Rick Perry's Manufactured Miracle

Rick Perry's Texas is a job-making, low-taxing oasis of prosperity. It's also pure fantasy.

Rick Perry's Manufactured Miracle
Jesse Lenz

In his quest for the presidency, Texas Governor Rick Perry says three things: His state's economy is better than America's. Low taxes and small government are the reasons. He gets the credit.

Almost none of that is true.

The Texas economy isn't stronger than the national economy, and it may be fundamentally weaker. Poverty is increasing much faster in the state than it is across the country. Despite Perry's chief campaign message — that thanks to him, Texans have damn near too many jobs to go around — unemployment in the state isn't bucking any trends. In fact, it's at an all-time high.

A Texas Tech science building carries Anita Perry's name, but her husband's plan would devastate the state's university research programs.
ZUMA Press
A Texas Tech science building carries Anita Perry's name, but her husband's plan would devastate the state's university research programs.
It's robust research programs, not tax giveaways, that attract businesses to Texas, says SMU's Bernard Weinstein.
Mark Graham
It's robust research programs, not tax giveaways, that attract businesses to Texas, says SMU's Bernard Weinstein.
Perry's push to see Texas girls vaccinated against HPV is just one example of his politically tone-deaf, top-down governing style.
ZUMA Press
Perry's push to see Texas girls vaccinated against HPV is just one example of his politically tone-deaf, top-down governing style.

Perry's narrative is attractive from afar but crumbling on close inspection. And its foundation is just as wobbly. When the Republican contenders (and the media covering them) talk about taxes, it's not a matter of if Texas' are low but how low they are — and whether Perry played any role in making them that way. But lost in that concession is the fact that Texas' taxes are not, on the whole, among the country's lowest. At best the state's in the middle of the pack in terms of the actual tax burden on its citizens, and it's actually more expensive than most in business taxes. He's right that it's a small-government state: lots and lots of small government.

As for that government-is-the-enemy card he keeps playing: Perry's personal political biography includes episodes of naked disdain for local prerogatives, leaning instead toward a top-down governance style that at times has alienated both farm folks and city dwellers, including some Republicans.

But critics who don't know Perry well, including those obsessing over his recent oratorical flubs, have said one thing about him that is not true, according to those who have faced him in battle: He's no lightweight. Enter the ring assuming that and you could wind up on the mat counting stars.

"When we see him govern, he's awful," says Jason Stanford, a campaign consultant who ran former Democratic state Congressman Chris Bell's unsuccessful race against Perry for governor in 2006. "But when we see him campaign, he is a genius."


You've seen it by now, on the campaign trail or at the debate podium: Perry cocking that cowboy smile and vowing to "get America back workin' again." He will do it by making Americans more like Texans, who are not, he says, "over-taxed, over-regulated and over-litigated." In Washington he will force government to do what he claims he made it do in Austin: "get out of the way and let the private sector do what the private sector does."

It's a powerful 10-second pitch. Of course, smart, well-paid wonks employed by his opponents are working hard to create a good 10-second anti-Perry pitch. But the truth about Perry's "Texas miracle" can't easily be packaged in a sound bite.

At the heart of Perry's so-called miracle is his state's edge in job creation. He cites U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers to show that Texas added a million jobs during his 11-year tenure as governor of Texas, while the national economy shed 2.45 million jobs. On the surface it seems like a slam dunk.

But those numbers, heavily cherry-picked for effect, are where the wonks will go when the wonks get going. Perry's cheery picture ignores a darker storyline in which unemployment under his regime has increased much faster than the national rate. It's now at a 24-year high, putting Texas at mid-pack among the states.

Perry's favorite window in time is from June 2009 until now — "since the recession ended," if you believe it ever did. He keeps saying Texas produced 40 percent of all the new jobs in America during that period, and the BLS numbers back that up. What Perry doesn't say is that in that same time frame Texas unemployment ran up from 7.7 to 8.5 percent — the highest since the devastating 1987 Texas oil and gas bust — while the national unemployment rate dipped from 9.5 to 9.1.

How did Texas add jobs and suffer greater unemployment at the same time? By growing its population. During Perry's tenure, the state's population has grown at more than twice the national rate, the larger share of that growth coming from the birthrate – in other words, not only from folks flocking down to Texas for all those jobs Perry's allegedly making. New jobs in Texas have not kept up with new Texans.

Bernard Weinstein, an energy economist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a consultant to national corporations and associations, says the Texas climate is more business-friendly than the national one, and he gives Perry credit for being "a good steward of Texas values." But even Weinstein balks at giving Perry credit for the state's economy. Much of Texas' good fortune, he says, derives from what the rest of the country has been doing for the last 50 years.

"Texas is in the middle of the country," Weinstein says. "That used to be a liability. Now it's an asset. As the population has moved west, as we have developed highways and air corridors and air conditioning, all of a sudden instead of being in the middle of nowhere we're in the center of everything."

These major demographic shifts, continental in dimension, have provided Texas with significant windfalls, Weinstein says. Perry claiming credit for these is like the baton major strutting in front of the circus parade and pretending he's the one deciding where to turn.

"At least for the last 40 years Texas has led the nation in population growth and job creation," Weinstein says. "So if there is a Texas economic miracle, it started long before Rick Perry."


Does saying that Texas is "business friendly" mean the state is unlike the rest of the country in some significant way, something important enough to make Texas more prosperous than America? Academic studies and the testimony of people involved in shaping the state's economy say no. Instead, Texas is much more like the rest of the country than it used to be, but maybe a little worse at being that way than others.

Since the financial collapse of 1987, Texas has been doing what everybody else has been doing — seeking new high-tech and information-based industries, in large part by investing in public education and research. Not only does Perry not get credit for that effort, but his critics, and even some of his friends, worry that he is presiding over a Tea Party-inspired dismantling of it.

Texas used to be different, but not in a way many people in the state remember fondly. The collapse of the state's economy in the late 1980s laid bare a parochial business climate that had failed to keep its own house in order. In the run-up to the crisis, local banks took cash from an oil boom and used it to play real-estate poker. Many bad bets were made. When the bubble burst, almost all of the locally owned banks in the state's major cities collapsed, and real-estate values disappeared into the dirt. It was a sobering time.

After the bust, Weinstein says, talk shifted to the state's need to diversify, to get off the oil and real estate bottles. Looking back, he says the devastation wrought by the bust sort of took care of the diversification issue on its own. "The economy diversified itself," he says, "because as energy and real estate and agriculture shrank, the state's economy de facto became more diversified."

