’s budget shortfall should end the Republican’s tenure at a decade.
Although Perry maintains a wide lead in the polls, the state’s increasing shortfall, to as much as $18 billion, has made him a target, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
They contend that Perry’s policies have caused the shortfall, which the Legislature’s analysis says is about 20 percent of the next two-year budget. They also acknowledge the difficulty of cutting the budget enough, the Journal reports.
"There is no way that they will be able to come up with $18 billion in cuts," said Eva DeLuna Castro, a senior budget analyst at the Center for Public Policy Priorities, a nonprofit that advocates for low-income Texans. "They would have to shut down our prison system."
On the other hand, conservatives acknowledge that cutting will be hard, but they say it is possible, and that Perry is the right man to do it.
Perry himself stresses that he overcame a $10 billion deficit in 2003. He vows to fix the state's finances without raising taxes. Toward that end, he and other state leaders ordered budget cuts of $1.2 billion across state agencies this month, the Journal reports.
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