What is the economic engine behind Texas’ jobs creation? Here’s a hint: It’s not the state’s corporate welfare funds. A new report shows that the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (TETF) is doing a poor job of creating jobs, despite the millions of tax dollars invested in start-up firms.
The TETF has spent $194.7 million since 2005 on companies that seem to be doing just fine drawing in private investments and other funding sources.
And to add insult to injury, the governor’s office reports that $6 million is being written off in expected losses on “potential bad debts” – investments the state does not expect to recover.
That’s $6 million of your tax dollars being used as government-sanctioned venture capitalism. Satisfied with your investment? Too bad you don’t have a choice.
But despite the dismal reports on the state’s slush fund for start-ups, Governor Perry is still calling for an additional $139 million of your money to fund the TETF for another two years.
So far, budget writers in both chambers have zeroed out the fund’s balance for the upcoming biennium. They would be wise to keep it that way. Free markets and low taxes are, and will always be, the most effective catalysts for job creation.