In attempting to diversify, though, Texas became much more like everybody else in terms of public policy. There was "a rush to the adoption of public policies to stimulate economic growth," Weinstein says. "So we got legislation in Austin allowing local government to give away tax base.

"Prior to the energy bust and the real-estate collapse, we didn't have things like economic development sales taxes and property tax abatements, emerging technology funds, the Texas Enterprise Fund," he says of states' efforts to lure companies across their borders. "We didn't do that stuff. A lot of other states did, but we didn't, because, number one, we never needed to, and number two, well gosh, that's state socialism. But nonetheless we started doing all that stuff."

In its pursuit of new industries, the state didn't just give tax money away. It also levied record-high new taxes and put the new revenue into public education and university research. At roughly the same time, an important court ruling forced the state to share education funding more equitably among rich and poor school districts.

Paul Colbert, now an education consultant in Houston, served in the Texas Legislature with Perry in the late '80s and early '90s. He points to a legislative session in 1987 in which Perry, then still a Democrat, joined a majority in both parties in passing a record-setting tax increase. With that money, Colbert says, "we did several things that turned the economy around, intentionally. One of them was that we didn't cut funding for public education.

"Number two, we made a conscious effort to focus on payments to higher education in the areas of research funding, in particular in the areas of creating spinoff from university research and economic development that basically resulted in creating what they now refer to as the Silicon Hills of Austin."

As a result, companies started moving headquarters or significant operations to the Austin area, including Dell Computers, NVidia, 3M and Apple Inc. — so many that the direct American Airlines flight from Austin to San Jose, California, now discontinued, was called the "Nerd Bird."

There were other payoffs from the state's investment in education. Texas public school students made significant strides on achievement tests. "If you go back to the early 1990s," Colbert says, "there was a Rand study, the first of a number of Rand studies that indicated that Texas had basically jumped well ahead of the pack in education. If you went demographic subgroup by demographic subgroup, we were well ahead."

Texas has not remained faithful to these efforts under Perry. Lawmakers in recent years have relentlessly dialed back support for public education and devised ways to escape court-ordered revenue-sharing for poor districts. Some of the big test-score gains of the '90s turned out to be based on cheating. Still, achievement seems to be headed south. And that was all before this year.

In this year's legislative session, Perry proudly led the call for $5.4 billion in cuts to state support for public education, leaving the state education budget at $29 billion, according to an analysis by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before these cuts, the nonpartisan Texas Legislative Study Group placed Texas at 47th among the states in support for education, and 50th in the percentage of population 25 and older with high school diplomas.

Perry's supporters argue the cuts were necessary to deal with a two-year state budget deficit projected at $15 billion to $27 billion, depending on who's projecting. His detractors wonder why a state that's supposed to have the nation's most robust regional economy lumbers under such shortfalls. They also wonder why a supposedly healthy economy produces a poverty rate that's 20 percent higher than the national rate, according to census data released last month.

Regardless, the state's government, like state governments elsewhere, was headed for the poor farm if something didn't get cut. Perry, with strong backing from Tea Party-right majorities in both houses of the Legislature, focused on public schools with a vengeance. The state cut support for schools by $500 to $700 per student and completely gutted two areas considered vital to minority student success: full-day prekindergarten and a series of grant programs for tutoring and other special support.

In championing the cuts, Perry staved off calls to take more from the state's $9 billion "rainy day" fund, which many said was established for just such a purpose. That move lent credence to critics who believe Perry's real purpose was a Tea Party-friendly "starve the beast" strategy to diminish public education as a communal responsibility.

These cuts, all so public and brash, have actually obscured from the headlines another Perry initiative that may worry the Texas business and research communities even more.

In 2008, Perry convened a "higher education summit." At it, he unveiled his ideas to make it easier, cheaper and faster for students to graduate from the state's top-tier universities. His "seven breakthrough solutions" — actually the handiwork of a former oilman and friend, Jeff Sandefer, who has donated $300,000 to Perry's campaigns since 2000 — would forbid universities from using academic research to decide whether to grant professors tenure.

Under the plan, which is nowhere near adoption, tenure decisions would depend heavily on "customer satisfaction ratings" — grades students give teachers. A professor would have to show that he or she has been teaching at least three classes of 30 or more students every semester for seven years, earning customer satisfaction ratings of at least 4.5 out of 5 possible points.

People who feel they helped bring the Texas economy back from the debacle of 1987, even some who are friendly to Perry otherwise, are horrified by Perry's "seven points."

"To me, it's a disgrace to the tradition of scholarship and discovery," says John Sibley Butler, a professor of entrepreneurship and small business at the University of Texas in Austin and director of an institute that studies and promotes economic growth in Texas.

Weinstein, at SMU, served as a consultant in the late '80s to cities trying to attract high-tech industry. In retrospect, he says, those glad-handing recruitment campaigns probably had less to do with drawing high-tech businesses to Texas than the presence of well-funded and prestigious academic research centers.

"I think more of that has come about as a result of the research that occurs in a place like the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, which is one of the largest medical complexes in the country," he says. "UT Southwestern has probably generated a lot of spinoff activity and attracted a lot of healthcare companies to the region."

For all Perry's Texas swagger, there are simply ways in which he doesn't get Texas, says Texan Terry Sullivan, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina. "The reason we don't have kudzu in Texas is because researchers, not teachers but researchers at Texas A&M University, know how to stop that stuff," says Sullivan, a national fellow of the Hoover Institution who is executive director of the White House Transition Project and author of The Nerve Center: Lessons in Governing from the White House Chiefs of Staff. "The reason our cattle are more productive in Texas even though they live on really crappy land is because researchers, not teachers, at Texas A&M discovered how to make cattle stronger.

"For somebody to think that major state universities like Texas A&M should focus on teaching and not research is to grossly misunderstand the importance of fundamental research to the economy of the state of Texas.

"So if a governor's only claim to fame is his ability to improve the economy of Texas and he doesn't get that, then there must be a critical difference between how the Texas economy got where it is and that governor's role in it."

If the state's relationship with education and research has appeared a little schizoid — Here, take the money, no, give us back the money — what effect has all of that had on the hardiness of the overall Texas economy? It's hard to draw direct links, but the available studies suggest it's not nearly as robust as Perry depicts.

