Local Issues

KWTP Recommendations for 2015 Humble ISD Trustees

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Bill King offers Kudos to Rep. Murphy & Sen. Bettencourt

A Texas-sized Tip of the Hat from Kingwood TEA Party to CM Dave Martin & Michael Kubosh, all the CM who attended , and especially Sen. Paul Bettencourt who fought the Mayor’s and CM Sylvester Turner’s Horrendous Pension Deal for the City of Houston’s Taxpayers!

They didn’t get to have a vote because 2 of Mayor Parker’s supporters walked out to break quorum when they realized the vote would go against her by a large margin.

Thank you for getting Houston’s tremendous pension and debt problems in the public record! Make sure you ask the mayoral candidates what they plan to do about this looming disaster, esp. Mayoral Candidate Sylvester Turner who worked with the Mayor on this TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO GOOD, VERY BAD PENSION DEAL!

Learn more (audio): 2. 3-13-15 The Amigos 5P by Paul, Ben, & Bruce. Time: 51:10


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March 17, 2015

Kudos to Murphy and Bettencourt

In Bill White’s first State of the City speech in 2003, he warned that increases in the City’s pension benefits that were granted in 2001-2002 were much more costly than had been previously estimated and that they could jeopardize the City’s financial stability.

To his credit, Mayor White made pension reform a priority early in his administration, winning significant concessions from the plan that covers police officers and another that covers civilian municipal employees.  He was unsuccessful in making any changes to the plan that covers fire department employees.  Since the reforms White obtained in 2004-2005, there has been no additional progress in reining in the rapidly escalating costs of the City’s pensions.

The principal obstacle to pension reform is that Houston’s pension are mandated by the State Legislature.  In many ways, the plans are the ultimate unfunded mandate.  The Legislature forces Houston taxpayers to pay pension benefits but offers no State assistance to fund those benefits.

That is why it is noteworthy that State Representative Jim Murphy and State Senator Paul Bettencourt have recently introduced bills which would address Houston’s unsustainable pension plans.  Their bills take somewhat different approaches, and both probably need some additional refinement.  But the mere fact that two Houston legislators have finally stepped forward to address this issue is extremely important.  Representative Murphy and Senator Bettencourt should be commended for their courage to begin a serious conversation about this critical issue.

Pension reform is a difficult and emotional issue.  Employees who have given years of service to the City based on the promise of a pension are justifiably alarmed by any discussion that would renege on the promises made to them.  Any reform should protect the benefits current employees have earned.

In Texas, a deal is a deal.

But to continue making promises to new employees that we know will ultimately bankrupt the City and jeopardize the pensions that have promised is simply irresponsible.  Decades ago, the private sector recognized the unsustainability of defined benefit plans and made the transition to defined contribution plans.

Hopefully, Representative Murphy’s and Senator Bettencourt’s colleagues will join them passing legislation that will protect the pensions of current employees and retirees AND recognize that Houston taxpayers are not a bottomless well.

Visit http://www.billkingforhouston.com for more information.

Invest in Houston’s future. Lets get back to basics. Donate today!

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MUST SHARE VIDEO: MD-6 CD Candidate Dan Bongino on Why Your “Fair Share” Is NEVER Enough!

MUST WATCH VIDEO – Dan Bongino, Candidate for US Rep. of MD-6: Economics 101 or Why Your “Fair Share” Is Never Enough.

Inspiring Speech by US Senate Candidate Dan Bongino

Watch this video on YouTube.

Sowell & Williams: 2 Issues that Unite the Races

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Reaching out to Blacks does not mean offering them the same programs that have destroyed their families and blighted their hope for achieving the American Dream. Studies show that the Way of the American Dream is paved by Faith, Stable two-parent families, Education, and Hard Work.  These three things seem to make avoidance of having children out of wedlock before graduating high school, gang-related activity, crime, and violence more likely.

In Thomas Sowell’s JWR column of March 25, 2014, Republicans and Blacks , Mr. Sowell cites School Choice and Minimum Wage Results as two topics Republicans should publicize and shout out about in order to reach out to Blacks. In the article, Sowell further cites the book, Race and Economics by Walt Williams, as a definitive study of government programs which have hurt Blacks.

