After two years of battling the COVID outbreak and freedumb-loving anti-maskers, coronavirus hospitalizations and infections are in sharp decline. This is the time we’ve all been waiting for — a time when our state’s economy should be rebounding and life should be returning to normal.
But this is Texas.
Now in a statistical tie with gubernatorial opponent Beto O’Rourke, Gov. Greg Abbott is desperate, and he’s dragging the Lone Star State’s economy into the gutter in a ploy to consolidate support in ruby–red Texas counties leading to the midterms.
Abbott’s cheap play is in full effect. At the U.S.-Mexico border, the governor ordered unnecessary safety inspections of all semi-trucks entering Texas as a means of causing backlogs and havoc.
A Texas Trucking Association spokesperson recently took aim at Abbott’s job-killing political posturing.
“As delays increase at the border, deliveries are postponed or canceled, perishable goods spoil, and grocery and retail store shelves begin to empty,” the spokesperson said. “Exports in Texas also await empty trucks on the Mexican side of the border, and the lost revenue due to these delays will be felt by consumers as the price of goods increase across the country.”
Mexico is Texas’ largest trading partner by far, and much of that commerce flows throughout the rest of the country. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protections, the Laredo Field Office alone processed nearly four million trucks carrying an import value of $212 billion in 2021. El Paso’s office processed $69 billion in goods for an annual cross-border commerce value of more than $280 billion between those two cities.
The federal border agency recently said in a public statement that “local trade associations, officials, and businesses are requesting the Texas state government discontinue their additional border truck inspection process because it is not necessary to protect the safety and security of Texas communities and is resulting in significant impacts to local supply chains that will impact consumers and businesses nationally.”
Missing in the mainstream media reporting and commentary over the border crisis is an acknowledgment that heightened inflation is exactly what Abbott and Republicans want. Jobless claims are at a half-century low, thanks to President Joe Biden’s efforts to finally curtail the pandemic and focus federal spending away from corporate tax breaks and toward investments in infrastructure and other key areas of the economy. Unless you recently lost or started a job, though, those numbers don’t matter. What Americans are fretting about is skyrocketing gas and food prices, and that sick, evil bastard Greg Abbott knows it.
El Pasoan O’Rourke, whose campaign continues to gain new supporters, recently blasted Abbott for causing chaos on his home turf.
Abbott, O’Rourke said, is “crushing businesses, raising prices for Texans, causing supply chain delays, and hurting the economy of our state and this country. We will keep the pressure on to end his job-killing, inflation-spiking chaos at every other Texas port of entry.”
Concurrently, Texas leaders are bussing immigrants to Washington, D.C., and dumping them off just blocks from the U.S. Capitol Building.
Why? So Abbott can voice butthurt over a recent announcement that U.S. health officials will terminate a pandemic-era order that rapidly expelled asylum seekers and other migrants caught at the border.
Texas has been a shitty neighbor to Mexico ever since profiteering American mercenaries “liberated” the Lone Star State in 1849. Texans have whitewashed a state history that is stained with the blood of enslaved African Americans and Juan Crow laws that continue to block access to the ballot box. Abbott’s twisted efforts to portray brown men, women, and children as refuse that needs to be bussed away and dumped elsewhere is yet another reminder of how Fox Nation views our Hispanic neighbors. When Mexicans flee drug–war violence fueled by our side of the border, Republicans like Abbott respond, not with empathy, but by using their plight for cheap political points.
When Texans vote out Abbott in November, we’d like to offer him a one-way bus ticket to anywhere but Texas.
This column reflects the opinions of the editorial board and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at Anthony@FWWeekly.com. Submissions will be edited for factuality and clarity.