An October 2005 analysis by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas looked closely at how Texas recovered from the post-9/11 recession. They concluded that the Texas economy was significantly slower to heal and more jobless in its rebound than the national recovery, for a variety of reasons.

Perry's critics often say he benefits from all that "oil in the ground," but oil and gas jobs have waned. Meanwhile, a wider shift from manufacturing to government employment — especially all those education jobs added before Perry helped gut them — required major retraining of laid-off workers. According to the Fed study, that shift left the state's economy more susceptible to the punch it's taking now, and to the roundhouse represented in the recession's potential double-dip. But in the end, the report called Texas' poor performance in overall job creation "a bit of a mystery."

It was less mysterious in a report published two years later, by the conservative Kauffman Foundation. The group's "New Economy Index" measures growth and innovation in information technology. It examines an array of measures — patent applications, initial public stock offerings, immigration of knowledge workers, workforce education and other indicators — to see where the new technology economy is hot and where it isn't.

Of the 50 states, Texas earned a second-tier overall ranking in the 2007 report — 14th place — but with low marks in the areas of workforce education (34th), high-tech manufacturing (35th) and desirability as a destination for knowledge industry immigrants (44th). The 2010 version reported that Texas had slipped from an overall national ranking of 14th place in 2007 to 18th in 2010. And while Texas got a much better mark as home to high-tech manufacturing, moving up from a national rank of 35th four years ago to 10th place in 2010, Texas' overall rank was dragged down by rankings in the 40s in two key areas: workplace education and the immigration of knowledge workers.


What if Perry's critics are right? What if a strong public school system and prestigious university research programs were keys to Texas' economic success? If those legs of the Texas miracle are being sawed off, what's left?

Another important plank in Perry's Texas miracle platform is his portrayal of Texas as a low-tax state. The way he tells it, low state and local taxes are what are drawing businesses and people to his state. Like so much in Perry's portrait of Texas, the notion may be more wishful than real.

Weinstein, at SMU, now confines himself to the economics of energy, but for 25 years he was the state's best-known business recruitment and expansion consultant, hired by cities all over Texas. During that time most tax incentives in Texas amounted to state government giving local governments permission to give away their own tax bases to woo companies. It's a practice Weinstein now questions.

"All the research on economic development I'm familiar with over the last 60 years has found that state and local incentives are a fairly minor factor in the business site selection calculus," he says. "And that's understandable, because state and local taxes for a lot of companies are fairly minor costs of doing business."

Plus, he says, "every other state does the same thing."

But, as Weinstein points out, cutting those local taxes can hurt the localities that do it.

"[Those businesses are] still going to have kids in school," he says. "They're still going to need the roads and the water. Somebody else has got to pay for the cost of providing services to that business that isn't going to be paying its fair share of the taxes."

Despite the giveaways, small government still doesn't mean scant government in Texas. It means lots and lots of small government and accompanying taxes. Sure, a new Texan might relish the paycheck bump owed to the state's lack of income tax. But a typical Dallas property-owner pays property taxes to the county, city, local schools, county hospital district, a county educational services district and a community college district, along with sales tax to the state, sales tax to the regional transportation agency and a plethora of local, county, regional and state fees and excise taxes.

In addition, a host of new tax-related entities, mainly invisible to the public, has been created in the last 25 years, including municipal utility districts, tax increment financing districts, redevelopment zones, municipal management districts and more, most of which have the power to borrow money, all of which must be repaid by taxes.

So is Texas truly the low-tax state Rick Perry paints it to be compared with the other 49? Judging by the few available comprehensive surveys, the answer is one that should be familiar by now: no.

The Council on State Taxation (COST), which represents large corporations on state tax issues, hires the accounting firm of Ernst & Young every year to study total state and local business taxes. Their 2010 study puts Texas at 19th for states with highest business taxes as a percentage of gross state product.

The Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank, gives Texas good marks for total state and local tax burden per capita — 39th place, with 50th marking the lowest tax burden. But the Tax Foundation ranks Texas fifth-worst for corporate taxes, a ranking that reflects a plethora of excise, licensing and other costs, taxes and negative incentives that businesses must deal with in Texas. The state also claims the third-highest effective property tax rate in the country after New Jersey and New Hampshire, according to the Tax Foundation.

The shifting of public responsibility from state to local government also shows up in the study's rankings for total public debt per capita. If you look only at state government, Texas looks great — the next-to-lowest debt per resident in the country. But when you add local debt to that state debt, Texas falls into 15th place, among the most debt-loaded states in the union.

Taken together, the numbers fail to conform to Perry's portrayal. In job creation and economic hardiness, as a tax haven, even as a place where government is supposed to be scarce, Texas fails to fit the sound bites. Which raises another obvious question: Perry himself. If Texas is not the small-government, low-tax, bottom-up-governed oasis its governor describes, is he even that kind of leader?


The Tea Party has been lighting torches of discontent in recent weeks over Perry's support for in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants (too compassionate) and his backing of mandatory HPV vaccinations for teenage girls (too progressive). But another chapter, one too nuanced for the 24-hour news cycle, better demonstrates Perry's true style of governance: his failed attempt to create a high-tech transportation corridor across the entire state.

Announced in January 2002, the "Trans-Texas Corridor," or TTC, was to be a gigantic 1,200-foot-wide swath 4,000 miles long carrying high-speed rail, pipelines and high-tech super toll roads from Mexico to Oklahoma. Like the higher education "seven points" plan, the TTC was the brainchild of a millionaire pal of Perry's, the late Ric Williamson, whom Perry had appointed chairman of the state's Transportation Commission.

The problem, according to people involved in Texas transportation and trade issues at the time, was that Perry and Williamson dropped the plan on legislators as a fait accompli, without any political preparation. Then they made things worse by trying stubbornly to force it by fiat down the throats of an increasingly recalcitrant citizenry.

The TTC idea is dead now, shot many times over in the head by the Legislature. After Perry unveiled the TTC in 2002, farmers, small towns and two major cities rose up against it in horror, fueled by its threatened use of eminent domain and a backroom deal to turn the road over to a Spanish toll road company — without a bidding process. Even worse, the preordained route would have bypassed, and probably killed, major new shipping centers in both Dallas and Fort Worth.

State Senator Florence Shapiro, a Republican powerhouse, still thinks the basic concept may have had merit. She calls Williamson, who died of a heart attack four years ago, "a very, very bright man." But, she says, "The manner in which it was presented was the problem. They didn't even try to work it out. They just said, 'Here's the plan.'"

