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Step right up, ladies and gentlemen, and get your ticket to see “Rick the Wonder Worker!”
Texas Gov. Rick Perry is less than revered back home, where he is widely ridiculed as Governor Good Hair. So he’s now on the road with a traveling medicine show, billing himself as the “Texas Miracle Man.” From New York to New Orleans, he’s wowing the Republican hard core with astounding tales of his job-creating prowess, suggesting he can do for America what he’s done for Texas.
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Hold it right there. First, while the Texas unemployment rate is one percent lower than the national rate, 23 other states are doing even better, including New York. Also, his self-touted record of job growth is essentially the same as Democratic Gov. Ann Richards produced, only she didn’t call it a miracle. Most damning, however, is that Perry-jobs are really “jobettes,” offering low pay, no benefits and no upward mobility. In fact, under Rickonomics, Texas has added more minimum wage jobs than all other states combined! Indeed, Gov. Perry presides over a state that has more people in poverty and more without health coverage than any other.
Meanwhile, the Miracle Man has dug Texas into one of the deepest budget holes in the country – $27 billion short of the money needed to cover the same miserly level of state services Texans now get, even as our population has grown dramatically. Although his party controls the state Senate and has a supermajority in the House, he was unable to pass a budget in the regular legislative session, forcing him to convene a costly special session. Maybe that’s why he’s now on the road.
Toward the end of George W’s right-wing presidency, national columnist Molly Ivins said: “Next time I tell you someone from Texas should not be elected president of the United States, please pay attention.”
“Center stage in New York, Perry touts Texas triumphs,” www.statesman.com, June 15, 2011.
“The coyote candidate,” Austin American Statesman, June 1, 2011
“Run, Rick, Run,” Texas Observer, www.texasobserver.org, June 3, 2011.
“TDP Statement on Rick Perry Presidential Ambitions,”Texas Democratic Party, May 27, 2011