Another post in Raul Torres’ series on improving Texas
I want to talk to you about what I believe are some of our state’s most critical areas of concern looking forward.
First, Texas has an education problem. Our public education and higher education systems are not working for thousands of students. The evidence come from a report titled, “2012: Texas Public Higher Education Almanac” released by the Texas Education Coordinating Board. The report states that Texas ranks 35th out of 50 states in graduation rate at a 4-year institution. Only 57 % of all
students at a public university graduate within six years. Meanwhile, only 27% graduate from a 2-year College. The report also shows that 54.4% of students are not college ready when they enter a Texas 2-year college program and only 29% of these ever graduate or remain in college after three years. Finally, Texas continues to lag far behind of its 2015 goal of graduating 630,000 students.
Every day Texas fails to fix this issue we can almost guarantee that thousands of our Texas students will fail to be future productive employees and instead could possibly become a financial burden upon society. Yet, despite these alarming statistics only some moderate reforms have been recently adopted. I believe these moderate reforms will do very little to solve our education problems. We must do better if we are to lead the nation as the “Texas model.”
Second, Texas has a very serious infrastructure problem. According to a report released by Texas Good Roads in June, 2012 titled, “The Cost of Doing Nothing,” Texas is faced with a bleak future if our state’s transportation needs are not properly addressed. Texas needs an annual investment of $9.9 billion a year to maintain road and bridge conditions and congestion at 2010 levels. Texas is only spending $8.2 billion. The Texas Legislature failed to solve our state’s water problems. Instead they chose to put a band aid solution to this very important issue. As long as the Legislature continues to put band aids on big problems we will never solve them. We must do better if we want Texas to have a strong economy.
Finally, we have a future water supply problem. According to the “2012 Texas Water Summit Report: Securing Water for Texas’s Future,” if Texas does not plan for and fund the acquisition of new water sources our state’s future is endangered. This could possible lead to Texas losing thousands or perhaps millions of jobs.
According to the Texas State Water Plan, we will need to spend $231 billion over the next 50 years to ensure sufficient water supply for our state. The Legislature failed to provide a long-term solution to adequately solve this critical issue. Instead they chose to kick the can down the road. We must do better to secure a brighter future for the people of Texas.
I believe we can solve these problems quickly and without raising new taxes if and only if we are bold enough to hold the line on spending, reduce the size of government, and reduce as many of costly and burdensome regulations that we can. The problems we have will not be solved using the same kind of thinking that has been used for the past 15 years. We must think differently and we must act differently.
You see I believe God had a divine purpose when he created this great land we call America. He did it so that those people who had a hunger for freedom and the courage to leave their homeland only to face unknown dangers just so they could have the opportunity to be free men. Well, I believe we haven’t lost that desire. I believe people continue to want to be free to enjoy life, liberty, and to pursue the American Dream.
From our forefathers to our modern-day immigrants, we’ve come from every corner of the earth only to be called Americans. My grandparents came from Mexico so they could become Americans just like your ancestors. Everywhere I travel on the campaign trail I see people from all walks of life busy at work, getting an education, or starting a new business all in the hopes that one day their dreams will come true and they do so despite the interference and hardships placed upon them by government. They are not ready to give up on their dreams and neither am I.
Unfortunately, our freedoms are becoming less and less with each passing day. Today, government believes he is our master. It seems to me that government taxes everything that moves, and if it doesn’t then it finds a way to subsidize it. Just like slaves were treated over hundred years ago, government officials would have us believe that we are incapable of managing our own lives. Well, don’t you believe them.
The truth is that our government has grown in its practice of governing in secret. The Austin elites tell us only what they want us to know. Perhaps they think the work they do is too complex for our understanding. Perhaps that is why the state’s budget is so hard to read and understand even for many CPA. Perhaps that is why so many cities, counties, and school districts refuse to post their budgets on line for all the world to see. Why else would they act this way? Could it be that they truly believe that we might panic if we were to be told the truth? Could it be that if we found out they got us into these problems that just maybe, we would get mad and fire them? It makes me wonder.
I have a question for them? Why should we become frightened? History has shown us that there isn’t any problem that “We the People” can’t solve if government would just give us the facts, all the facts. Then, get out of the way and let us have at it.
I am convinced there is more common sense at a high school PTA meeting or at a farmer’s Co-Op meeting than in all the combine brain power found in government bureaucrats or career politicians. I am convinced that the private sector can solve all of our biggest problems if only government would invite us to do that.
Since the founding of our nation “We the People” have faced incredible challenges over the course of our history, and we have solved every one of them. A civil war, the move from an agricultural economy to industrial one, two world wars, slavery, discrimination, terrorism and numerous natural disasters. The challenges we face today are daunting, but these too will be overcome because that is just what “We the People” do every day.
As you can see real solutions will require a new approach, a new way to solve our problems. The next Comptroller must be wiser, more knowledgeable, a proven problem solver, and a consensus builder to provide the leadership that will be required to build a better Texas Tomorrow. Let me fight for you. I am the only candidate with the proven experience, training, and vision to get the job done.
That’s all for now. Next week I will present the final segment of “My Conversation with Texas.” I hope you tune in. To learn more about the Raul Torres campaign visit us on the web at http://electraultorres.com or http://www.txtomorrow.org
I just thought you should know.
For Texas and Liberty,