The TTC is hardly the only example of Perry's ham-fisted style of governance. After the savage blood-letting of the most recent legislative session, he poured salt in the wounds of local school districts by seeming to blame all of the unpleasantness on them: "The lieutenant governor, the speaker, their colleagues aren't going to hire or fire one teacher, as best I can tell," he told reporters at a news conference. "That is a local decision that will be made at the local districts."

Well, yes, because Perry and the Legislature cut off their money.

Perry also vowed publicly that he was not forcing his "seven points" anti-research plan on any of his many appointees to Texas university boards of regents. He said he had presented the plan to them merely to foster discussion.

"I appoint people to the board of regents," Perry said in May 2008. "They are in charge of setting policy ... that's their call. It's not the governor's call. It's never been the governor's call, and I don't get confused about what my role is."

But in April 2008, the Houston Chronicle published emails sent to regents and university chancellors by Perry aide Marisha Negovetich in which she repeatedly hectored them to get going on the governor's seven points plan. "The Governor is anxious to put together a cohesive plan of action ... and also learn from you what progress you have made to move these reforms forward," she wrote.

In the September 12 GOP presidential debate, Perry said he was "offended" by criticism from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann that he "could be bought for $5,000" from Merck, maker of Gardasil, the HPV vaccine that Perry mandated by executive order in 2007 for all Texas teenage girls. Two days later the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau laid bare a pattern of six-figure contributions by Merck to a middleman fund that has given millions to Perry.

Stanford, the campaign consultant Perry beat in 2006, agrees Perry botched the Gardasil moment, but he says it also illustrates why he might get himself elected president. The same traits that make him tone-deaf in office, Stanford says, can make him pitch-perfect on the campaign trail.

Before Perry unleashed his Gardasil order, Stanford says, "He hadn't done that hard government work that you have to do in building coalitions. He hadn't reached out to the people who already agreed with him and gotten them on board."

Stanford ticks off a roster of state and national women's organizations, concerned over the link between HPV infection and cervical cancer, that had been calling for universal HPV vaccination for years. "He could have, in a government way, reached out and said, 'Here is a bipartisan coalition for this idea. Let's all talk about this idea.' But, no. One day, boom, he announces it. No coalition."

Stanford calls that lousy governing. But he says it can also be "a great way to do a campaign." He says Perry's style — grand gestures, few details — is the right kind of theater for an election.

"You surprise everyone. Everyone's looking at you. You own an idea." That's just how Perry rolls, Stanford suggests. "He likes surprising people with big ideas."


On the campaign trail, Perry still has the gestures and body language of the handsome country bumpkin who was elected a yell leader at Texas A&M in 1970. A&M, newly coed, was still more military academy than college when Perry, a poor ranch boy from a flyspeck town 180 miles west of Dallas, showed up in 1968 wearing shirts, pants and underwear sewn by his seamstress mother.

Yell leaders then, as now, were more like orchestra conductors than cheerleaders, directing the A&M bleachers at football games in "army yells" communicated by coded hand signals. It's an elective post, a popularity contest that garners twice the voter turnout as the school's election for student body president.

Watch Perry's appearance on The Daily Show from last November, and you'll see him wrest the audience away from host Jon Stewart at key moments with sly grins sidelong to the peanut gallery and, yes, even a hand signal or two. The man does know crowds.

"What he has more than anything else is street smarts," says Colbert, the education consultant and former legislator. "What he has is an ability to be able to judge people for what it is that's important to them. How can I make them my friend? In all sorts of ways that's a very, very important skill to have, and if you happen to be in politics it's one of the most vital skills you can have."

He's particularly adept at picking up on and hooking into important underlying themes in public sentiment long before other politicians get a clue, Colbert says.

"He sees it. He runs in front of it, and regardless of whatever his underlying stuff may be, he will do what he needs to do to stay on top of that wave rather than have the wave roll over him and crush him," Colbert says. "He's a good surfer."

That's exactly what Stanford says he saw Perry do to Kay Bailey Hutchison when he beat her in the 2010 Republican primary. In April of that year, when country club Bush Republicans were still looking down their noses at the Tea Party, Perry spotted what Stanford calls "the simple campaign algebra" and ran with it.

"He's down by a couple dozen points against this really popular lady," Stanford remembers. "He figures his only chance really is to say she's Washington. And then suddenly the pitchfork crowd comes up and says, 'We hate Washington.'"

Stanford says Perry's quick response was, "'Oh cool, here's my army. I shall lead them.'

"Before any politician in the country was willing to talk to the Tea Party," he says, "he spoke to three of their rallies in one day. He was the only guy in the country. He saw the train coming down the tracks that he knew he'd have to take."

To these personal gifts another important asset must be added: a campaign staff so brilliant it's already being studied by political scientists across the country. In his book excerpt, "Rick Perry and His Eggheads," journalist Sasha Issenberg explains how the Perry gubernatorial campaign in 2010 allied with a team of political scientists from Yale, the University of Texas at Austin and the University of Maryland.

And then there's the pure weirdness of Texas, and Perry's ability to exploit it. Stanford says Perry has whipped a succession of candidates who may have been smarter than he was about the world because Perry was smarter than they were about Texas.

"Rick Perry always knew that to be Texas governor, first in the voters' eyes you had to be Texas," Stanford says. "He did an ad campaign, 'I'm proud of Texas, how about you?' If you're attacking Rick Perry, you're attacking Texas. He always sets it up that way."

Perhaps the last question, then, is whether being proud of Texas can get Perry elected president.

