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June/July 2009


Hard Times, Hardy Texans

Times are hard. Just reading the economic news can be disheartening.

The solution is not just another government program. It’s in ourselves – our daily decisions about how we live our lives, run our businesses, educate our children and prepare for our future.

The solution is not just another government program.
It’s in ourselves –
our daily decisions about how we live our lives, run our businesses, educate our children and prepare for our future.

I take comfort in being a Texan and all that it means. Texas is usually defined by its larger-than-life myths. Think of Bick Benedict and Jett Rink in the movie Giant.

Or two retired Texas Rangers – Gus McCrae and Woodrow Call – in the book Lonesome Dove.

Myths spring from a long-ago reality, but Texans are larger than their myths. We are a hardy bunch, self-reliant and, yes, hardheaded at times. Those traits will serve us well during these tough times.

We also are a diverse people living on a diverse land. Texas is 801 miles north to south, and 773 miles east to west. Throughout our history, that mighty expanse has been a magnet for settlers looking for opportunity.

And people keep coming to Texas. We’d better be prepared. We’ll need water, infrastructure, a trained work force and the energy to make it all work.

We already have an attractive business climate. Our state economy is more diversified than Mexico’s or Canada’s. And thanks to the lessons we learned in the recession of the 1980s, our state budget includes a Rainy Day Fund to help us make ends meet.

At the Comptroller’s office, we’re encouraging the state to save money by leveraging its buying power for goods and services, as part of our Texas Smart Buy Initiative.

We’re also urging parents to prepay their children’s college tuition at today’s prices in the Texas Tuition Promise Fund. And we’re making our economic data readily available to help communities and businesses make better decisions about their futures.

After all, today is the best time to prepare for tomorrow’s prosperity.

Susan Combs

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