Perry Tales: job creation

Presidential wannabe Rick Perry is flitting hither, thither and yon, spreading little "Perry Tales" about the economic miracles he has produced in Texas.

Presidential wannabe Rick Perry is flitting hither, thither and yon, spreading little “Perry Tales” about the economic miracles he has produced in Texas.

Fantasy number one is a creationist story about jobs. As he recently flitted across Iowa, he gushed that he has built “a job-creating machine in the state of Texas,” and a Perry aide flatly said, “The governor’s job-creation record speaks for itself.”

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Actually it doesn’t. Probe even an inch into the million-job number that Perry tosses around like fairy dust, and you’ll learn that these are mostly “jobettes” that can’t sustain a family. Most come with very low pay and no health care or pension, and many are only part-time or temporary positions. Indeed, more than a half a million Texans now work for minimum wage or less – a number that has doubled since 2008, leaving Texas tied with Mississippi for the nation’s highest percentage of its workforce reduced to poverty pay.

Spreading even more fairy dust, Perry claims that his Texas Miracle is the result of him keeping the government out of the private sector’s way. But peek behind that ideological curtain and you’ll find this startling fact: during Perry’s decade, the growth in private sector jobs has been a relatively paltry nine percent, while the public sector has more than doubled that, increasing the number of local, state, and federal workers in Texas by 19 percent. One out of six employed Texans are now teachers, police officers, highway engineers, military personnel, and other government workers – and many of these jobs were created with federal money, including cash from Barack Obama’s stimulus program. There’s his “miracle.”

Meanwhile, joblessness is on the rise in Texas, and the whole Perry Tale is about to go poof – thanks to his recent multibillion-dollar budget cuts that will destroy more than 100,000 good jobs throughout the state.

“Perry’s job record draws applause, critics,” The Boston Globe, August 29, 2011.

“Government fuels ‘Texas miracle’ job growth,” Maine Sunday Telegram, August 21, 2011.

“Rick Perry’s Texas jobs boom: The whole story,” www.cnn.com, August 15, 2011.

“Battling the bastards is about as much fun as you can have with your clothes on.”

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