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53 comments
Randallmckay
Randallmckay

this man eats marbles for breakfast strings can be found on all limbs that go on uphe's one flew over, and this man controls us here in texas?nopedope on a rope

Bostjan Avsec
Bostjan Avsec

WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... OR http://www.youtube.com/user/Bo... <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. These are hard facts about lunatic ZIONIST Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population(ask your local newspaper/media why do they KNOWINGLY keep silent about crime/genocide !!? Ask them why do they KNOWINGLY participate in crime/genocide !!! BECAUSE SILENCE = CRIME !!!). Just in case ( http://www.dailymotion.com/vid... and make sure to play one from beginning..you already know why)

Bostjan Avsec
Bostjan Avsec

WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... OR http://www.youtube.com/user/Bo... <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. These are hard facts about lunatic ZIONIST Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population(ask your local newspaper/media why do they KNOWINGLY keep silent about crime/genocide !!? Ask them why do they KNOWINGLY participate in crime/genocide !!! BECAUSE SILENCE = CRIME !!!). Just in case ( http://www.dailymotion.com/vid... and make sure to play one from beginning..you already know why)

Bostjan Avsec
Bostjan Avsec

WALL STREET PROTESTS...NOT ANTI WALL-STREET AT ALL, BUT INSTEAD RACIALLY MOTIVATED VIOLENCE AGAINST WHITES !!! ANTI WALL-STREET PROTESTS ARE ALSO KNOWN AS WELL UNDER ZIONIST "TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP" !!! TRANSFER OF OWNERSHIP FROM HANDS OF WHITE AMERICANS TO SO CALLED "MINORITIES"(COMMUNISM) PER ZIONIST/JEWISH) WASHINGTON DC AND COMMUNIST MOSCOW WHERE NEW STALIN IS IN PLACE(Putin) http://multiculturalismisterro...

THIS NEWS IS RELATED TO "WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER" !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES NOW !!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v... OR http://www.youtube.com/user/Bo... <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE IN 2009. These are hard facts about lunatic ZIONIST Obama/Bush's twilight zone administrations(HORROR) or genocide against white population(ask your local newspaper/media why do they KNOWINGLY keep silent about crime/genocide !!? Ask them why do they KNOWINGLY participate in crime/genocide !!! BECAUSE SILENCE = CRIME !!!). Just in case ( http://www.dailymotion.com/vid... and make sure to play one from beginning..you already know why)

FOR MORE VISIT "MULTICULTURALISM = TERRORISM & OBAMA = OSAMA"http://stateofterror.blogspot....OROBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNIONhttp://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c... FROM 911 TO AMERICAN WHITE REFUGEES FILLING ASYLUM ABROAD RIGHT NOW !!! LEARN TRUTH PER WHO, HOW, AND WHY HAVE RUINED YOU..

mynameisURL
mynameisURL

Depends on of you have an (R) or a (D) next to your name on the docket.

(R)'s create jobs regardless of what pesky *facts* you may come up with. (D) stands for "Destroyer of Jobs".

Didn't you know that?

BCulbreath
BCulbreath

Very good story.I did not realize how bad things are in Texas, while Rick Perry travels the Country telling lies.I received a Jury summons with note saying ,Jury Paid has been reduced ,due to State budget ,and we would be told at the time of reporting what the day's rate will be.Something as small,Jury pay it was never that great. Your story also shows how one industry feeds off another in term of job growth .DMN trying to kill SWMS and Parkland and they are economic generators in this County with many Nobel prize winners.i hope people will see how Fake Perry is, and by my standards he is a Lightweight within the group he's traveling.

whitman1
whitman1

The Republican stimulus plan- eliminate Social Security, Medicaire, Medicaid, AFDC, WIC, veterans retirement, health care, thereby stimulating the funeral home industry, the gravestone industry, the coffin industry, the greeting card industry, the floral industry, the limousine industry- what a bonanza.

Ol'school Moves
Ol'school Moves

Rick Perry touts that Tort Reform in Texas has been our salvation for jobs. He recently stated that he will bring the same corporate protection to the White House. The consequences of Tort Reforms on the citizens of Texas, should scare the heck out of any human being with a brain. It directly attacks our most vulnerable. Example: Unsuspecting people like our father can be killed in front of his family by incompetent workers in a Skilled Nursing Facility. The facility can then, under the protection of Tort Reform, ignore what seven people witnessed, and claim death by natural causes. The There was nothing natural about watching our father flail his arms and legs in an attempt to breathe, after we watch a nurse force 150ccs of fluid into his upset stomach. Tort Reform allows them do to this with no fear of accountability, and Texas citizens have no recourse to pursue justice. The investigating departments are nothing more than rubber stamps for the facilities. The documentation for abuse and mistreatment is controlled by the departments who are under the guidance of Perry appointments. The caps created by Tort Reform have elimnated our seventh amendment rights. Please ask the good governor, “How does Tort Reform’s job creation trump the morality of protecting the lives of our most vulnerable”? How does that wash with your claim of erring on the side of life Gov? Now there is a man with no heart and no soul!

Judd D. Bradbury
Judd D. Bradbury

The HPV critiques are fair and earned. I think Perry has said and would say the same. The Sandefer critique is fair. Some good did come out of that debate. The UT system now has a dashboard of performance metrics and I think most of the leadership agrees that this is a good thing.

I am not so sure I can go along with Ann or Bush providing the pro-business environment here but I will give you some room on it. People could go to other border states but they come here instead. People could go to other southern states but they come here instead. What Perry has been doing is a strategy. In my opinion it is a good one that works. They came for the jobs and the opportunity. It was not luck.

It is true the Bush crowd cannot control Perry. There is always time for another story.

Cdkothmann
Cdkothmann

The most comprehensive outline of Texas economics and governance I have ever seen.seemed

Judd D. Bradbury
Judd D. Bradbury

Jim you did not deal with the independent source that I cited that serious business people use as a benchmark for state performance. Adding companies that add jobs is not a beauty pageant. It takes hard work and political persuasion. Many of the ideas that created this performance were unpopular in the beginning. Facts are tough to get around. A private sector job is real dignity for people.

If we want to talk cherry picking how about the vague assertion that Perry increased taxes at the municipal level? I believe that would be the Angela Hunt Press Protectorate. At least you were honest that state taxation decreased under Perry, unfortunately you also tried to attach the fine work of the democrat-controlled municipalities to his tenure. If higher taxes are bad as you say in this article, say so when it counts with whom it counts.

The figures you cite below are consistent with the social issues you have to deal with being a border state, it comes with the territory. In tough times it is cuts or debt. We chose cuts at the state level. There are no easy answers. Cuts mean Will and Charlie will have a fighting chance in their life. The debt route is their demise, we can ask Greece.

It is true that a good business environment automatically means smoke stacks? And getting right to the heart of the matter when did we fall out of love with industry? If we do not want this business other countries will take it and appreciate that we gave it up.

As for job growth, the headwinds from DC make job growth anywhere massively difficult. But Texas has performed much better than other states. Why not chart state job growth in aggregate number of jobs created? It tells the real story in number of jobs added. It does not play fleeting percentage games with the numbers. And by the way businesses working in a Perry Policy environment added more jobs in the last decade than the next 9 best state competitors.

