Since Gov GoodHair announced his Presidential run today..lets check out how TX is doing under his ten year reign. Not withstanding the grade he received in economics..a D, Perry has little to be proud of when it comes to how Texans actually live and prosper. From USAToday:
Texas ranks 44th in the USA in per-student expenditures and 43rd in high school graduation rates, McCown says. Seventeen percent of Texans lived below the poverty level in 2009, compared with 14% for the nation. The state leads in the percentage of the population with no health insurance and was ninth in income inequality in the mid-2000s, the latest data available, according to McCown and the Economic Policy Institute.
Somehow, this doesn’t sit with me as things to be proud of. Scott McCown, head of Texas’ Center for Public Policy Priorities, has the money quote in the USAToday writeup:
“If you’re saying you want to look like Texas, you’re saying you want to be poor and have less health care,” he says
We don’t need more uneducated folks in our nation. We have plenty of those to go around. Healthcare is a basic need, and should be a basic right. If people are not able to avail themselves of basic healthcare, you will find them on disability faster than Rick Perry can pray for rain.
Another nasty statistic that should haunt Perry during his run for the Oval office is the wages that Texans make, on average. From a San Antonio newspaper:
Texas tied with Mississippi for states having the highest percentage of hourly paid workers earning the minimum wage or less in 2010.
Some 550,000 Texans, or 9.5 percent of hourly paid workers, made the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour or less last year. That’s up 76,000 workers, or 16 percent, from 2009, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Monday.
Leslie Helmcamp, a policy analyst with the Austin-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, which focuses on low- and moderate-income Texans, called the numbers “alarming.”
“The higher proportion of hourly paid workers who are earning at or below the minimum wage is reflective of our low high school and college completion rates,” Helmcamp said. “We can only attract higher-paying jobs if we are able to move more Texans into higher education and ultimately complete a college degree.”
Yes, we really need to lower the wages Americans make. That way they can’t buy houses or new cars in most major cities outside of TX, much less increase our GDP which is primarily based on domestic spending. TX has no state income tax and their housing prices are much lower than the national average, not to mention land is incredibly cheaper there than the majority of states. So, when you try to apply TX’s numbers to the rest of the United States..it ain’t gonna fly.
In Perry’s speech today, he announced that America needs to get back to work. Well, no shit Sherlock. But if by work, you mean low-wage jobs that don’t provide a way out of poverty, much less a path to the middle class..I call bullshit on his methodology.
Perry claims to have a business-friendly environment in TX. According to TNR, its not all that. When you add to that the huge budget problems they are currently tackling in TX, Perry doesn’t look like the best guy for the job either:
…But while Texas remains “open for business”—the slogan of his successful re-election campaign in 2010—the state’s Legislature is in the process of a going-out-of-business sale. The Texas budget for the next two years is a mess of accounting tricks and gutted programs, thanks to an unprecedented budget shortfall. The state’s business tax has not only been unpopular, it also doesn’t generate nearly enough revenue. Operating at a structural deficit, the state has even begun to attack funding in the once-hallowed ground of education. And while Perry has spent a good bit of June on his non-campaign-campaign, state lawmakers from both parties are fighting tooth-and-nail to legislate around his dictums.
Although he campaigned in 2010 on the premise that, as he told the Associated Press, “Texas is better off than practically any state in the country,” Perry, along with the rest of the state, soon discovered that Texas’s budget gap—$27 billion short of what it would need to maintain its already lean services in the next biennium—was among the worst in the nation. Luckily, Texas did have a rainy day fund—over $9 billion saved up for “economic stabilization.” Some lawmakers, including many Republicans in the state Senate, advocated using the fund to prevent or at least soften cuts to education and health care. But Perry, who had turned “preserving the rainy day fund” into an applause line, stood firm in refusing to use it to plug holes in the budget for 2012-13. As a result, the budget cuts were draconian—initial proposals cut almost 20 percent from public schools and proposed 30 percent cuts to Medicaid providers. According to estimates from the nonpartisan state Legislative Budget Board, the initial proposal would have cost the state over 300,000 future jobs.
In the face of Perry’s promise to veto any use of the rainy day fund, lawmakers turned to accounting tricks like deferred payments to soften the blows to state programs. Fees, too, on everything from getting help collecting child support to registering as a lobbyist, are going up all over the state, and almost nowhere does the budget account for normal growth in social services enrollment. The final budget short-funds Medicaid by almost $5 billion. Legislators had to return for a special session to hammer out the cuts to education, which will likely end up around $4 billion. It will mark the first time Texas has cut funding for public schools since 1949, when the state first took a prominent role in financing them. Even the Texas Association of Business, a conservative, pro-business coalition if ever there was one, has expressed concerns over some of the cuts to schools and early childhood education. “Our state runs the risk of falling short on our commitment to Texas school children and businesses that rely on a well-educated workforce,” the group proclaimed in one March press release.
Fees are another word for taxes. Ask anyone that lives or lived in CA under Ahnold. Gutting the educational system doesn’t help anyone or any state. Since TX already ranks 43rd in graduation rates, how will a Perry Administration help the entire nation raise the standards of education that are currently horrendous on a global scale?
His flagrant religious leanings won’t endear him to much of the voting population either, as this article in a Catholic news journal,about his PrayerFest in TX, doesn’t give him a flattering review:
The people who gathered at Reliant Stadium are not just Rick Perry’s spiritual army, raised up, as Perry and others imagine it, in the spirit of Joel 2 to sound an alarm and prepare the people for Judgment Day. They are the ground troops the religious right set out four decades ago to create, and duplicate over generations, for the ongoing culture wars. One part of that army is people like Perry himself, supported by religious right political elites who aimed to cultivate candidates, advocates, and political strategists committed to putting God before government.
That a sitting governor would laugh off charges that his “instigation” of an exclusively Christian (and, more specifically, a certain kind of Christian) event is proof of the success of the cultural and spiritual warriors, who believe they are commanded to “take dominion” over government and other spheres of influence. Perry is their man in a high place, in this case an especially courageous one, willing to rebuff charges from the “radical secularists” that he’s crossed the line between church and state. That makes him something much more than just a political or spiritual hero; he is an exemplar.
I am not knocking people who believe in a higher being..but the fact that a Catholic writeup does, says mountains about how this man will alienate the masses of religious people who aren’t part of the extreme religious right.Most folks don’t want religion, and a specific type of religion to boot, in their government, I don’t give a shit what Perry and his rightwing nutter friends say.
So let’s see how this all plays out..now that Gov Goodhair has come out of the closet..Oh wait..he hasn’t done that yet. 😉