The media is all atwitter today after Texas governor Rick Perry threw his cowboy hat into the ring and announced his campaign for the Republican nomination for president. However, if there were any integrity in the press, Perry’s campaign wouldn’t last a week.
Rick Perry is an ill-informed, incompetent, political extremist, who barely graduated from Texas A&M University (with a D average) and has suggested that Texas should secede from the union. He supports discrimination against gays and lesbians. He doesn’t believe in either evolution or global warming. He admits that he has no solutions for the nation’s problems other than prayer. And just today he reiterated his position that Social Security a “Ponzi scheme.”
But the the big problem for Perry is his brazen corruption as governor of Texas. The Dallas Morning News conducted an investigation last year that revealed Perry’s conversion of the state house into a pay-to-play scheme that filled his campaign coffers, and the pockets of his contributors, with cash.
Click here to view larger
Apparently, the way to get Texas taxpayers to finance your business venture is to payoff the governor. Then the state whines about not having funds for education, health care, and other social services. The Wall Street Journal called this scheme “Rick Perry’s Crony Capitalism.” When the conservative Wall Street Journal finds your shady dealings repugnant, you have crossed line that most people didn’t even know existed. This is the sort of scandal that would torpedo a campaign that wasn’t propped up by Tea Party fanatics and Fox News.
As Perry rolls out his campaign he is already asserting that he can bring to Washington the same sort of “success” that he brought to Texas. That should frighten most Americans. Upon closer examination, the alleged miracle of the Texas economy is a myth based on false premises and peculiarities exclusive to Texas. Paul Krugman’s column in the New York Times illustrates just how little the nation can learn, or benefit from, Texas’ program of “depressing wages and dismantling regulation.”
“What Texas shows is that a state offering cheap labor and, less important, weak regulation can attract jobs from other states. I believe that the appropriate response to this insight is ‘Well, duh.’ The point is that arguing from this experience that depressing wages and dismantling regulation in America as a whole would create more jobs — which is, whatever Mr. Perry may say, what Perrynomics amounts to in practice — involves a fallacy of composition: every state can’t lure jobs away from every other state.”
What’s more, Texas is now facing a projected 2012 budget deficit of 31.5% of its general fund. That makes it the third worst state deficit in the country. Even California is doing better. [Note: Texas trails only Nevada and New Jersey, both of which have Republican governors]
It is also worth noting that a recent poll showed President Obama beating Perry IN TEXAS!
“…the poll shows Perry trailing President Obama in heavily Republican Texas, which last voted Democratic for president in 1976, when Jimmy Carter was the South’s favorite son. Obama leads 47%-45%, even though Obama’s net approval rating is underwater at 42%-55%.”
So the question is: Why is anyone taking seriously the campaign of a governor who has driven his state into ruin; who has one of the the highest percentages of minimum wage jobs; who has one of the lowest rates of health care coverage; and who is demonstrably corrupt? How long will it take for the press to catch on that Perry is an evangelical huckster with no substantive record of achievement? He’s Elmer Gantry with a government job and gets his snake oil straight from the well.