A real local example of what happens with minimum wage guarantees in a demanding customer environment. The Jack In the Box at the corner of Coit and Campbell. You can place your order without a counter worker on a digital board. What does this do? Reduces jobs in the restaurant. Why? Government made each worker more expensive so the business must reduce the workers per food item ratio to stay competitive. This is the business reality of wage supports. It becomes the personal reality of lost jobs.

We are a young state and we have a number of people outside the system. Two facts that drive up the rates of uncovered people in the state. I know Obama says that he knows what is best for our young people, pay the government/healthcare monopolies. I think our young people know what is best for them. I did not carry health insurance during the first several years of my career. It was a choice.

It must surprise you that a significant cross section of people from my generation that work in the information age economy work the hours from Vietnam you cite as "incredible". We will save the discussion of relative work effort from generations for another day. It is a lot to discuss.

As always, you are good man and I enjoy the debate.

JimS
JimS

Mark McPhilimy and Judd:Well, we can all cherry-pick our facts here 'til the cows come home, I guess. But remember: what Perry is claiming for himself is not a mere static condition but a trend, the Rick Perry trend, for which he wants credit. When you start to look for trends in his numbers, it's not clear why he would want the credit.The most recent Texas Workforce Commission numbers show one clear effect of Perry policy on the employment trend in Texas. The cuts to local government and especially education in the last legislative session have put job creation in Texas into reverse gear, down 1,300 jobs in August and counting, for the highest state unemployment rate since the oil and gas bust of '87.

http://www.twc.state.tx.us/new...

Mark believes that poverty in Texas is a pretty sweet ride because of the low cost of living, so let's look around and see what trend indicators we can find there. The Anna E. Casey Foundation Kids Count Databook for 2011

http://datacenter.kidscount.or...

shows infant mortality in Texas up 11 percent in a seven-year period while national infant mortality declined by one percent. Mark thinks we're doing pretty well in public education, too, but the Texas Factbook,

http://www.lbb.state.tx.us/Fac...

a publication of the nonpartisan Legislative Budget Bureau, shows us in 49th place among the 50 states for the percentage of residents who have graduated from high school.The same source shows us in 42nd place for home ownership, often a pretty good index of prosperity, and in 48th place for the number of residents covered by Medicare. We are Number One, first place, for the percentage of population not covered by any medical insurance at all.Both Judd and Mark want to portray Texas as a beauty pageant winner in the business of attracting corporate re-locations. But which beauty pageant did we win? Remember that these arguments are being proffered to the rest of the country by Perry as reasons he should be elected president.From all the numbers I see, our beauty pageant is for the state that most resembles the Third World. Yeah, maybe. If you strip away all labor, environmental and tax-related communal responsibilities from business, tell them everything is somebody else's responsibility and they are free to just blow black smoke out the stacks and take home the money, then sure, some businesses will rush to take advantage of that offer. It's kind of like promising not to arrest people if they steal. More people will steal.But how is that a strategy for the nation? Viet Nam, where the average wage meets 60 to 70 percent of a worker's monthly living needs, is considering getting rid of its minimum wage guarantees entirely and increasing the work month from 200 to 360 hours. Are we going to beat that?How is it a good idea for America to compete by mutilating itself into a Third World dumping ground? I thought we were going for the new information age economy? Are we giving upon that idea so we can out-Viet Nam Viet Nam?

James Miller
James Miller

Jim is an aging hippie that refuses to admit that Obama is a tremendous flop. The voters are showing a preference for a guy like Perry and that chills him to the bone. Perry isn't perfect but considering what he'd replace in the White House he's a major, major upgrade. Teachers have rode a never ending gravy train of benefits and pay for 9 months worth of work and they don't like anyone moving their cheese. Same for the hog trough of local governments. Plenty of dependents that don't like the thought of having to perform to private sector standards. You can address him as President Perry after January of 2013.

Judd D. Bradbury
Judd D. Bradbury

Ah yes Jim I knew you would write it, could not resist, with Perry living under your bed and all. There are also the facts. OK fine you and the professor say that everybody is doing it, creating a good business environment and all. Lots of people make cars too right? Is there a difference between a Cadillac and a Yugo? Let's see! There is this industry magazine called Site Selection that does a ranking of state performance every year to see who is the best. Texas performance during the Perry decade? 3 number #1 finishes, 9 top 5 finishes, and 10 top 10 finishes. That is correct every year for the last 10 years. If Texas was a sports team or a stock I would buy it.

You also know that border states face special challenges in education. Other border states that made the list over the last 10 years? One. Blue state California 8 years ago and they have not returned to a top 10 since. Bets on their return?

There are fair critiques of Perry but this is not one of them. Miracle? No. Excellent performance? Yes. Hard work? Yes. Good Policy? Yes.

Any articles planned on the performance of the current occupant of the White House? With facts of course.

Bob
Bob

Mark--and why do you think all of these people came to texas from the Blue States? Answer--because if State income taxes, high regulation, bad business climates like Ca., Union Power, no Tort reform, etc. All things that Texas has fixed. I am not crediting Rick Perry for all of this, but I do credit Texas.

WW
WW

Despite Comptroller's warning in 2006,

http://www.window.state.tx.us/...

Perry allowed legislation that put Texas in a financial crisis.One that would later require the LAW to be broken..( by not paying the School Districts what is LAWFULLY theirs..)

He didn't address it then, because he was running for re-election.

And then, when he finally had to?His Solution was to :

*) Use Federal Stimulus money ( which he says he is against)*) Put it on the backs of the Teachers and Students..

whitman1
whitman1

If you pay businesses to move here from other states, is that "creating" jobs?

Mark McPhilimy
Mark McPhilimy

This article by the liberal propagandist Jim Schutze is pure garbage. The lies contained in this BS article are too many to refute.

I’ll show you just a few to show you the fascist tricks he is using to play with the truth.

“What Perry doesn't say is that in that same time frame Texas unemployment ran up from 7.7 to 8.5 percent — the highest since the devastating 1987 Texas oil and gas bust — while the national unemployment rate dipped from 9.5 to 9.1.”

Everyone acknowledges this (note that they had to concede that the unemployment rate is lower than the national average) but what they don’t then acknowledge is something they chose not to mention in the article above:

This is from USATODAY:

Population growth. Texas' population grew by 4.3 million, or 21%, during the past decade, more than twice the national pace. About half the total was because of births, but Texas also gained 849,000 residents via state-to-state migration, second only to Florida.

