A Heapin’ Helpin’ of Texas Hoax

Governor Rick Perry (R-TX)

Rick Perry has spent the better part of the last two weeks touting his ‘Jobs Miracle’ within the great state of Texas. His assertion is essentially that while the rest of the nation has suffered with seriously high unemployment rates, the state in which he has been governor since 2000 has actually flourished. Given his tendency towards religious exploitation, he has been touting this as his own personal miracle. Further, he has assured potential voters that he can translate his Texas Miracle into a national one. To hear him tell it, before you can get an “Amen” we will be shuttering the unemployment offices circa 2012 since we will then be gleefully employed.

Obviously, this sort of hokum only works on voters who refuse to take the time to research the validity of what he is saying and prefer miracles to strategies. In short, he is speaking directly to far right Republicans who, for unknown reasons, are currently hanging on his every bloated and pompous word these days.

However, the fact of the matter is that this miracle is, much like the balance of the republican platform, nothing but a dismal game of smoke and mirrors. While this may play well for the uneducated masses on the far right of the spectrum, is certainly falls short for both moderates and liberals alike.

At an event in Iowa, Rick Perry actually summed up his job creation magic as “Government, get out of the way.” While this is exactly what you might expect from a man who spoke of seceding from United States just a short time ago, one has to ask: is this the key to his jobs success in the second largest state (in both size and population) in the contiguous US of A?

Quite the contrary. Rick Perry is selling us a bill of goods and this entire Jobs Miracle is simply a hoax. While it makes for some pretty amazing sound bites (especially on Fox News), the truth of what happened to the employment picture in Texas over the course of the last several years is not the least bit miracle-like. Further, it is certainly not due to the government getting out of the way of Perry and his bad-ass cowboy boots.

In fact, the non-miracle hinged quite a bit on the assistance of the federal government. The remainder of the phenomenon was really the trickery of semantics and demographics as Rick Perry and his gang report what has happened in Texas. What the Perry camp has done is take one statistic (new jobs) and conflated that with the entire concept of jobs growth.

First, the federal government has been actively involved in new job creation in Texas over the course of the last several years. The bulk of new jobs in Texas were actually government jobs as the state itself grew population-wise. The population of Texas has risen almost 21% over the course of the last decade and these new residents require government services as a routine matter of course. More residents mean more kids in the school system, which in turn, requires the hiring of more teachers and school administrators; new neighborhoods require an expansion of mail delivery and trash pickup, and on and on. In point of fact, Texas realized an increase of 7% in the federal job sector as opposed to a national average of other states of 4%.

Rick Perry is also fond of taking this growth number and letting it stand alone, as opposed to tying it together with the actual growth of his state. In essence, it not an apples-to-apples nor per-capita comparison. It is, as mentioned previously, simply a political parlor trick. People move to Texas and the federal government follows with jobs, because that is what the government does.

The real indicator of serious jobs growth in any jurisdiction would be the number of private sector jobs that are created. When it comes to that calculation, Texas clocks in with an actual reduction of private sector jobs over the last few years. This is actually on par with the rest of the country, so while it is not better than other states it is also no worse.

You would think that a miracle would be wide-spread and not selective in whom it opts to bless. I guess not. But the better question is this: one of the many mantras of the Republican party of late is that it is not the duty of the government to create jobs. If this were the case, then Rick Perry has taken a great deal of political poetic license in using his Jobs Miracle as part of his platform. You would think that given his “Government, get out of the way” refrain, as uttered between bites of corn dogs and fried butter in Iowa, he would want to distance himself from anything that lends itself to the realization that government was part of the solution in Texas and in no way part of the problem.

Some may say, in fact, that he is executing nothing more than a hoax by feeding his miracle to the willfully ignorant on the right. Sadly, this is just the sort of sound bite that Republicans love to chow down on with a side order of hypocrisy.


Sue is the author of the blog Left Leaning Liberal Lady located at http://leftleaningliberallady.blogspot.com/. You can also follow here on Twitter @TheLiberalLady

Edited By: Sherri Yarbrough