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About that "Texas Miracle"

  

by: Blue Girl

Mon Jul 18, 2011 at 12:00:00 PM CDT


There is a huge difference between a miracle and an illusion created by smoke and mirrors and sleight of hand.

Care to guess which one really happened in Texas?

Rick Perry like to pretend like Texas is some sort of economic utopia where they don't pass debts on to future generations and do just fine on their own without any interference from the gretbigoh fedrul gubmint.

It plays well on the stump as he addresses the true believers who will never question him or believe the evidence that proves otherwise, but in reality, it's a shameless lie.

.Gov. Rick Perry's political stock has soared in recent months as he has traveled the country touting a decade of fiscal restraint in Texas under his leadership.

Last month, Perry made Texas history by signing a two-year state budget that cuts overall spending for the first time in over 40 years.

Perry has long promoted the state's fiscal record as a model for the country and a key to why Texas has weathered the recession better than most other states. He has opposed new taxes and been vehemently anti-Washington, and his message is drawing interest among Republican primary voters nationwide.

Yet before the latest one, the Texas budget had consistently grown during Perry's time as governor, with total spending rising faster than inflation and population growth, state data show.

What's more, spending through 2011, adjusted for population and inflation, rose more on average while Perry has been in charge than it did under his predecessor, George W. Bush, according to a Star-Telegram analysis.

In the past, Perry has criticized Bush for not controlling spending while governor.

"Let me tell you something," Perry told a small group of Iowa Republicans in 2007 while campaigning for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who was running for president. "George Bush was never a fiscal conservative. ... I mean, '95, '97, '99, George Bush was spending money."

When Bush was governor, total state spending rose 13.3 percent every two years on average. Adjusting the figures for population growth and inflation, that growth rate was 2.3 percent.

Perry took the reins in December 2000. From then until 2011, spending increased an average of 16.8 percent every two years. Once adjusted for population and inflation, that rate falls to 4.2 percent. Adjusted spending figures in the just-passed 2012-13 budget are not yet available.

Yes, folks. Under Perry, the state has outspent Bush -- the doofus who got the entire country into the mess we're in with his profligate spending on the nation's charge card.

That's a hell of a record to run on outside the small circle of dominionist freaks who are uneducable and unreachable anyway.

Salon had a good piece a couple of months back that examined the so-called "Texas Miracle" and concluded that it wasn't miraculous at all.

Once upon a time Texas prided itself on what it called the "Texas Miracle." The state initially didn't get hit as hard by the recession as other parts of the county, a fact that legislators claimed was due to its low-regulation, low-tax, business-friendly culture. During Rick Perry's re-election campaign last year, the governor boasted that the state had "billions in surplus." Less than two months later, however, the news of a gaping deficit made the miracle look a bit less wondrous, as Paul Krugman was quick to observe:

 

But reality has now intruded, in the form of a deficit expected to run as high as $25 billion over the next two years.

   And that reality has implications for the nation as a whole. For Texas is where the modern conservative theory of budgeting -- the belief that you should never raise taxes under any circumstances, that you can always balance the budget by cutting wasteful spending -- has been implemented most completely. If the theory can't make it there, it can't make it anywhere.

Krugman is not exaggerating. Texas ranks 49th out of all 50 states in per capita state tax burden. There is no fat left to cut. When revenue collapses because of an economic downturn, what little social services remain must be gutted. And it's only going to get worse, because Texas' population is growing, and the demands for services will continue to rise.

Texas is clearly undertaxed, and so is the United States. The theory that low taxes and business-friendly regulations would keep everything humming smoothly appears to have been disproven by recent events. We'd all be a lot better of without having to see that theory proven again, at the national level.

Taxes, as we all well know, are the price we pay for a civilized society where children are educated, the hungry are fed and the ill are cared for, no matter the rung they occupy on the economic ladder.

And as for the entire nation being Texified (again)? No thanks. We wouldn't survive another go-round.

Blue Girl :: About that "Texas Miracle"
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Just been keeping the head above water (0.00 / 0)
I've been living in this state through two of the worst governors (Il Doofus, followed by Governor Goodhair) in the state's history. There are plenty of low-paying service-sector jobs, and not many others. Most of this extra money has been spent trying to keep people's cars from dropping into the potholes in the roads. This is the Third-World economy that the rich folks just love -- and welcome to it, the rest of y'all in Murka!!!

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