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Gather ’round me children – it’s time for another “Perry Tale.”
Rick Perry, the Texas governor, is flitting hither, thither, and yon, sprinkling his own miraculous brand of pixie dust in the eyes of Republican voters, hoping they’ll be dazzled and make him their nominee for president. For example, he tells them that he’s an almost magical job creator. But wait, children, do you see how loooong his nose is growing? Oooooo… it turns out that Perry is the Pinocchio of economic development!
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In a recent presidential debate, Rick patted himself on the back for “the 54,600 jobs that have been created… out of the [Texas] Enterprise Fund.” What’s that? A corporate slush fund of state tax dollars that he kept in his desk drawer, offering chunks of it to out-of-state corporations if they’d move some operations to Texas, ostensibly to create jobs. Through the end of last year, Perry had given away some $360 million in these bribes.
But – oops – the corporate slicks suckered Rick, gladly taking the taxpayers’ money, but delivering only about a third of the jobs they had promised. How embarrassing. No problem, though – the governor simply (and secretly) altered the corporate agreements to let them off the job-creation hook. For example, the Wall Street Journal reports that a $50 million handout from Perry to a biotech outfit (that includes three donors to his campaign) came up a bit short of the 12,000 jobs he claimed they had created. How short? At most, 230 jobs came from Perry’s giveaway. How did Perry inflate a mere 230 jobs to 12,000? By crediting his pals with every biotech job created by other companies and schools in Texas.
For an honest account of Pinocchio Perry’s job-creating “magic,” check out a watchdog report titled “Phantom Jobs,” at www.tpj.org.
“54,600 new Texas jobs? Not all are set in place,” The Austin American Statesman, October 14, 2011.
“Phantom Jobs: The Texas Enterprise Fund’s Broken Promises, www.tpj.org, September 8, 2010