After enjoying a record 10 years as governor, Rick Perry travels from one campaign stop to the next, spinning the yarn that everything’s A-Okay in Texas.
Don’t believe him. Rick Perry is a savvy, 25-year career politician. He sticks to friendly audiences full of handpicked supporters, because he can’t peddle his hype to a group of real, struggling Texas families. He’d rather hide out in his $10,000-a-month, taxpayer-funded rental mansion than defend his miserable record.
What he brags about most is balancing the Texas budget. He always fails to mention, however, his letter to President Obama accepting his $16 billion share of Washington D.C. stimulus money to fill the gaping hole in his last budget.i If Perry hadn’t begged for stimulus money, Texas might be in as bad a shape as California.
And since he took the stimulus money and ran, we have watched government-related jobs shoot upii, while private sector job losses have left us stuck in an even deeper ditchiii. Perry won’t tell you that the Texas unemployment rate has even growniv more than the nation’s as a whole.
Now, with his new, record-setting, $21 billion budget hole, Perry’s really outdone himselfv. And he won’t have President Obama’s stimulus money to come to his rescue this time around.
Perry’s $21 billion shortfall means:
Instead of shooting straight about his record, Rick Perry is busy demanding credit for the success of everyday Texans. He even takes credit for the hard work of Texas small businesses after he raised their unemployment taxes to the highest level in a decadeiix.
The success of Texas families and small business owners can be credited to their own grit and determination, in the face of Perry’s reckless mismanagement of our state.
Texans are fed up with the cronyism and incompetence that corrupt our government.
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i "Perry says he’ll take stimulus aid." Houston Chronicle, Feb. 18, 2009.
"Stimulus funds make Perry’s pitch easier." Austin American Statesman, Sept. 27, 2010.
"But what Perry doesn’t mention is that this budget-balancing and money-saving was made easier by the $787 billion federal stimulus package that came last year from, of all places, Washington.
ii Texas Public Policy Foundation Policy Brief – By the Numbers: Texas Stimulus
Government-related employment is on the rise. As compared to February 2009, employment in government-related industries, namely the Government and Educational & Health Services sectors, has increased by 105,400 jobs, as of August 2010.
iii Texas Public Policy Foundation Policy Brief – By the Numbers: Texas Stimulus
Private sector employment remains depressed. As compared to February 2009, employment in private sector- related industries‡ has decreased by 204,500 jobs, as of August 2010.
iv Texas unemployment rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Feb 2009: 6.8%
August 2010: 8.3%
US unemployment rate (Bureau of Labor Statistics)
Feb 2009: 8.2%
August 2010: 9.6%
v “Projected state budget shortfall reaches $21 billion.” Houston Chronicle, Sept. 14, 2010.
vi “These problems were cited in 2003 when the legislature was looking to fix a record $10 billion shortfall in the state budget resulting from recession-induced declines in tax revenues. Legislators eventually cut CHIP funding by $200 million. The cuts included a variety of administrative and eligibility changes, including: eliminating dental and vision benefits, increasing premiums and co-payments, instituting a ninety-day delay in coverage taking effect, and requiring re-enrollment every six months instead of twelve months. The net effect? From September 2003 to September 2004, the CHIP program in Texas covered some 151,000 fewer children.”
vii Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, “Tuition and Fees Data”
viii “Texas lawmakers discuss easing public school class size limit to cut costs.” Dallas Morning News, Aug. 10, 2010.
iixHistorical tax rate information, Texas Workforce Commission.