Reiterates commitment to keeping taxes low, strengthening Texas' job climate
Thank you Andy Ellard, GM/Owner of Manda Machine, for that introduction and for hosting us here at your facility.
Manda's has an amazing history; a business handed down from parent to child, with the family's third generation now calling the shots.
Congratulations on six decades of success and my hopes for many more.
We all know the big companies tend to get the most ink and we do appreciate the many jobs they bring to Texas.
But we also know the real drivers of job creation in Texas are our small businesses.
Small business owners represent the true vibrancy of the Texas economy with the jobs they create and their contributions to the positive economic climate that helps us attract employers of all sizes to the Lone Star State.
In Austin right now, we're facing a challenging legislative session with tough decisions looming as we thoughtfully make our way through the budget writing process.
At small businesses and around kitchen tables all over our state,
this kind of challenge is very familiar.
Small businesses have dealt with the impact of the recent global recession every day by finding new ways to tighten their belts, separating wants from needs, and making responsible decisions to live within their means.
We have an obligation to taxpayers to take those same kinds of steps in Austin , making government more efficient and streamlined and cutting spending without raising taxes.
We also need to balance the budget without raiding the Rainy Day Fund.
Our Rainy Day Fund is a valuable insurance policy against a future that continues to be uncertain on a national and global scale.
The truth of the matter is, there are no guarantees we won't be back in this position in two years, particularly if Washington continues the out of control spending that's burdening families and employers across the country.
And if we use the Rainy Day Fund to delay the tough decisions we need to be making now, we could find ourselves facing real emergencies when 2014-2015 rolls around with nothing left to fall back on.
The Rainy Day Fund must be used as an absolute last resort,
not a quick fix.
I know there is no shortage of naysayers who say Texas has to follow the lead of states elsewhere, who dig into the pockets of their citizens early and often in an effort to avoid tough, but necessary, decisions about their own budgets.
Here in Texas, we know that you can't tax and spend your way to prosperity.
We also know that small business owners and families across this country have already given plenty throughout this recession.
That's even true here in Texas, where we are emerging from the recession in much better condition than most states.
Our jobs friendly environment helped us attract new employers fleeing over taxation, overregulation and over litigation in other states.
In Texas, job creators are free to succeed.
As long as we remain committed to the principles that have gotten us this far we can expect more of them heading our way.
Just so you know, I'm not the only one saying it.
A few months back, CNBC named Texas the Best State for Business.
Just last week, Site Selection Magazine announced Texas has won the Governor's Cup for having the most new and expanded corporate facilities in the country.
Our unemployment rate has consistently been lower than the national average, with Texas employers leading the nation in job creation in 2010 and our job growth rate last year nearly double that of any other top ten state.
All that didn't just happen by chance. This legislative session, we have to do everything we can to preserve the climate that made it possible.
Again, the most important step is keeping our taxes low because dollars do far more to create jobs and prosperity in the people's hands, than they do in the government's.
That's why I've asked the legislature to make the small business tax relief that we passed last session permanent, preserving a much needed break to 40,000 Texas small businesses.
We also need to take the next step in tort reform, adding a loser pays component to our legal system in which those who file a frivolous lawsuit and lose are required to pay the court costs and legal expenses of those they sued.
Loser pays would further improve the legal climate in our state, helping keep small business owners on the job, generating income and creating jobs instead of throwing money away on unnecessary legal fees.
Every step we take in Austin this session has to answer the questions : Are we being good stewards of taxpayer dollars? And how do we create new opportunities for Texas families and employers like Manda Machine?
It's now my pleasure to introduce a man whose name has become synonymous with applying common sense to tax policy: the President of Americans for Tax Reform, Grover Norquist.