Reports have it that America's current longest-serving Governor, Texas Republican Rick Perry, may enter the 2012 Republican presidential primary race. While Tim Pawlenty is my favorite within the group who already have declared that they are seeking the Republican nomination, I hope that Perry gets into the race. If he does, Republican voters and Americans in general should want to see the Governor of America's second-largest state and the current Chairman of the Republican Governor's Association to go and win the Republican Primary and then the White House too.
Here is why:
- 2011 was the seventh year in a row that Chief Executive.net after surveying 550 CEO'S rated Texas as the most business-friendly state. Other studies, such as CNBC in 2010, also placed Texas at the top of its list.
- Texas was of the first states to emerge from the recent recession (they emerged in 2009, a year when Texas spent the fourth-least per capita between the other forty nine states).
Only nine states had a net gain of jobs in the five years from March 2006 through March 2011. Texas gained 539,500 jobs versus a combined 134,400 jobs gained among the other eight states. (Other states -- as PolitiFact notes in the above link -- "created" more jobs than Texas, but lost more too... As for having a net gain of jobs, Texas won the battle.)
- "Since the recovery began, 38% of all jobs created in America have been created in Texas," according to Richard Fisher, the President of the Dallas Federal Reserve. (This is the Reserve's 11th district, 96% of it is the State of Texas.)
As for expected 2011 spending as a percent of a state's GSP (Gross State Product, its economic size), Texas is tied for the best place with Colorado to each spend only 6.60% compared to its economic size.
2011 expected spending per state combined with spending of local governments -- who due to State cutbacks may increase spending on their own -- places Texas at the fourth-best when measuring state/local spending as a percent of the State's economic size.
Texas is only one of seven states that do not punish people for working (meaning, the State does not collect Income Tax).
For 2010, only eleven states (most of them with Republican governors...) had smaller deficits per capita than the one of Texas. The average states' deficit per capita (per person) was more than three times larger than Texas.
In dollar terms, Texas -- as the nation's second-largest state by population and territory -- indeed has one of the largest expected state deficits for 2011 and 2012. It is expected to be between $15 and $26 billion over the next two years. However the State has a $9.6 billion Economic Stabilization (rainy day) Fund that can be tapped to use without raising taxes or increasing spending. Few states have this size of a luxury.
Based on a March 9, 2011 analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy, Texas' deficit for Fiscal Year 2011 -- before trying to close the gap with measures such as tapping the Rainy Fund -- is 10.8% of the overall budget size. At least thirty other states have larger deficits as a percent of their overall budges size.
The budget numbers change as the weeks go by because negotiations and votes are ongoing to complete current and future budget expenditures. The bottom line however is that Texas beats most states in terms of spending per capita and spending compared to its economic size, yet the state is still the most successful in terms of the recovery and jobs. Its deficits are relatively low compared to most other states (looking at the pure dollar sums of deficits is a misleading tactic by liberals who want to put down the anti-labor unions State of Texas. Objective economists however look on deficits as compared to the population and compared to the economic size; Texas shines by these measures.) Perry's economic and fiscal record of the last ten-plus years beats the reckless policies of the Democrats and President Obama in Washington who -- since taking power of the Congress in 2007 and control of the White House two years later -- have ushered in a cascade of economic misery with no end it site.
Indeed, Perry will have some explaining to do as to why Texas has one of the worst ratings on the Health Care coverage and access front. Furthermore, few conservatives will be happy when they will learn that in the 1980's Perry was a few times elected to the Texas State House as a Democrat and that he was the Texas Chairman of Al Gore's 1988 failed presidential campaign. (Perry switched parties in 1990.) However, no candidate or chief executive is perfect and stainless on all issues. At a time when most Americans rate the economy as poor and when 48% in a CNN poll expect an economic depression in the next twelve months, it is time for Obama to pack his bags and let Perry take over.
[Editor's note: See also Rick Perry, A Moderate's Conservative]
Yossi Gestetner is a NY-based Writer and PR Consultant in the Jewish Community. He can be reached via email email@example.com.