Small-government Texas, touted by Gov. Rick Perry as a model of fiscal health last year, is facing a budget deficit in the neighborhood of $25 billion, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It's no surprise that New York Times columnist Paul Krugman interprets the news
as more evidence that the dominant contemporary Republican approach to government-- slash-spending, shrink social services, repeat-- is bad economic policy. Krugman has been battling the accepted logic of narrow tax-slashing policy-making for years but, as the doors open on the new Republican-controlled Congress, his arguments will find even less traction with lawmakers. Krugman's warning about the crisis in Texas, however, may resonate in Colorado, which has been forced by the recession to introduce historic spending cuts the last two years. The legislative session is set to begin here this week and for months Republican lawmakers have been talking about reinstating tax breaks lifted last year as a top priority.