An article in the December 12 Fort Worth Star-Telegram by Darren Barbee, "Tarrant County's big benefactor: The federal government," tells about the amount of money that Tarrant County, Texas gets from the federal government. The article also gives the response of the Republicans who run Tarrant County to questions about how they would cut back on all that hated federal spending, so as not to be number three in the nation of counties that receive the most federal money.
In 2008 Tarrant County got $34,433,911,681 from the federal government, before any stimulus money ever got there. Only Los Angeles and Cook County, Ill got more. Harris County (Houston) more than twice the population got $23.7 billion and Dallas County got a measley $15.7 billion.
The federal money in Tarrant County funds big federal installations including the U. S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the National Archives Southwest Region, The regional FAA Air Route Traffic Control Center, the federal courts, the veterans clinic, The Securities and Exchange Commission, and many more.
County institutions that got federal money include the Fort Worth school district $97.7 million, food stamps $135.6 million, Medicare and Social Security $2.28 billion, Fort Worth's summer food program $446,261, and on and on. The county spent $56.8 million of federal funds, including grants to assist crime victims, combat violence against women, fund drug court, enhance the crime lab and reduce the forensic DNA backlog.
That's just some of the more than $34 billion Tarrant County got in federal money, which is more than Tarrant county taxpayers sent to the federal government.
Steve Maxwell, chairman of the Democratic Party said, "It's almost laughable in the context of this secession talk, to see what Texas would be like without this kind of federal money coming in, without it we'd be relegated to Third World status almost overnight."
The Republicans who almost exclusively run Tarrant County are big Tea Party participants, where they rant and rave about big government and want to put an end to all this government spending. It's enlightening to see their responses as to how they would do it.
Tarrant County district clerk, Republican conservative Tom Wilder attended the Southlake Tea Party in April. He said at the party, "The citizens would throw me out of office if I engaged in some of the excessive tax-and-spend policies that they do up in Washington."
Remember that the county spent $56.8 million in federal funds on programs that dovetail with the criminal justice system that Wilder helps run.
Republican Gina Skinner, who attended the Southlake Tea Party, says, "I don't like the idea of the government controlling everybody's healthcare." Her husband receives Social Security and uses Medicare.
Colleyville spent $2.8 million federal money on railroad crossings and a street intersection. Colleyville City Manager Republican Jennifer Fadden said they have to "maximize revenue from as many sources as we can." A Republican maximizing federal spending? You betcha.
Republican U. S. Rep. Joe Barton said of the $26.4 billion of federal money spent on defense contracts that it's "good federal spending." Joe might check with his Tea Party supporters. They say there's no good federal spending.
Republican U. S Rep. Michael Burgess who attended a couple of Tea Parties this year said that they're always looking for ways to make programs more efficient. When asked how, he said, "It's not a discussion I'm going to get into."
Republican U. S. Rep. Kay Granger supports the $487 million of federal money for the Trinity River Vision Authority project. When asked what federal spending Tarrant County should part with, she wouldn't go there, deferring to county officials. Kay Granger's son, J. D. Granger is executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority.
Republican Jennefer Campbell who organized the Hurst Tea Party said she would need more details before deciding what to cut.
Stephanie Klick, chairwoman of the Republican Party said she wouldn't name any particular programs she'd ax because of the lack of details in the list.