So Rick Perry is the latest GOP presidential candidate to keep us in suspense, supposedly, until he announces he’s indeed running. As if he won’t. Would he be in South Carolina this coming Saturday for any other reason? So, if any of you have got the Perry bug — and you’re impressed that he’s apparently responsible for Texas’s booming economy — here are a couple items we all should take in and consider thoughtfully. Why? Because, while it’s thrilling to get excited about a candidate, it’s always best to look before we leap.
Note that some of the reasons that Texas’s economy is doing well are decidedly “anti-conservative,” including “government growth,” a rise in federal spending from $107 billion in 2000 to $227 billion in 2009, and “a 19 percent growth in government jobs compared to 9 percent growth in private jobs since 2000.” HEY! I thought growth of federal government, spending, and jobs was an Obama thing! Too funny. And this is the guy the Tea Partiers are salivating over!
“Ten reasons why the Texas economy is growing that have nothing to do with Rick Perry,” Houston Chronicle:
Rick Perry may credit much of Texas’ recent economic success to the low-regulation, small-government philosophy he has espoused, but some economists say that the governor’s policies aren’t the only (or even the primary) reason for Texas’ economic health.
On the other hand, Texas’ unemployment has remained stubbornly high. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the state’s jobless rate increased from 8.1 percent in 2010 to 8.2 percent in June, while the unemployment rate in nearby states remained lower or dropped. And many of the new jobs in Texas have been government and low-wage positions.
Though economists say Perry’s low-tax, low-regulation policies have helped the state’s economy, there are many other reasons why Texas’ economy is thriving while other states’ flail. Here are ten of them:
1. Rising oil prices [...]
2. Government growth.
“Creation of government jobs help to create jobs in the rest of the economy, because people spend money and buy things,” Wial said.
Wial said that even as the federal government directed stimulus monies towards the state — federal spending topped $227 billion in 2009, up from almost $107 billion in 2000, according to the Census Bureau — Texas didn’t see the same cutbacks in state government spending that other regions did because of its bi-annual budgeting. He said that could have protected jobs, and the overall economy, from the fallout of the recession.
According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, employment in Texas’ public sector has grown more rapidly than the private sector recently, with a 19 percent growth in government jobs compared to 9 percent growth in private jobs since 2000. Texas has added more than one in five of the public-sector jobs nationwide at local, state and federal levels.
That trend will change with the implementation of the new state budget, which will make cuts to state spending to account for a state budget shortfall.
3. Military spending.
The federal government has significantly expanded its military spending in the decade since 9/11, and that has been good news for Texas, home to major bases like Fort Bliss and Fort Hood. [...]
Read the rest here: “Ten reasons why the Texas economy is growing that have nothing to do with Rick Perry.”