Dire Budget Estimate Fit Well With Prevailing Politics

Susan Combs, the state’s comptroller, stumbled two years ago, grossly underestimating Texas’ revenues and forcing lawmakers into a belt-tightening mode that probably wasn’t necessary.

The word “shortfall” haunted the 2011 legislative session, as lawmakers worked to continue programs and services in the face of a recession and an official forecast that income was suffering. They made cuts. They balanced the budget (if you’re charitable and not very good at arithmetic). And they bragged about it and went home.

It would be unfair to leave it at that. A fair number of those lawmakers were happy to make the cuts and ...

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