Texas thus benefits from a virtuous cycle: More people are moving there for work, generating consumer demand that creates still more jobs. That's expanded the workforce, keeping the unemployment rate at 8.2% —ranked just 26th in the nation — despite the strong payroll advances.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/...

So the reason that Texas’ unemployment rate is at 8.5% is because during this recession hundreds of thousands of people have fled other states (mostly blue states) and moved to Texas, which has of course increased the demand for jobs.

lafnjim
lafnjim

Bernard Weinstein, an energy economist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas and a consultant to national corporations and associations, says the Texas climate is more business-friendly than the national one, and he gives Perry credit for being "a good steward of Texas values.

SO YOU HAVE A GOVERNOR WHO GETS GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE WAY: by not overregulating, oversuing, have stable business taxes and good stable workforce!

That is what Texas is attractive to business!

All the naysayers and haters on the comment section are nothing more than seminar writers!IT is so tiresome same old talking points.

Perry Hair, Big Corporations, The rich......give it a rest.

Find something new to complain about. Look in the mirror. You can start a business, youcan create opportunity for yourself, that is why you are in texas. IF you don't like Texas, there are 49 other states or a nice communist country for you to fall back on!

Jameshairston
Jameshairston

Jim, what you've written goes against The Narrative. Those who don't fall in line with The Narrative will be disposed of. You've been warned. goes the same w obama suppirters

WW
WW

Oh yeah.. We've got jobs..

"Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests that while Texas is creating jobs, workers here are earning less.

The report found that in 2010 Texas tied Mississippi for having more workers EARNING minimum wage or LESS THAN ANY OTHER STATE in the country. Some 9.5% of Texas workers earned minimum wage or less compared to a national average of 6%.".http://www.publicbroadcasting.....

John Cobarruvias
John Cobarruvias

The teabag party runs the primary. They are going to vote for Rick no matter how bad he is. He has the nomination locked up. Now will America follow suit? Probably.

MattL1
MattL1

Jim, what you've written goes against The Narrative. Those who don't fall in line with The Narrative will be disposed of. You've been warned.

Halldecker
Halldecker

Who's smarter, GoodHair or Shrub?

Bobby Metzinger
Bobby Metzinger

"For somebody to think that major state universities like Texas A&M should focus on teaching and not research is to grossly misunderstand the importance of fundamental research to the economy of the state of Texas." - that is the biggest pile of crap paragraph I have ever read. You have to teach people how to become researchers or better researchers. Wow, I'm done reading this, but going to print it out because we're low on toilet paper.

Bobby Metzinger
Bobby Metzinger

Some of the big test-score gains of the '90s turned out to be based on cheating. - Is that Rick Perry's fault?

Ross Princeton
Ross Princeton

No way i'm reading 6 pages of that BS.

I agree. He's done. Just another lying politician.

Bobby Metzinger
Bobby Metzinger

Let me get this straight, he's been elected as Governor how many times? How many years of running the second-most populous state in the Union does he have under his belt? How many times did the Great Community Organizer get elected before they anointed him the Chosen One?

A fluke he is not.

The fluke is in the White House as we speak.

JimS
JimS

The most credible sources I quote in my story do not say that Texas has done nothing right or that there is nothing good about Texas. They say Texas has been the lucky beneficiary of a continental population shift. And the smart ways in which Texas has dealt with that windfall started under previous governors, inluding some notable Democrats. Perry is still the drum major tossing his baton in the air and trying to convince us he owns the circus.I think my story falals short of an important truth about Perry -- that the Bush Country Club Chamber of Commerce Republicans fear and/or despise him. Why? Because, as they learned in the 2010 gubernatorial primary, they can't control him.

Jan Shelton
Jan Shelton

"Teachers have rode..." Wow, with language like that, you surely convinced me that you have the intelligence to understand a single paragraph of this article.

Your rant about teacher "gravy train of benefits and pay" is further proof. You wouldn't last a week in a classroom.

Zeeba Neighba
Zeeba Neighba

I wouldn't imagine all the people laid off at the Pilgrims Pride plant recently nor all the teachers fired would see Texas as the job mecca that Perry portrays. But you keep right on spinning dude.

Mark McPhilimy
Mark McPhilimy

“Poverty is increasing much faster in the state than it is across the country.”

That’s just a laughable claim. They don’t factor in the cost of living and the cost of living in Texas is much lower than almost every other major state.

Check out this excellent analysis at PeskyTruth.com:

Having a job is only one part of the Texas quality-of-life equation – the other significant part is Texas’ low cost of living. The Cost of Living (COL) index takes into account prices on a variety of basic goods and services, including housing, groceries, utilities, healthcare, and transportation, as well as nonessential expenses like movie tickets and newspapers. These disparate costs of living can mean that a salary in one city has a far different value than the same amount of money in another city.

While it is true that Texas median household income ($48,259) is less than some states like California, New York, and Connecticut, the state does fare well when the income is adjusted by the Cost of Living (COL). When the COL is factored in, Texas’ median household income ($53,009) exceeds California by $8,550, exceeds New York’s by $10,403, and Connecticut’s by $1,532. These are 2009 figures from the U.S. Census Bureau reported in a U.S. News article

(http://www.usnews.com/opinion/.... Note that those figures are based on median income (a midpoint, with as many above as below).

Here is a direct comparison illustrating how much the cost of living affects one’s standard of living. Let’s look at two cities, Los Angeles and Dallas. When Dallas is compared to L.A., here is the result: “The cost of living in Dallas is lower than the cost of living in Los Angeles. If you make $100,000.00 in Los Angeles and move to Dallas, you will only need to make $62,862.55 ($37,137.45 less) to maintain the same buying power.” The comparison is from Inflation Data.com where you can compare two selected cities against one another. (http://inflationdata.com/infla...

Nick R.
Nick R.

[Tracking Liberal Ideas] [Liberal Ideas Targeted] [Eliminate]

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

President Bush and it's not even close.

Yale and Harvard vs Texas A&M

Plus, look at his mom and his wife. Those are some sharp women.

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

@Bobby,

Your take on this is interesting.

I'm curious about where you think that Universities get the material that they are supposed to teach? For example, how, without research, does one engineering program position itself as above or better than another engineering program?

