Governor Rick Perry knows - and is not afraid to say - that Texas has been successful in the current economic downturn because it limits the size of its government, keeps taxes low and has created a freedom-oriented environment that attracts business and workers. The result is not surprising - Texas leads the nation in job creation - having created 119,000 jobs between August 2009 and August 2010 as compared with just 214,000 job throughout the nation. Meanwhile, over 1000 people are moving to Texas every day. (see also this from repair_man_jack)
Perhaps more importantly, the Governor (along with Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott) has made crystal clear that the ways of Washington are not the way to a prosperous future and Texas is prepared to tell Washington to get out of the way - in the form of rejecting federal funds with strings attached, litigation against intrusive federal legislation and otherwise.
For this, the Dallas Morning News rails against Governor Perry for his "swagger," and has put its weight (for whatever that is worth) behind Democrat challenger Bill White in the form of an editorial endorsement bristling with hostility to the current Governor. It would be tempting to go through the editorial line-by-line to point out the flaws in its reasoning. But, far more striking and worthy of note is the extent to which the newspaper's editors made the case for Governor Perry in the process of endorsing his opponent.
While backing White, the editors describe him as a "progressive" (the stealth term for liberal) who "recognizes the need for new revenue sources." It goes on to say that Texas needs "a solution-oriented leader" (code for big government activist) who is "focused on bolstering Texas - not doing battle with Washington" (i.e. ignore the harm Washington is inflicting upon Texas and just increase state taxes to deal with it).
This is a perfect explanation of why Perry is the right man for Texas, not Bill White.
Did you know that of Texas' budget of approximately $180 billion, over one third (or about $65 billion) is sent by Texans to Washington in the form of federal taxes and then sent back to Texas with strings attached? That isn't a gift, mind you - it's the money of the people of Texas funneled (at a loss) through Washington only to come back with requirements as mandated by Obama, Pelosi and company.
So, should a Texas governor fight Washington? You damned right he should.
The reality is that Bill White is simply dancing to the playbook of the liberal editors of the Dallas Morning News. It is hard to understand the editors admiration for him without putting it in the context of the plan they outlined for Texas back in 2003 - a plan for more Taxes, more spending and a larger government. In the face of a budget shortfall, they wrote “GOP leaders say they can fix the deficit without a tax hike. They're wrong. They should act sensibly now to avoid a larger tax bite later.”
They went on, discussing the need to "expand the state sales tax to include more services." They added, "Let's be clear: Targeted budget cuts are important, overdue and likely to save millions of dollars. But Texas is a growing state with more children to educate every year, more communities to police and more highways to build."
In other words - the editors chose the California plan: spend more money rather than making do with less.
Fortunately for Texas, the Governor and Republicans in the legislature chose a different path. They chose to hold spending in check, and managed to balance the budget in the process. Again, let me repeat Texas closed its budget gap by reining in government, not taxing the people.
Now this year, we face a similar problem of a shortfall in revenues due in large part to the worldwide economic downturn, from which Texas certainly is not immune even as it grows and prospers. Texas needs a Governor with a proven track record of finding ways to control spending in a tough environment rather than raising taxes.
The Dallas Morning News laments that Perry "has done relatively little during a decade at the helm of state government," and that "[t]he Republican governor is counting on the state's relatively strong economy to secure his third full term in office. But Texas' business-friendly environment predates Perry and will extend beyond his time in office." Uh-huh. So these self-proclaimed experts in what is best for Texas
seem to assume that Texas will remain prosperous regardless of who is in power? That what Texas needs in the face of relatively large success over the last 10 years (which happens to be the time Governor Perry has been in office) is "change" (insert reference to Obama here) in the form of higher taxes, so-called pragmatism and increased environmental regulation (among others)?
I wish the Dallas Morning News would go ahead and editorialize on races around the country - because they have a real gift at making obvious how successful conservative policies are while pushing the wrong thing to do and endorsing someone entirely wrong for the job. The good news is that in this case, the choice is obvious.
Governor Perry and Republicans are leading Texas. Texas is leading the cause for freedom and limited government. And, as a result, Texas is leading the nation.