The new knight in shining armor of the religious right has arrived and his name is Rick Perry.
The man is the Governor of Texas displaying the same cowboy swagger and twang made famous by another national disaster called George W Bush.
Perry is running on his record as the man responsible for the “Texas Miracle”; let’s take a look at this event of biblical proportion.
Texas has an unemployment rate of 8.2% percent which is less than California and Florida but higher than New York and Massachusetts, Paul Krugman of the New York Times argues rightfully than those seeing a improvement in jobs created are mistaken when you factor-in population growth.
“the high rate of population growth translates into above-average job growth through a couple of channels. Many of the people moving to Texas — retirees in search of warm winters, middle-class Mexicans in search of a safer life — bring purchasing power that leads to greater local employment. At the same time, the rapid growth in the Texas work force keeps wages low — almost 10 percent of Texan workers earn the minimum wage or less, well above the national average — and these low wages give corporations an incentive to move production to the Lone Star State.”
And a chart via Reuters showing the employment/P.growth in perspective:
As you can observe, Texas is actually not creating enough jobs to make up for its growing population, it is also below the national average.
Another interesting point in the Texas job creation machine Perry has overseen – as an enemy of big government – is this:
Since 2008, private jobs have declined by 40 000 while State government jobs have increased by 115 000. Hardly a record one would parade around as a friend of private enterprise.
Another chart, this time courtesy of Invictus at The Big Picture shows how Texas ranks nationally on a number of issues.
States are ranked as 1 – best/50 -worst in the nation.
Again, one has to look hard to find any sign of a miracle there.
Also, state debt grew by 282 percent over the last decade, a faster rate of increase than the federal government. Local government debt in Texas grew 220 percent over the same period.
While consumers were getting killed by $4/gallon gas prices reducing revenues in other States, Texas was reaping the benefits as the country’s leading oil producer; oil prices provided a number of new jobs and tax revenue postponing cutbacks in local and state governments which are about to hit hard.
In conclusion, I don’t think Perry stands a chance of ever being elected, his miracle is nothing but an oil prices opportunistic run and on a personal level the man is simply overly religious – he recently organized a day of prayer rally in Houston to save America – and his beliefs are repugnant to most conservatives outside the Tea Party fanatics: anti-abortion/global warming is a hoax/social security is a ponzi scheme…etc
He’s also rumored to be dumber than Bush, which is quite an achievement, but with better hair.