June 1, 2010
Two and one-half months ago Texas Governor Rick Perry rejected $7 billion of the stimulus money made available from the Obama administration. He also rejected $556 million for the unemployed in Texas. At a tea party rally on tax day of this year Perry lambasted the Obama administration for interfering with states rights and spending. He even suggested that the state of Texas might secede because of the current Washington administration. And he’s made numerous other speeches and implied threats to the Obama administration. But evidently he’s had a change of heart.
Perry personally accepted billions of dollars from the Obama stimulus package recently to balance the states budget. (I say “personally” because he did it this time, not the state’s lawmakers.) Depending on which report you read, it’s anywhere from $17 billion to $22 billion. The two-year state budget shortfall is $18 billion. So whatever the official stimulus number is, it will most certainly balance the budget. A much different Perry from the one who said early last year “we can take care of ourselves” and other things.
Perry is no different than many other Republican Governors and several Republican Congressmen and Congresswomen. They’re anti-big government and fiscal conservatives right up until the time they need big government and taxpayer money. Some of us call that hypocrisy. But then again, hypocrisy seems to be the order of the day in our political world, with the Republicans holding a very big lead in that category.
Some think Perry is setting himself up for a run at the Presidency in 2012. This is just what our nation needs — another George W. Bush.
Perry took office in December 2000. The state debt was $13.7 billion (confirmed by this article). Adjusted for inflation, that would equate to $16.6 billion as of last year. At the end of 2009 our debt was $34.1 billion. So like Bush II as President, you can say Perry has so far doubled the state debt since he’s been in office.
With inflation accounted for, the debt increased by 102 percent under Perry, largely by instituting tax cuts for corporations. If you don’t take inflation into account, Perry increased the debt by 149 percent; the results of another “fiscal conservative” Republican. While the tea party and others inside the GOP may be playing to Perry and praising his political rhetoric, we’ll see just how serious they are about the debt come 2012.
Never underestimate the difficulty of changing false beliefs [with] facts.
Economist Henry Rosovsky