“Paris Paramus”, a NARN listener and Romney supporter, sends a 14 point list of reasons to stay off the Perry bandwagon:
Supporters of Texas Governor Rick Perry are not going to like this article at all. Right now, Republicans all over the United States are touting Rick Perry as the “Republican messiah” that is going to come charging in to save America from the presidency of Barack Obama.
Any conservative that speaks in terms of “political messiahs” is as dumb as one of those slack-jawed, dreamy-eyed Obama bots three years ago.
No, Rick Perry is not going to save America. In fact, he would likely be very, very similar to both Bush and Obama in a lot of ways.
So let’s check this out:
#1 Rick Perry is a “big government” politician. When Rick Perry became the governor of Texas in 2000, the total spending by the Texas state government was approximately $49 billion. Ten years later it was approximately $90 billion. That is not exactly reducing the size of government.
It’s true – it’s not. But; it amounts to about 7% a year. Minnesota’s state budget grew 50% in the same period, mostly under spending-hawk Pawlenty – down from 10-20+% annual increases under Arne Carlson. And it’s interesting to see that Texas, with almost 25 million people, has a state budget only three times as large as Minnesota’s.
Let’s call that a partial point against.
#2 The debt of the state of Texas is out of control. According to usdebtclock.org, the debt to GDP ratio in Texas is 22.9% and the debt per citizen is $10,645. In California (a total financial basket case), the debt to GDP ratio is just 18.7% and the debt per citizen is only $9932. If Rick Perry runs for president these are numbers he will want to keep well hidden.
While Texas is likely much better able to service the debt than California, because it’s not a basket case, it’s certainly a point against.
#3 The total debt of the Texas government has more than doubled since Rick Perry became governor. So what would the U.S. national debt look like after four (or eight) years of Rick Perry?
Worth a look – and I’lll roll it into point 2.
#4 Rick Perry has spearheaded the effort to lease roads in Texas to foreign companies, to turn roads that are already free to drive on into toll roads, and to develop the Trans-Texas Corridor which would be part of the planned NAFTA superhighway system. If you really do deep research on this whole Trans-Texas Corridor nonsense you will see why no American should ever cast a single vote for Rick Perry.
This is kind of a schizoid point. On the one hand, privatizing roads is an eminently libertarian/conservative solution – switching roads from tax burdens to private fees.
On the other, you have the whole “trans-whatever highway” thing, which is something that glassy-eyed Paulbots chant about at meetings until everyone else is ready to mace them.
There may be a point against Perry here, but I’m not seeing it.
#5 Rick Perry claims that he has a “track record” of not raising taxes. That is a false claim. Rick Perry has repeatedly raised taxes and fees while he has been governor. Today, Texans are faced with significantly higher taxes and fees than they were before Rick Perry was elected.
Specifics would help, here. What taxes? Applied to whom? How has the average Texan’s tax burden changed in ten years, and from what basis?
I’m willing to be convinced – but anyone who talks about “trans-Texas highways” had better bring actual numbers to atone for it.
#6 Even with the oil boom in Texas, 23 states have a lower unemployment rate than Texas does.
Right – and how is that Perry’s fault? Specifics, people.
#7 Back in 1988, Rick Perry supported Al Gore for president. In fact, Rick Perry actually served as Al Gore’s campaign chairman in the state of Texas that year.
This may be the least convincing point of them all.
So what? In 1980, I was a liberal. In 1940, Ronald Reagan was a New Dealer. Many of the best conservatives started out as liberals. And in 1988, Algore was seen, and positioned himself, as a blue-dog, believe it or not.
Of all the shots I’ve heard against Perry, this is the dumbest.
#8 Between December 2007 and April 2011, weekly wages in the U.S. increased by about 5 percent. In the state of Texas they increased by just 0.6% over that same time period.
Again – context? It could very well be that wages in Texas grew slower – although it seems unlikely, or at the very least that someone is comparing apples and blowtorches.
This – and #6, above – echo the lefties’ “where are the jobs?” chanting point; as if any conservative would, or any government could, create jobs and raise wages by decree.
I suspect other factors are at work here.
This next one is a big one:
#9 Texas now has one of the worst education systems in the nation. The following is from an opinion piece that was actually authored by Barbara Bush earlier this year….
• We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma.
Limited focus on education is a problem throughout the South, though, and it’s a problem that long predates Rick Perry. It predated Jefferson Davis, for that matter. It starts with the Scots-Irish tradition, filtered through white “white trash” plantation culture, that still drives many facets of southern culture (like the south’s incredibly high violent crime rate), to say nothing of the other education problems plaguing urban school districts nationwide (including states with “good” education systems, like Minnesota).
If the author wants to make the case that Rick Perry could and should have turned this around, I’m all ears – but it seems like a stretch. To be honest, 36th is higher than I’d expected.
• We rank 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores.
This is Rick Perry’s fault how?
• We rank 33rd in the nation on teacher salaries.
If the point here is that teachers are overpaid for the performance they get out of the schools, it seems a stretchy one.
#10 Rick Perry attended the Bilderberg Group meetings in 2007. Associating himself with that organization should be a red flag for all American voters.
“Guilt by association” is an even bigger flag for any logical thinker.
Show me that Perry did anything. Show me something incriminating that he said.
I was at the RNC when John McCain was nominated. It doesn’t mean I was responsible for Barack Obama being elected.
#11 Texas has the highest percentage of workers making minimum wage out of all 50 states.
Given their SAT scores, that seems completely appropriate.
I’m a kidder. I kid. This is redundant with 6 and 8, and again, I’d need to see why this is supposedly the case.
#12 Rick Perry often gives speeches about illegal immigration, but when you look at the facts, he has been incredibly soft on the issue. If Rick Perry does not plan to secure the border, then he should not be president because illegal immigration is absolutely devastating many areas of the southwest United States.
Now we’re on to something. Point against.
#13 In 2007, 221,000 residents of Texas were making minimum wage or less. By 2010, that number had risen to 550,000.
Again – so what? Is it government’s, much less The Governor’s, job to see to everyone’s income? In a recession?
And this is redundant with 6, 8 and 11.
#14 Rick Perry actually issued an executive order in 2007 that would have forced almost every single girl in the state of Texas to receive the Gardasil vaccine before entering the sixth grade. Perry would have put parents in a position where they would have had to fill out an application and beg the government not to inject their child with a highly controversial vaccine.
Now we’re on to something. I’d have serious questions for Perry about this campaign; so, apparently, does Perry.
So out of
fourteen ten points (six were redundant), we have one guilt by association, one aspersion based on out-of-context campaign positions from over 20 years ago, some things that I have trouble seeing as government’s responsibility much less the Governor’s, some social issues that no governor can control and that take generations or centuries to fix, and call it four actual problems – Gardasil, immigration, the state debt and the state budget.
And all of them are questions that need asking.