Walt Williams on School Choice:

Though many black politicians mouth that we should fix, not abandon, public schools, they themselves have abandoned public schools. They see their children as too precious to be sacrificed in the name of public education. While living in Chicago, Barack Obama sent his daughters to the prestigious University of Chicago Laboratory Schools. When he moved to Washington, President Obama enrolled his daughters in the prestigious Sidwell Friends School. According to a report by The Heritage Foundation, “exactly 52 percent of Congressional Black Caucus members and 38 percent of Congressional Hispanic Caucus members sent at least one child to private school.” Overall, only 6 percent of black students attend private school.” …

“According to a 2004 Thomas B. Fordham Institute study, more than 1 in 5 public school teachers sent their children to private schools. In some cities, the figure is much higher. In Philadelphia, 44 percent of the teachers put their children in private schools; in Cincinnati, it’s 41 percent, and Chicago (39 percent) and Rochester, N.Y. (38 percent), also have high figures. In the San Francisco-Oakland area, 34 percent of public school teachers enroll their children in private schools, and in New York City, it’s 33 percent.”

“Only 11 percent of all parents enroll their children in private schools. The fact that so many public school teachers enroll their own children in private schools ought to raise questions. After all, what would you think, after having accepted a dinner invitation, if you discovered that the owner, chef, waiters and busboys at the restaurant to which you were being taken don’t eat there? That would suggest they have some inside information from which you might benefit.”
Williams’ JWR column, Racial Trade-offs, of Oct. 9, 2013

Thomas Sowell on Minimum Wage:

“Minimum-wage laws are classic examples. The last year in which the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930. That was also the last year in which there was no federal minimum-wage law.”

“The Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was in part a result of a series of incidents in which non-union black construction workers enabled various contractors from the South to underbid northern contractors who used white, unionized construction labor.

“The Davis-Bacon Act required that “prevailing wages” be paid on government construction projects — “prevailing wages” almost always meant in practice union wages. Since blacks were kept out of construction unions then and for decades thereafter, many black construction workers lost their jobs.”

“Minimum wages were required more broadly under the National Industrial Recovery Act of 1933 and under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938, with negative consequences for black employment across a much wider range of industries.

“In recent times, we have gotten so used to young blacks having sky-high unemployment rates that it will be a shock to many readers of Walter Williams’s Race and Economics to discover that the unemployment rate of young blacks was once only a fraction of what it has been in recent decades. And, in earlier times, it was not very different from the unemployment rate of young whites.”

From Thomas Sowell’s article of April. 27, 2011 in National Review,  Race and Economics

Support Councilmember Dave Martin for His Commitment to Fiscal Responsibility

Support Dave MartinKingwood TEA Party proudly supports Dave Martin.

He is the most responsive councilmember who has ever represented me. He always returns my calls within a reasonable length of time and I personally know of several constituents he has met with privately. Contrary to the videos you might see on Channel 11, Dave Martin is a man who takes his job to represent every one of us seriously, even when we Kingwood residents are extremely divided over an issue like roads.

Dave Martin was set up for attack just before a contentious roads Town Hall because of Martin’s principled vote against increasing the Firefighters budget not long after Council had approved a larger amount than they asked for–for the 12th year in a row!

Houston will soon have to deal with major pension shortfalls, not because of a lack of faith or effort on the part of the City, but because of the sweetheart pension and benefit deals the union won from the City when the economy was humming along in the late 90′s to early 2000’s.

Now, while the private sector faces unemployment, recession, and sometimes even the impossibility of retirement, this Union insists upon lavish pensions and benefits at the expense of poor and struggling taxpayers who were never represented in those negotiations.

Abundance of Overtime because…the firefighters…went HUNTING!!!

One might wonder what caused this 12th shortfall—after all, it is only February! It was caused by the amount of overtime paid due to understaffing when a large contingent of firefighters went hunting—as their union rules permit. Inexplicably, one of the areas the Firefighters want to cut is the training program that would make more firefighters available. Instead, they are instituting brownouts of equipment and firefighters that will surely endanger Kingwood and Houston residents alike.

