Don't Mess With Texas's Economic Record
Rick Perry's entrance into the presidential race scares liberal critics.
11:42 AM, Aug 15, 2011 • By MARK HEMINGWAY
One surefire way to tell that Rick Perry's entry into the presidential race is having a big impact is the sheer number of hit pieces that have been written against him in a 48-hour period. (See here, here, here, here...I could go on.)
I'm sure some of that is due to an oppo dump from other GOP candidates hoping to step on Perry's momentum. However, there's one theme from liberals that I suspect you'll hear a lot of, a la the latest Krugman column, which is the furious accusation that Texas' low taxes and business-friendly regulation haven't really created a lot of jobs:
Krugman's paragraph here explains a lot about why "Keynesian" should probably be a bigger slur than "former Enron adviser." For one thing, job creation is not a zero-sum game. Texas hasn't created over 40 percent of the country's new jobs just by taking them away from other states. A lot of those jobs wouldn't exist, period, if Texas didn't create a tax a regulatory climate to encourage them -- Texas added 732,000 jobs in the last decade, and no other state created more than 100,000. If Krugman's unimpressed, that's because he's the one that's trading in fallacies here.
Further, it's revealing that Krugman offers up only the most facile comparisons between Texas and blue states. In a single sentence, he brags about Massachusetts unemployment rate and high rate of health insurance relative to Texas, when both states are significantly below the national average in unemployment. Further, Krugman doesn't note how significant differences in demographics or immigration might affect employment in these states. And Krugman sure as heck isn't going to mention this:
This isn't exactly a surprise, but Krugman's being spectacularly dishonest here. He also fails to mention that Texas has twice closed massive budget deficits under Perry's tenure as governor -- without raising taxes. The fact that Texas has its fiscal house in order, unlike just about every other blue state, surely has something to do with Texas' economic growth. The reality is that just about every other blue state is a governing basket case when compared to Texas, and the comparison is revealing and instructive.
"Government isn't difficult in theory," Texas Republican Gov. Rick Perry told National Review in 2009. "Don't spend all the money, keep taxes low, have a fair and predictable regulatory climate, keep frivolous lawsuits to a minimum, and fund an accountable education system so that you have a skilled work force available. Then get the hell out of the way and let the private sector do what the private sector does best."
Perry doesn't have a Nobel Prize in economics, but despite Krugman's sophistry, I suspect that American voters know common sense when they hear it.