One of the attributes of a politician is that they like talking about themselves. In fact, if you notice that is just about all they do sometimes, especially in an election cycle. They spend countless hours trying to convince voters that he or she is the right person for the job. In large part, they are also courting donors to their campaigns because without money, a ton of money, a person cannot even get elected dogcatcher these days.
The only real interesting part of the upcoming presidential contest in 2012 is the Republican primary. I’ve written about it before, here , here, here, and here. But with the entry of Governor Rick Perry of Texas into the race last week, everything has changed. He becomes one of the instant frontrunners with Mitt Romney and Michelle Bachmann.
Perry comes into the race full of the usual Texas bravado. We’ve seen it before. The country even elected it before. The question is: Will we make the same mistake twice?
Perry has entered the race touting a number of accomplishments like being the largest creator of jobs in the country, being a fiscal conservative and refusing to take federal government bailout money.
But there is a different story when you peel back the onion so to speak.
- Texas is the largest creator of jobs – This is the so-called Texas miracle. Texas does account for 29 percent of jobs created from June 2009 to the present according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. However, the jobs created are low wage jobs mainly driven by the population growth. Texas has a lower cost of living because it is a low tax – low service state. So, naturally, companies who come to do business there can hire workers at a lower wage. “Twenty-five states have lower unemployment than Texas,” US Representative Lloyd Doggett, said, adding that Texas is “tied with Mississippi for more minimum-wage jobs than anywhere in the United States.” And because Texas has a balanced budget requirement, cutbacks in services and education are mandated in order for the budget to balance. Texas ranks at or near the bottom of the list in the following areas:
50th in percentage of population without health insurance (2010)
50th in percentage of children insured (2009)
50th in percentage of women receiving early prenatal care (2010)
45th in rate of infectious diseases (2010)
44th in percentage of children in poverty (2010)
42nd in per capita health care funding (2010)
40th in overall health (2010)
36th in high school graduation rate (2010)
35th in crime (2010)
35th in percentage of children immunized (2010)
34th in rate of occupational fatalities (2010)
30th in percentage of people with college degree (2008)
Texas also ranks:
1st in amount of recognized carcinogens released into the air (2002)
4th highest in release of toxic chemicals into the environment (2002)
8th highest in percentage of people below poverty level (2008)
13th highest in obesity (2010)
- Rick Perry speaks out against Government Stimulus programs like the TARP Program – but yet, the State of Texas happily accepted a ton of federal government money in order to balance its budget. According to Politifact.org, Texas received $12.1 Billion in stimulus aid in 2009. Even though Perry has slammed the program in his campaign rhetoric, he wrote a letter to then Speaker Nancy Pelosi urging passage of the economic recovery package in 2008.
Let’s face it, most politicians will stretch and manipulate the truth to make themselves look good.
Perry is in the race because he is the ideal Christian Right, Tea Party conservative, good-looking candidate. The handwriting is on the wall that Mitt Romney may not be able to get the nomination because he is a Mormon and not a far right tea-party ideologue. However, the Republican Party is also big on the traditional that the “next in line” gets the nomination. And, when was the last time there was a fight at a convention over the nomination of a candidate to run for President? Nixon? Goldwater?
Now that Perry is in the race and his statements and past records can be further scrutinized, he will be shown, like many Texans before him, to be “all hat and no cattle.”
BTW, you know the joke:
What’s a pair of boots with a hat on top of them?
A Texan with the BS kicked out of him.