In Texas, there's a significant budget shortfall. Either tax increases, spending cuts, or some combination is needed. So a natural experiment arises:
The Texas budget is going to be important for conservatives nationally. This state is very much the standard-bearer for the national Republican party, and for conservative Republicans in particular. We’ve got more than a 2/3 Republican majority in the state House, and almost as big of a majority in the Senate. We’ve got a Republican elected to every statewide office. Our governor has been a prominent national booster of the Tea Party, and our lieutenant governor is enough of a political chameleon that he’s currently going along with Tea Party sentiment.
Most importantly, we’ve got an electorate that believes this state should be setting an example for other states, and for the federal government as well. For now, at least, Texans seem to be in a mood to see these budget cuts through, even if it hurts. In short, if the conservative approach of balancing budgets through cutting spending without raising taxes can work anywhere, it has to work here, and it has to work now.
We'll be watching.