“We would be wise to remember a universal truth: No government has ever taxed and spent its way to greater prosperity.” Governor Rick Perry, 2005
This is in response to a post by blogger “MarkAmerica” at FreeRepublic.com. Unfortunately, there are many bloggers out there making the same accusations and false statements. Hopefully, this will clear up some of the questions less biased people might have.
Incredulously, your statements here imply that you are privy to the thinking and motives not only of Governor Perry, but of Mark Davis! Your comments are skewed bias and nothing more useful than shotgun accusations without evidence to back them up.
You falsely state that the Governor does not represent the same ideals as those of us in the Tea Party. I attended my first Tea Party event on February 27, 2009 in San Antonio and I say that you are flat wrong. Governor Perry met with 3 separate Tea Party groups on Tax Day, April 15th, 2009 – the day he’s accused of suggesting that Texas might secede. We know he never suggested any such thing, but he has always firmly stated his belief in small government, less taxation, and greater accountability to the people.
You also falsely claim that Governor Perry has less in common with regular Texans than with Wall Street “types.” I think his history is at least more familiar to Texans: he grew up far away from the city on a tenant farm, became an Eagle Scout, flew C-130’s as an Air Force pilot, and spent a few more years back on that farm as an adult.
You falsely claim that the Governor is uninterested in individual rights. A review of his speeches and of his books prove that to be a lie. He said in his first State of the State in 2001, that “We must preserve freedom and opportunity by extending it, one Texan at a time.” In his 2003 State of the State address, the Governor made his concern for the individual even more clear by telling the Legislature to remember that “behind every government program, there is a real taxpayer funding it.” He also reminds us that “The right to life is a fundamental right declared by our forefathers” and has consistently championed prolife laws each session.
Your false claim that the Governor only talks tough when he’s running for office is easily dis-proven by looking at 2003, when he had just won re-election for four years. Texas, like the Nation was reeling from the financial fallout of September 11, 2001. The Governor had already led State agencies to cut spending for the fiscal year by 7-13% and called on the Legislature to pass the first budget to cut State spending since World War II by prioritizing education, security and “fiscal responsibility, because neither of these priorities can be met unless our spending is disciplined.”
The Governor has always been adamant about cutting taxes, too. He’s repeatedly called for cuts in property taxes. Look at this, from the 2005 “State of the State”speech:
It is time to cut property taxes for the hardworking people of Texas. In fact, let’s not only give Texans property tax relief…let’s give them appraisal relief too.
Texans don’t like taxation without representation, and they are sick and tired of taxation by valuation.
The time has come to draw a line in the sand for the taxpayer: Let’s cap appraisals at three percent.
If you oppose a three percent cap on the philosophical grounds of local control, I can respect your position. But then I would hope you would be consistent, and advocate for the repeal of the ten percent cap on the same basis. There is no point in being lukewarm on this issue. Either be hot or cold; either provide real appraisal relief, or none at all. But let’s stop this false pretense of taxpayer protection at ten percent.
You falsely claim that the Governor has had a “more recent conversion” on tightening border security, ignoring the fact that Texas spends about a (edit 21:00 8/28/11) 100 dollars of our own tax funds each year to secure the border. Back in the Spring of 2001, he vetoed a driver’s license bill because it didn’t limit illegal aliens. He has consistently demanded that the Federal government do its job on border control by authorizing National Guard deployment. In 2005, he used money from his own office budget to increase funding for local law enforcement and set aside a task force from the Department of Public Safety.
You falsely accuse that the Governor is guilty of “corporate-cronyism.” The Governor promotes privatization rather than growth of government and taxes wherever possible, encourages Texas to compete with other States for jobs and business investments, and most of the business owners appreciate his efforts. Our 2005 tort reform – and the new “loser pays” law – has benefited every business except the trial lawyers. The Toyota plant that opened in San Antonio and a $3 billion dollar Texas Instruments plant are just two strong examples that our Texas policies work to bring jobs to Texas.
Your false claim that the Governor is a “statist” is ridiculous. The entirety of the book Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington is proof against your statement. Here’s just a couple of quotes:
“The statists believe in a powerful, activist central government that advances a radical secular agenda in the name of compassion. The hide behind misguided notions of empathy and push token talking points about fighting for the little guy, all the while empowering the federal government to coercively and blatantly undermine state-, local-, and self-governance.” Location 320
“The truth is, I don’t care what party the statist is in. The fact of the matter is, it is the statist, and those who support or enable him, who is the problem. For too long he has undermined this country by empowering the national government at the expense of liberty. An America defined by the statist in Washington is an America doomed to fail.” ” Location 338
(both quotes from Perry, Rick; Newt Gingrich (2010-11-15). Fed Up!: Our Fight to Save America from Washington. Little, Brown and Company. Kindle Edition., the Kindle PC edition. And, no I don’t get a dime from Amazon.com, either. I just do my homework.)
Since you dismiss anything since 2010, here’s an earlier example that the Governor has a clear understanding about personal responsibility, opportunity and a better understanding than most about the differences in power of local governments, the States and the Federal government. He testified before the US House of Representatives against federalization of emergency first responders in 2005. (Testimony here.) (Yes, the response of Washington to the crises after Katrina was to propose to federalize EMS.)
I’ve blogged on the Gardasil Executive Order at LifeEthics.org since February, 2007 and have written more in the last month at WingRight.org. It’s foolish to continue to claim that the Governor was bribed by $6000 in donations (he raised $20 million dollars that year). There is no evidence that the Governor had any motive other than to decrease disease, speed up the coverage of the vaccine by private insurance, and to strengthen parents’ rights by making it easier for them to opt out of any or all mandatory vaccines.
Which leaves the TransTexasCorridor. That was a now-defunct attempt to solve a lot of problems including the need to move more traffic and freight faster, safer and outside city congestion by a combination of privatization and tolls. We had concrete examples of the need for more roads leading across the State during the evacuation of South Texas in response to Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Ike. The Governor encouraged the 2005 law to protect private property rights through the control of eminent domain and signed even stronger protections this year.
Conservatives and Republicans shouldn’t forget that our enemy is big federal government and that States are better suited and have the Constitutional authority to try many more solutions to many more problems. As someone who’s been accused of being a “Perry operative” due to my answers to the multiple political rants against Governor Perry, I assure you that some of us have sincerely come to the opinion that Governor Perry should be our next President by the same process that others have decided to advocate for their own particular candidate. We recognize that in his 10 years as Governor, he has boldly practiced what he professes: that States should be “laboratories of democracy.” Not every experiment works, but the Governor has demonstrated that he can learn from mistakes and has the flexibility to change course when the people object.