“You can spend it if you can defend it”
- Written by Geoffrey Geiger
State Comptroller shares mantra, philosophy with Republican club As more and more tax revenue is spent every year, State Comptroller Susan Combs wants to ensure taxpayers that she is doing her part to restore accountability and trust in tax collecting and distribution at the state level. “It is always your money. Never forget that. You have a say on how it is spent, and you have the right to know how it is spent,” Combs told guests at the final meeting of the spring for the Kingwood Area Republican Women. Combs also boasted that Texas’ “pro-growth” attitude is what is keeping Texas afloat amid a grinding recession nationwide. “Have y’all seen California lately?” she joked, alluding to the massive budget shortfalls and the recently proposed, yet unsuccessful, tax increases. Combs noted that a good business climate, government efficiency and being welcoming to entrepreneurs has managed to make Texas one of the most successful economies nationally and globally. “We have a much more diverse economy than either Canada or Mexico ... we are the second largest economy in the U.S. and the 12th largest economy in the world,” she said. The political buzz word of the past year has been “transparency,” and Combs said the Comptroller’s office takes it seriously. The agency’s Web site boasts “window on state government” on the heading of the site. Combs believes it to be, citing that on her fourth day in office in 2007, she posted a spreadsheet showing her agency’s expenditures. She began receiving feedback from citizens all across the state, she said. “Through citizen feedback, we’ve been able to save millions of inefficient dollars,” Combs said. The Comptroller’s Web site is www.window.state.tx.us. Photo: From left: State Comptroller Susan Combs, 1st Vice President Betty Newton, President Halene Crossman.