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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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The BattalionMay 4, 2024

Opinion: Yes to Governor Abbott

Photo courtesy of World Travel & Tourism Council

Opinion writer Ryan Lindner says that another Abbott term is the way to go

In choosing the next governor of Texas, voters are faced with a simple choice. On the one hand, there is Robert “Beto” O’Rourke, a political opportunist whose beliefs change as frequently as the Texas weather. On the other, Governor Greg Abbott, who has helped preserve Texas’ reputation as an economic powerhouse while simultaneously defending people’s individual rights.
With Tesla, Samsung and dozens of other companies moving into Texas, it’s no secret that our state has one of the most resilient economies. Although there are many contributing factors to Texas’ economic performance, the greatest is arguably not what Abbott has done, but what he hasn’t. Namely, sticking the government’s big nose where it doesn’t belong.
By not indulging in economically backward policies such as rent control, raising the minimum wage or tax increases, Governor Abbott has kept Texas an attractive place for businesses and residents. According to the Texas Workforce Commission, Texas added 16,400 non-farm jobs in August 2022 and has been setting new employment records for 10 consecutive months.
Aside from keeping taxes relatively low, the governor has cut burdensome regulations that stifle innovation and, at times, lock out thousands of workers from the labor market. For instance, in 2019, Abbott ordered state agencies to reduce unnecessary licensing fees and regulations that limit competition and drive up prices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he waived license renewal requirements for Texas nurses so they wouldn’t have to jump through the red tape. After serving on the front lines of a pandemic, the last thing a nurse should have to deal with is being harassed by bureaucratic paper pushers.
There’s a reason Texas is consistently No.1 in Chief Executive Magazine’s annual ranking of the best states to do business in: The free market policies endorsed by Abbott over the past seven years encourage entrepreneurship and investment.
Compare Abbott’s free market principles to Beto’s desired policies; the difference is black and white. Beto has previously advocated for increasing the top marginal tax rate, increasing the corporate tax rate and instating a capital gains tax. Simply put, Beto believes the government knows how to spend your money better than you do.
Aside from economic policy, Abbott has done much to safeguard individual rights. During the COVID-19 pandemic, local governments pressured churches to shut down while allowing secular businesses such as liquor stores to remain open. After signing an executive order to ensure churches could remain open in 2020, Abbott signed the Freedom to Worship Act in June 2021, prohibiting the government from forcing “places of worship” to close.
Abbott has also signed multiple bills protecting Texans’ Second Amendment rights into law. Most famously, the governor approved a constitutional carry law allowing individuals to carry a firearm without begging for “permission” from the government. While some may say this would increase gun violence, there are currently 24 states with constitutional carry, and available data shows no increase in crime.
Finally, according to the Texas Politics Project, immigration and border security is the most important issue to Texas voters, and it’s no wonder why. For the past two years, illegal immigration has been straining law enforcement resources resulting in a severe humanitarian crisis. This year alone, the Department of Homeland Security has had more than two million encounters with undocumented persons and record levels of smuggled fentanyl.
The problems at the border are many. From a lack of immigration judges, poor federal policy and limited federal funding, Abbott has been forced to use every tool in the toolbox to get a handle on the border. While some of Abbott’s policies have been deeply flawed, others, such as Operation Lone Star and busing migrants to other states, are supported by a majority of Texans.
After serving as Texas governor for two terms, Abbott has proven his ability to be an effective leader and the prudence to understand the correct role of limited government — enforce the law, protect citizens’ rights and not get in the way of the free market. It seems that Abbott’s philosophy is working. People all over the country are voting with their feet and moving to Texas. I don’t blame them — there’s no place like Texas.
When evaluating any politician, it’s important to keep the perfect from becoming the enemy of the good. I don’t deny there are valid criticisms of Abbott, yet more often than not, he comes down on the right side of most issues. With Abbott, we know what we’re getting. There is no mystery. There is no question about where he stands. In comparison, Beto has no problem changing his positions depending on the political climate — hardly the quality of a strong leader.
The principle behind voting for Abbott is simple. Things have been pretty good in Texas. Let’s not mess it up.
Ryan Lindner is a political science sophomore and opinion writer for The Battalion.

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About the Contributor
Ryan Lindner
Ryan Lindner, Head Opinion Editor
Ryan Lindner is a political science senior from Hutto, Texas, minoring in history. Ryan joined The Battalion as an opinion columnist in June 2022  until he became the Assistant Opinion Editor for the Spring 2023 semester. Since July 2023, Ryan has been The Battalion's Head Opinion Editor. Ryan has covered a range of topics, from local politics and campus culture to national issues, such as school choice and drug policy. After graduation, Ryan hopes to pursue a master's degree in international affairs.
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