TimCov
TimCov

The reason Perry keeps on getting elected is that Texas Democrats refuse to nominate a viable candidate for Texas Governor. You can not nominate northeastern liberals who are anti-gun (which is a huge issue in Texas) and expect to win in this state.Democrats need to nominate a RURAL Texas Democrats to win statewide offices in Texas.

Fletch
Fletch

How Perry keeps getting re-elected is more than I can fathom. This guy has done nothing of any value for this state. And no, I'm not a left-leaning Liberal. I've voted for members of both parties and will continue to do so based on who I feel has the best ideas. I think that voting strictly along party lines is an ignorant and incredibly lazy approach to the democratic process.

Unfortunately, this huckster continually gets to keep his seat in the Governor's mansion because of a populace that is overrun with people who fear any sort of change - especially if it takes the form of a Democrat, a minority, or a woman. I grew up in west Texas, where Perry's support is usually at least 70% of the voters. The people there are so consumed with fears that the big, bad Boogie Man (federal government) is going to swoop in under the cover of darkness and take their guns. Get real. I grew up around guns and own a gun now and these are not fears that I share with my relatives their like-minded contemporaries. These fears, however irrational, play a significant part in why he's still there after all these years.

Rick Perry is terrible for Texas. Our roads keep getting worse. He'll gladly forsake air and environment quality for whoever stands to enrich his life the most. He seems to be doing all he can to make a mockery of public schools. Now he wants to make college education free for kids of illegal immigrants while many of their classmates rack up staggering student loan debt with scarcely any assistance. The list goes on and on. The man is a crook and way too many voters in this state go along with his B.S.

I'll get off of my high horse now. Perry just makes my blood boil.

P.S. - We need term limits on Governors.

Kevin H
Kevin H

Here's the fun part...Businesses love this Fool, because he will do what they ask for the old reach-around every time....Meanwhile, we have a porous border, millions of uninsured "residents" ?? and a state in which the employees are treated like Cattle. Yeah, Perry is doing a great job !

kernplaceresident001
kernplaceresident001

Your article did not mention the private prisons business with its high turn over of employees and low salaries. Why?

cp
cp

Why don't you address the birthrate issue? Where do you think most of the births are coming from? Poor- yes, as in poverty- uneducated manual labor workers from south of the Rio Grande. Where's your stat that shows more wealthy, educated people are pouring into Texas at a faster rate?

Mark McPhilimy
Mark McPhilimy

And here’s another objective, authoritative comparison:

Texas is ranked third among “Best States to make a living.” The ranking is based on an Adjusted Average Income value which considers taxes, housing, and cost of living. Texas’ average is $41,427. Compared to Massachusetts: $38,665, Minnesota: $37,721, and California: $29,772 just to compare a few. This from CBS MoneyWatch, April, 2011.

And here is another interesting tidbit, Texas places two metro areas, Houston ($60,634) and Dallas ($59,217) among the top ten metro areas in the nation with the highest real income. Real income is the median household income adjusted by the COL. Compare those figures with a couple of other large metro areas from the bottom ten: New York ($35,370) and Los Angeles ($41,331). The figures are from a June, 2011 analysis by the U.S. News using latest available (2009) data. (http://moneywatch.bnet.com/sav...

And what about wages? Texas has seen wages climb faster than the country overall. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average wage for employees in Texas rose 7.4% between May 2008 and May 2010 (the latest data available). For the nation as a whole, average wages climbed only 5%. This from Investors.com.

(http://www.investors.com/NewsA...

Finally, here is a new link, just added due to its excellent analysis of Texas jobs and unemployment. It is an excellent read that digs into the correlation between unemployment, job growth, and people moving to Texas. It’s called “Political Math.”

(http://www.politicalmathblog.c...

So, contrary to the poverty implied by the original criticism, the standard of living in Texas isn’t as bad as the “low paying” statement (if true) would indicate – the accusation is just an another attempt to diminish the job creation achievement, Texas’ standard of living, and by association, Governor Perry. And don’t worry, all of us “po’ folks” in Texas will manage.

All of the above can be found at: http://peskytruth.wordpress.co...

is it you?
is it you?

yeah, and his grandfather was aleister crowley..

is it you?
is it you?

won't be talking guns when the nukes go off..

PlanoDave
PlanoDave

This is likely very true, because there isn't much of a difference between a rural Democrat and a Republican.

Unfortunately, a rural TX Democrat isn't going to speak to the items of interest to the Texas Democrats as those individuals are significantly urban voters. Therefore, that individual will not progress beyond the primary elections.

is it you?
is it you?

they don't have to fear. at least not after the nukes...

is it you?
is it you?

blah, blah, blaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah........................

Mark McPhilimy
Mark McPhilimy

But yes, by all means, if you want your state to have the best economy with one of the lowest unemployment rates (below the national average not only during “the great recession” but for more than a decade) and currently ranked the best state for business (see link) follow the Texas Model.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/...

More than half of all new jobs created in the US were in Texas from Aug. '09-Aug 2010 (Bureau of Labor Statistics).

In 2008-09, while about 100 thousand Americans fled California, Texas picked up 143,000 new residents. As Barone writes, people do speak with their feet.

http://www.realclearpolitics.c...

Texas did not run up a 27 billion deficit. Texas is, I believe, the only state that doesn’t do progressive budgeting, which means Texas makes no assumption that any program will get the same or more $ in future spending bills. Yes there was a shortfall in Texas, as in every state. But that’s because the last budget was predicated on revenue assumptions that did not foresee the depth of this Obama recession. Texas writes one budget for every two year legislative term (remember the Texas Legislature meets for only 90 days for every 2 year term). When the Texas legislature wrote their last budget, they eradicated that debt, because they are forbidden, under the Texas Constitution, to pass on that debt to future legislative sessions.

http://www.nationalreview.com/...Lastly, I really don’t understand why the left continues to argue that the relationship between spending and quality is the only determinate factor in education when it is more than apparent that the root problem lies with the nature of our union-controlled, gov’t-monopoly education systems. DC is #1 for spending, how’s that working out?

Furthermore, Texas students perform better in math, reading and science than the national average for not only white residents but for blacks and Hispanics too. And Texas has a lower drop-out rate than the national average for all three groups. All this even though Texas is at the bottom for $ spent per student.

And you liberals are upset that you’re getting a bang for your buck?

http://iowahawk.typepad.com/io...

 
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