It can be exhausting sometimes dealing with the ridiculous bluster that comes from the noisy fringes of the GOP, especially in Texas. But it’s worth pointing out some of the meaningful benefits that come from giving power to a political party that remembers where their power comes from.
In the course of a conversation with a local candidate about deficits I went looking for comparison to Texas’ annual budget disclosures. What I discovered was impressive. Once in a while life in exile is punctuated by a dizzying surge of Texas pride that can leave you babbling obnoxiously to the people around you. I’m sure that there are parties we’ve been left out of because of these outbursts, but that’s just the price you pay. TexasTransparency.com gave me one of those fits.
I almost broke into a Schottische right on the spot.
You may never have thought to wonder exactly how your tax money is being spent, but thanks to your Republican State Comptroller, budget items can be scrutinized down to the invoice. If you’ve never experienced Blue State politics, you may have no idea what a radical development that is.
Check it out. Every item of spending from all your state agencies is in a searchable application. Is it exciting reading? Nope. But I find this kind of thing incredibly inspiring. This is the kind of boring, low-profile, unsexy material that lays the foundation of responsible government. Texans and particularly Republicans should be very proud of it.
It is much harder as a Legislator or bureaucrat to award your brother in law a “block grant” to clean toilets at fictitious highway rest areas when every recipient of state money is publicly disclosed. It is much easier for the average man on the street, or the average reporter looking for a story, to identify odd or suspicious items of spending. Sunlight is a powerful cleanser whether or not we open our eyes.
In my occasionally humble opinion, Republicans should stop blathering about Muslims and gays and show the world TexasTransparency.com. It’s the little things that add up over time to deliver genuine transformation of government. We have all been woefully unconcerned about the little things.
That’s an example of the sort of accountability that Republican leadership is capable delivering – and it matters more than anyone realizes. But of course, that’s also an example of why I’m not a marketing director for the GOP. I’m boring.
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