Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Remembering Heroism, Honoring American Strength

On September 11, we’re reminded of the tragedy that occurred in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. on that fateful day in 2001. We lost thousands of Americans, and our nation was put to the test. But, America and her citizens rose from the ashes to be a nation stronger than ever.

Patriot Day marks the anniversary of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. It’s a day
we remember those lost. It is also a day that serves as a reminder that the American spirit is resilient. We are a people who overcome and prevail, regardless of the degree of difficulty or depth of pain.

Our nation is a force to be reckoned with. We must continue to stand true to the principles that make America a great place to live. We must respect and honor the value of our citizenship. We must encourage our private sector to continue building a strong economy by expanding job opportunities. We must encourage innovation to help our nation prosper. Doing so will ensure America remains a global leader, a prosperous nation and the greatest land on Earth.

When our nation is faced with challenges and hard times, we rise to the occasion with strength and valor. I’m proud to call myself a Texan and an American. Today, while we remember with solemn respect the enormous loss of life, we mark the 12th anniversary by expressing enduring pride in the deep and abiding strength that defines us as Americans.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Sex Offenders, Gang Members Smuggled Through Rio Grande Valley

“Sex Offenders, Gang Members Being Smuggled Through the Valley,” this recent headline from KRGV-TV in Weslaco really says it all about the current status of our border war. Things are not improving for our fellow Texans down south, and the danger is real. 

In the report, border patrol agents tell KRGV-TV that criminals coming across the border are changing their tactics. They are harder to spot, and the risk they pose is rising. The agents said more than 70 gang members associated with the notorious El Salvadorian gang MS-13 have been caught this year in the Rio Grande Valley and 20 sexual predators have been apprehended in the past month. 

These are statistics that are unacceptable. South Texans and our brave men and women in law enforcement should not have to live with daily threats of violence, or fear getting shot at on their own property or while out doing their jobs. 

KRGV-TV is doing a great job at informing the public about the consequences of living with an insecure border. Unfortunately, the situation for our fellow Texans isn’t getting any better. Please take the time to visit to view KRGV-TV report and hear the real stories from the people living on the frontline.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Texas’ Draw: Low Taxes, High Opportunity

As a Texan, I take great pride in my home state. This is truly God’s country, and I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. It seems people across the nation are catching on that things are bigger and better in Texas.

U.S. Census data reports that Texas is the top state for relocation. A recent Dallas Morning News article notes that Texas’ big draw is highly influenced by jobs and our state’s commitment to keeping taxes low.

That same Dallas Morning News article cited new data from the Tax Foundation that ranks Texas No. 3 among states for bringing in the most income as a result of people moving into the state. Only Florida and Arizona ranked higher than us. A great deal of that income is from people moving away from high tax-and-spend states like California, New York and Illinois.

The main reason Texas, Florida and Arizona topped this list is simple. Texas and Florida are two of only seven states in the U.S. without a state personal income tax, and Arizona has the fifth-lowest state income tax rate in the country. Take California and New York: they are on the complete other end of the spectrum. It’s just plain common sense. When you tax people too much, take note that they are likely to move out of that state.

Work is another reason people are flocking to Texas. According to the Dallas Morning News, Texas businesses have created 293,000 jobs in the last year, which is more than any other state. So not only do families want to make Texas their home, so do businesses.  

To read the full Dallas Morning News article, “Texas gains people – and their income,” click here.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Happy Labor Day, Texas!

Here in Texas, we have always enjoyed a strong work ethic among our citizens, which is one of the reasons we’ve weathered the economic downturn much better than most around the nation. While other states were raising taxes and losing jobs, we were lowering taxes, reducing state budgets and creating more jobs. As we celebrate Labor Day, let’s salute all the Texans who wake up every day and contribute to our economy. Your initiative, pride and sense of self-worth are what drive our strong economic engine in the Lone Star State.

To stay on top, our state must get ahead of two labor problems. One is the skills preparation of our workforce. Businesses investing in Texas need the confidence that our education system is able to prepare their future workers with the technical skills necessary for their operations. Sometimes this comes through college education and sometimes it is in the form of vocational and technical education programs. Both educational resources are critical to ensure we provide students with the knowledge and skills to enter our workforce and expand the Texas economy.

It also is essential we push Congress to move forward with strategic immigration reform that consists of border security first, complemented by a flexible guest worker program based on market demands. Businesses here in Texas must have a steady flow of workers willing to work. As always, Americans must have the first opportunity at a job, and where Americans are not lining up to fill positions, we must ensure guest workers are available to allow businesses to thrive. But the system we have today, as well as some policies being debated in Washington, encourages the flow and hiring of undocumented workers ahead of Americans and legal immigrant workers. 

If you’re enjoying a day off this Labor Day, I thank you for your daily efforts to better yourself, your family and our great state. If you’re working, thanks for keeping the powerful Texas economy churning. And if you’re working hard to find work today, I offer my encouragement and commend you for being motivated to be part of the solution instead of the problem. Together as hardworking Texans, we will continue to lead our nation on the road to economic prosperity. Happy Labor Day, Texas!