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As the hapless Republican Party has been busying themselves aimlessly searching for someone...anyone...who can compete against President Obama next fall....they have lit upon Texas Governor, Rick Perry.
Perry is quite the winger leader down in the great sh*tkicker state of Texas....organizing days of prayer as a method of solving problems and talking about seceding from the Union like he has. But despite what you'll here a lot more about should Perry join the GOP Keystone Kop routine media calls the Republican presidential primary battle......Texas is simply not all that.
Perry has a Jimmy Swaggart quality about him that, I think, will be a turnoff to many voters. Plus, just like the last presidential candidate from Texas, Perry has trouble playing fast and loose with the facts...
“In Texas, you don’t have to use your imagination, saying, ‘What’ll happen if we apply this or that conservative principle?’” Perry said earlier this week. “You just need to look around, because they’ve been in play across our state for years, generating real results like unmatched job creation, more exports than any other state and a balanced budget.”
Not so fast there, Fast Ricky....
..the economic picture in Texas isn't as rosy as Perry portrayed.
For one, state lawmakers have spent much of the year grappling with a budget shortfall that left them $27 billion short of the money needed to continue current state services.
In addition, while the national unemployment rate is 9.1 percent and the Texas unemployment rate is 8 percent, some 23 states, including New York, have lower unemployment rates, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Perry "grappled" with that $27 billion deficit.....how did he eventually deal with it?
Gov. Rick Perry used federal stimulus money to pay 97 percent of Texas's budget shortfall in fiscal 2010--which is funny, because Perry spent a lot of time talking about just how terrible the stimulus was. In fact, Texas was the state that relied most heavily on stimulus funds, CNN's Tami Luhby reports.
"Even as Perry requested the Recovery Act money, he railed against it," Luhby writes. "On the very same day he asked for the funds, he set up a petition titled 'No Government Bailouts.'" It called on Americans to express their anger at irresponsible spending.
And how could it be that Taxachusetts is actually doing better than Texas in the labor market?
The Massachusetts labor market deteriorated less than in Texas from 2008 to 2010, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Massachusetts was the fourth most-friendly state for employment in the period, the data show. Texas, where Republican Governor Rick Perry has touted his state’s title as Chief Executive magazine’s best for business, was sixth.
What's even worse for Governor Perry is the fact that the state of Texas leads the nation in minimum wage and under jobs.
In 2010, about 550,000 Texans were working at or below minimum wage, or about 9.5 percent of all workers paid by the hour in the state. Texas tied with Mississippi for the greatest percentage of minimum wage workers, while California had among the fewest (less than 2 percent).
What else has Rick Perry's "conservative principles" resulted in for the Lone Star State?
The child poverty rate in Texas has risen 17% from 2000-2009.
Texas ranks last in percentage of state citizens who have no health insurance with 26% of Texans without coverage.
More interesting yet is the fact that Governor Perry railed loudly against ObamaCare which will expand Medicaid coverage to many of those 26%. And, after all, Texas hasn't actually been a friend to the sick poor....
Texas traditionally has set among the country’s most restrictive Medicaid eligibility thresholds. This has limited its Medicaid rolls, as have burdensome application requirements, outmoded computers, inadequate staffing and difficulties in signing up children born to illegal immigrants.
So, despite all the conservative chin music about how great an example Texas is and how great of a governor Rick Perry is and how great it would all be if Perry became president bringing his Texas greatness to all 50 states......don't believe any of it for a second.
Perry's Texas is an example of what happens when supply side conservatives get their way. The number of poor increase, fewer people have health care coverage, the employed work for less.....and the state government STILL runs high deficits.
Add Perry's tendencies to wax theocon-ish...with his 3 days of prayer for rain stunt and his desire for the country to return to Jesus during it's troubled economic times....and Perry comes across as simply another flim-flam man anxious and willing to serve the rich and powerful few at the expense of the many.
Texas is where the Tea Party inspired conservatives want to take the entire nation. To which I say.....thanks, but no thanks. I don't know about you....but I'd rather move forward rather than backward.