THE TEXAS BSERVER July 31, 1987 A Journal of Free Voices One Dollar Bill Clements Delivers! Governor Bill Clements based his campaign on the claim that he was the man who could rejuvenate the state’s economy and that to do so he would have to resist all tax increases. At the same time he pledged to improve the quality of education in the state. But when Clements became governor he tried to cut spending on higher education and gave his no-tax pledge top priority. In the end, he lost on both counts, achieving results very similar to former Governor Mark White’s, which he so strenuously criticized in his campaign. We thought it would be edifying to look back at Bill Clements’s public statements, in light of the new $5.7 billion tax increase he signed July 21. Here is a sampling: “I have the know-how and commitment to tell Texas that I will veto any and all tax or fee increases. Bill Clements stands absolutely firm on this issue. . . . No tax increase of any kind. No fee increase of any kind.” February 3, 1986, upon filing for the Republican primary “Come 1987, Mark White wants to revamp the tax system and hand us another tax increase.” press release, August 6, 1986 “Mark White thinks leadership means taxership. . . . Break a promise, raise a tax seems to be the Mark White rule of state government.” press release, August 7, 1986 “The vision for the future of Texas must include a constant striving to improve education. . . . Education will always have top priority in the Clements Administration.” speech to the State Republican convention, August 28, 1986 “Promises may be enough to get elected, but leadership is needed to govern.” Republican convention, August 28, 1986 “The litany of broken promises of Mark White is becoming legend across the state of Texas. . . . Texans simply do not believe Mark White. He has lost his credibility.” Republican convention, August 28, 1986 “I know how to create jobs!” Article by Clements in the Houston Chronicle, October 12, 1986 “The greatest single failing of Mark White has been the economic deterioration over which he has presided.” speech to the Texas Association of Broadcasters in San Antonio, October 27, 1986 “We are not going overall to increase taxes in the state of Texas while I am governor during the next legislative session.” quoted in the Houston Chronicle, October 22, 1986 “We are not going to increase taxes in any substantial sense that would take care of a five and one-half billion dollar wish list.” quoted in the Dallas Morning News, January 30, 1987 “I reserve the right to change my position. I can’t be in granite in a changing panorama.” explaining his support for a $2.9 billion tax bill, February 4, 1987 “I don’t think anyone ever anticipated that our situation is as bad as it is. Now we’ve found out.” explaining his support for a $5.7 billion tax bill, July 20, 1987
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