Our goal is to provide quality legislative analysis that is consistent regardless of authorship or partisan affiliation. To achieve consistency we have developed a series of questions that correspond to each of our Liberty Principles and help our analysts reveal any potential concerns. By evaluating each piece of legislation through the filter of questions such as these, we will apply the Liberty Principles in a consistent and predictable way.
When considering Free Markets and Private Property Rights we will consider questions such as:
- Does this restrict or enhance the ability of individuals to enter into contracts or freely associate with one another?
- Does the bill protect an individual’s property from theft, loss, or confiscation?
- Does this restrict Texas citizens’ right to use their property or reduce its value?
- Does this replace voluntary market transactions with government coercion?
- Does this increase or decrease regulation of or interfere with market transactions?
- Does the bill grant or eliminate special privileges through monopoly or coercion?
- Does the bill allow government to compete with private business or allow private business to compete with government?
- Does the bill protect or harm an individual’s ability to make a living?
- Does this provide, increase, or decrease subsidies for private companies or individuals?
- In what ways does this enable or impair transactions in a friendly environment?
When considering Individual Liberty and Personal Responsibility we will consider questions such as:
- Is the proposed legislation the least restrictive way to address the problem while protecting individual liberty?
- Does this result in any socialized costs/benefits? Any harmful unintended consequences? If so, what are they?
- Could existing law already deal with the problem?
- Is government decision making, control, and enforcement placed at the lowest level that reasonably balances local input with preservation of liberty?
- Do those who voluntarily use the service pay for it?
- Does the bill promote or harm self-responsibility and self-sufficiency?
- Does the bill create a protected class or provide the equal protection to all?
- Does the bill protect parental rights relating to responsibility for their children?
- If a behavior is banned or discouraged, is there clear and convincing evidence that there is an essential state purpose.
When considering Limited Government we will consider such questions as:
- Does this address a legitimate role of government within the framework of Texas or U.S. Constitution?
- Does this create or eliminate an entitlement (in theory or practice)?
- How does this impact governmental transparency?
- Are public funds truly needed to address this issue, or can the private sector address the need, perhaps if restrictions on property rights or free enterprise were lifted?
- Does this increase or decrease revenue to or spending by the government?
- Will the proposal increase or decrease public debt?
- Is the taxing structure visible, broad-based, and low?
- Does this create dedicated revenue accounts in government that restrict the use of funds?
- Does the bill promote or undermine constitutional rights guaranteed by the U.S. or the Texas Constitutions?
- What decision is being made, who gets to make the decision and who bears the consequences of the decision?