I read last night that even Gov. Rick Perry (who would have to address persistent rumors about being yet another GOP closet case) is making exploratory moves toward a possible presidential run. Not with stories like this, he shouldn't. Why does it not surprise me that Texas Republicans think entertainment is more important than education?
Texas, which may balance its budget by firing thousands of teachers, plans to commit $25 million in state funds to Formula One auto racing each year for a decade.
Four years after motorsports’ most popular series left the U.S., Texas investors including Clear Channel Communications Inc. co-founder B.J. “Red” McCombs are building a 3.4-mile (5.5-kilometer) track to bring the event to Austin. Comptroller Susan Combs has agreed to pay $25 million for races through 2022, a subsidy questioned by critics and lawmakers as the state cuts costs to close an estimated $15 billion two-year deficit.
“I don’t understand why 25 people in Austin could not put up $1 million each if they thought this was a good opportunity instead of the state making a $25 million commitment,” said Senator Dan Patrick, a Houston Republican. “The developers should find the money through private sources.”
As many as 100,000 teachers in Texas may be fired because of spending cuts to cope with the state’s budget crisis, according to Moak Casey & Associates, an Austin-based education consultant. For $25 million a year, the state could pay more than 500 teachers an average salary of $48,000.
The key investor on the project is Texas billionaire Red McCombs, former owner of the Minnesota Vikings, the San Antonio Spurs and the Denver Nuggets. These franchise owners are so addicted to government money, they wouldn't know how to do anything on their own, I guess.