They overspent the budget THEY submitted…for the 12th year in a row!

Read more →

VIDEO: Sen. Ted Cruz with Jonathon Karl on “This Week.”

I’m excited about Sen. Cruz coming to KWTP on Aug. 19, are you? In the meantime, here’s Sen. Cruz with Jonathon Karl on “This Week.”

Sen. Ted Cruz with Jonathan Karl on 'This Week'

Watch this video on YouTube.

With Republicans Like These, Who Needs Democrats?

20130720-135445.jpg By Kyle Scott

Since the 2012 election, there has been quite a lot of talk about Harris County moving from Republican to Democrat. But anyone who is paying attention to this legislative session will see that the Republican legislators from Harris County are not particularly conservative on budgetary matters anyway. There has been a 26% increase in this budget over the previous budget. Rather than banking additional tax revenue this legislature has decided to spend more and then take $4 billion out of the rainy day fund.

With the passage of a budget that allowed for a raid on the ‘rainy day fund’, for an encore Harris County-based Representatives Dan Huberty, Patricia Harless, and Debbie Riddle joined with Democrats to support HB 16 and HJR 2 thus allowing for the rainy day fund to be raided with impunity. The Senate passed a bill that included a baseline under which the rainy day fund would not drop—a poor consolation for raiding the fund in the first place but a consolation nonetheless. When that bill came before the House the baseline was removed. Now, thanks to a coalition of irresponsible spenders, the rainy day fund can be raided with impunity.

The irresponsible budgeting of the Texas legislature during this legislative session has even garnered national attention with the Wall Street Journal comparing Austin to Sacramento. Texas is experiencing a boom—thanks to oil—in the same way California had experienced a boom—thanks to real estate—when it had decided to increase spending in the face of a positive financial outlook. Texas legislatures have failed to learn from California in recognizing that good times come to an end and a budgetary surplus can come in handy down the road. When one asks the government “How much can you spend?” the government usually replies, “How much do you have?” and then it takes some more.

Even a casual observer of politics and economics knows that saving money in good times is generally a good idea and that spending like the good times will go on forever will wreak havoc on a budget in the long run. The Texas legislature would do well to make two adjustments to the budgetary process in order to prevent these mistakes. First, we need a zero-based budgeting approach for all state agencies. Zero-based budgeting would allow legislators to assess how much money is really needed by an agency and not just how much money an agency usually gets. Second, discretionary spending should be handled after mandated spending and matters such as transportation and water are dealt with. Right now legislators are trying to say they need to raid the rainy day fund for roads and water. And they are right, we need to fund road and water projects. But these projects should have been dealt with first, not last, and discretionary spending measures should have been moved to the back of the line. By moving the most important matters to the back of the line legislators manipulated the situation to make it appear as though there is more of a scarcity of resources than there actually is. While money is the most important thing in making budget decisions, timing comes a close second.

We should all be alarmed by the dangerous and irresponsible budget practices by this legislature. What should be particularly alarming is that the conservatives are not acting like conservatives which means the spending will only increase and raiding the rainy day fund will only continue.

– See at: Dr. Scott’s Blog. .

Welcome to Behind the Scenes in East Montgomery County

Things are beginning to happen up in East Montgomery County. It can mean better opportunities for everyone in the area or it could be an unmitigated disaster. Join Bryce Howe in getting the right people in the right places in our community to carefully plan our coming growth in a productive way for everyone.

PHOTOs: By Bob Price of KWTP in Yesterday’s 4th of July Parade (2013)

View Slideshow of Bob Price’s great pictures!

MUST READ: Why Liberals Should Oppose the Immigration Bill

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FTA: Why Liberals Should Oppose the Immigration Bill: It’s about low-wage American workers, by T.A. Frank, New Republic

Most of America’s college-educated elites are little affected by illegal immigration. In fact, it’s often a benefit to us in terms of childcare, household help, dinners out, and other staples of upper-middle-class life. Many therefore view the problem as akin, in severity, to marijuana use—common but benign, helpful to the immigrants and minimal in its effects on Americans or anyone else. I know, because it used to be my own view.