This is how Neoconservatives…aka Neocons…aka the American Kinder, Gentler Fascists…work: they lie, then cover their lies with more lies, then let the truth come out after at least a third of the People have already accepted the lies. Then they retract their lies but only with more lies.
A good example is Governor Rick Perry of Texas, as slick and greasy a traveling snake oil salesman as ever existed, who wants to be your President. Why does he want to be President? There’s good money in it.
As President, he would get lots of patronage from oil and chemical companies, tobacco companies, food companies, pharmaceutical companies….the National Association of Manufacturers, Wall Street, Goldman, Sachs, the U.S. military brass and all the military contractors they control, American Petroleum Institute, America’s Health Care Plans, the pharmaceutical industry, the Heritage Institute, the Hoover Institution, the Cato Institute, the television and communications industries, including principally the Iraq-war-promoting Murdoch News Corp, the big corporate farmers, General Electric, William Mellon Scaife, the Koch Family Foundation, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Roger Ailes, Eric Cantor, Mitch McConnell, John McCain, John Boehner, Newsmax.com, WorldNetDaily.com, Billy Tauzin, Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld, Karl Rove, and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
So there are good reasons to run for higher office. Why not President? If Sarah Palin, whose idea of diplomatic strategy is a few notes scribbled on the palm of her hand can run, then why not Perry? If Michele Bachmann who thinks that gays can be “cured” and that Jesus is coming soon to take an undetermined number of humans away on some kind of cloud…apparently a heavier cloud, like a Hurricane cloud …something substantial enough to actually hold up the weight of a human body…then why not Perry, or your brother-in-law, or Bugs Bunny?
So Perry is running. And has he got a resume! The Texas Miracle. Yes, Texas is an economic Miracle…according to Perry. It’s a miracle because….oh, wait a minute. Sorry, but we must insert the disclaimer that anything that you read here that Perry has claimed about Texas, about Perry’s governorship, about economics, about the current President may…and quite probably will be…a lie. Sorry, but this is not a Neocon rag. So we must make that disclaimer.
Let’s start off with the facts. Texas has one of the least people-friendly state governments in the country. First of all, they have just about the worst educational system, the lowest wages, the least healthy children and women and over a million people unemployed. And they have no state taxes, just a property tax…which until recently was good enough. (If you don’t spend any money except to execute a couple of hundred people, government doesn’t cost much.)
But rich people have expensive property and even if you make the taxes low, they still complain, and so Perry cut the state’s only significant source of revenue, the property tax. When he was planning to do so, many people including the person directly involved with paying the bills, Carole Strayhorn, the state’s comptroller, said that the cuts in property taxes and the mild tax Perry levied on businesses to save face would never balance the budget.
And that is exactly what happened. Texas is in debt by over $20 billion. Perry wants to do the same thing–expand the national debt–for the United States.
Despite warnings from just about everyone except his political supporters…who knew that Texans could be fooled and fooled again if you have enough money…Perry cut property taxes. The result was disastrous.
The deficits began to pile up, with something like $3 billion in 2009, $5 billion in 2010, and $5 billion again in 2011. In 2013 the aggregate deficit will hit more than $20 billion.
He had to use $17 billion of the Stimulus funds to fill a gap in the previous budget instead of creating new jobs. He had to cut 12,000 teachers from one of the worst and least funded educational systems in the country, 6,000 public employees and an untold number of college and university professors from the $1.2 billion additional the state cut from the higher education budget.
Perry was one of the governors who rejected unemployment funds from the federal government because there were too many “strings” attached. In previous posts we’ve described how Perry’s fiscal plans and management have affected the state’s ranking in people’s income, health, education, and the state’s crumbling infrastructure. But even more interesting is his claim to be creating jobs.
But the facts are much worse. The governor could have adjusted his business tax upwards to make it truly effective. In the meantime, he could also have tapped into the $9.5 billion rainy-day fund that had been created for just such a rainy-typhoon-hurricane type of day, month and year-after-year we’ve currently been experiencing. If these are not “rainy days” then we probably will never see any and need not have a rainy day fund at all.
Instead Perry has chosen to try to increase revenues by increasing jobs. This is not a bad thing. It is, in fact, a good thing. But here is how Perry has managed to screw it up. Remember that Rainy Day Fund? Perry borrowed money from it….$285 million…from taxpayers contributions paid in their taxes…to give to corporations to bring jobs to Texas.
Next he took $161 million from the unemployment funds paid in by individuals and small businesses for unemployment compensation. Since only 34% of the unemployed actually get unemployment benefits in Texas, Perry was able to add that to the funds he took from the Rainy Day Fund to create jobs.
And how did he do it? Here’s one example: He gave $600,000 of that money to Cabela’s to create jobs for 400 people. Cabela’s came through with only 241 jobs. That’s about $2,500 per job and the jobs paid only $23,000 apiece…below poverty for a family of 3.
Here’s another hot Perry deal to create jobs. He gave $2 million to Motiva Corporation to expand its refinery in Port Arthur, Texas, to create 300 jobs. Not only was Motiva unlikely to refrain from expansion, and expansion in that location…it’s not easy to move a refinery…but parent company, Shell Oil, had plenty of money to pay for the expansion without any help. They made $6 billion in the quarter of the year that Perry was actually writing them a check for $2 million. Those jobs, if they ever materialized, cost Texas about $6,000 apiece.
The Texas Observer collected all the data on the number of companies and the amounts donated by the state to get these companies to create jobs. The total was $174 million. Those same companies have donated over $2.2 million to Perry’ campaigns or to the Republican governors’ campaigns that have resulted in union busting in the public sector.
No one knows how many jobs were created, or how many, like those of Motiva would have been created anyway. What we do know it that Texas is last in numerous major categories among U.S. states. We know that Texas has the highest number of low paying jobs in the country, that the unemployment rate is well over 8%, with a million people out of work, and that the budget deficits just keep growing.
This is not a plan that speaks of successful government administration. Not only is Perry apparently—based on his racist comments, his anti-middle class comments, his secessionist comments (do we need a secessionist President?) and his anti-labor, pro-business stance (as demonstrated by the failure of his jobs program…really just a campaign funds scam)—a pretty radical individual, but he has clearly been just the opposite of his description of himself as an efficient governor.
Just what we need as President…another ignorant, inefficient, lobbyist-led, oil company stooge from Texas.