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that this budget does not cut state spending.” Clements said airily, “Our state’s future depends on education.” He said he would like to help the economy create jobs. And he spoke several times of “tax reform” while adding delicate mention of continuing “the current revenue level,” by which he meant that the “temporary” sales tax increase passed last summer would now become permanent. In fact, taxes were uppermost in the governor’s thoughts. His entire program rested on the plank “I can tell you Grassroots Texans do not want increased taxes.” Listen as he discusses the perils of taxation: “Grassroots Texans have their monthly bills to pay. . . . Grassroots Texans instinctively know that the price for higher taxes is a continuation of sluggish economic growth and unreasonably high unemployment. Tell the unemployed refinery worker in Port Arthur you’re raising his taxes for his own good. Tell the small businesswoman in San Antonio that government is going to take more so she must get by with less. Tell the toolpusher in Odessa that, while he may lose his job because increased taxes are the straw that breaks his company’s back, the government just can’t get by without the biggest tax bill in our state’s history.” It became apparent that the governor who is presumably liberated from status quo philosophy could not conjure up a tax reform plan that would not hit unemployed refinery workers, small business people, and toolpushers in Odessa. His assumption that “Grassroots Texans” would be the target of a tax increase was automatic. This represents a significant failure of imagination. GOVERNOR CLEMENTS held a press conference after his address, but something about the process put him in a sour mood and he sounded a mite defensive. “I’m proud of the plan,” he said about his budget. “I have no apologies to make for the plan.” As a reminder, he said, “I understand Grassroots Texans. I probably understand it better than anyone in state government today.” The press wanted to know just why he had elected to call for the continuation of “temporary” taxes passed at Mark White’s behest last summer, when he had campaigned so strenuously against the taxes as a candidate for office. The mention of White made him edgy. “Look, Governor White is in Houston,” he said and he suggested reporters call White if they wanted to discuss those taxes. “It’s not my tax; it’s his tax. I have nothing to do with that at all,” he said. After a few more questions, Clements walked away from the podium. “Good to see all of ya,” he said sarcastically. “It’s just a delight to be with all of ya.” He left the next day for a place he kept calling Tamma-loopus, which turned out to be Tamaulipas, Mexico, where he set out to establish better ties with our southern neighbors. So certain things are looking very much the same as they looked in Clements’s first term. But the actual state of the state, of course, is very different. We found that a recent speech by J. Livingston Kosberg contained a far more realistic vision of what’s happening in Texas and what should be done about it. Kosberg is a Houston Savings and Loan executive who is also the chairman of the board that oversees the Department of Human. Services. Responding to the governor’s request for all state agencies to “prioritize” their budgets in preparation for the coming cuts, Kosberg told a board meeting, January 9, “I would like to see Governor Clements go down in history as the best governor we have ever had. Because in order to accomplish that, he must gain an in-depth understanding of human services, and an unwavering commitment to its programs.” Kosberg said the state now must look beyond the scratch and scrimp attitude toward social programs and think in terms of “preventive economics.” “By ‘preventive economics’ I mean the investment today in those programs which will save the state unmeasured billions tomorrow,” Kosberg said. He went on: “The governor has called for a ‘war against crime.’ We contend that to win that war, ample ammunition must be allocated to human services, because our department fires the first shots against crime through our prevention and intervention programs. “More prisons? “We will never have enough of them in our state until we change the statistics which say that most criminals in prison were victims of childhood abuse and neglect preventive CONTENTS FEATURES 1 The Bonehead Business of Nuclear Power Kaye Northcott 2 The Status Quo is Dead Dave Denison 8 The Homeless and the Heartless Dave Denison 10 Good Sense at the Grassroots G. K. Sprinkle 11 The Emerging Hispanic Vote Mary Lenz DEPARTMENTS 4 Dialogue 13 Political Intelligence 21 Social Cause Calendar Books and the Culture: 18 Lubbock Comes Alive Richard Ryan 20 Vietnam: Part of the Story Michael King Afterword: 23 Let Down By Law Keenen Peck THE TEXAS OBSERVER Pho to by Vic Hin te r la ng