I have to wonder if Rick Perry is living in the real world. Yesterday, he was bragging about the Texas economy and said, "I would tell my friends in Washington that if they want a blueprint for how to get the economy back on track, look at Texas." I don't know what rock he's been hiding under, but he obviously either doesn't know or is trying to hide the truth about the economy here in Texas.
According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the unemployment rate is 6.8% in Texas and rising. Many economists expect it to be over 8% before the end of the year. There are 26,000 new unemployment claims being filed each week, and the state could lose 300,000 jobs this year.
Maybe Perry's corporate buddies are doing well this year, but the same can't be said of the Texas economy in general or the situation ordinary Texans are facing. Texas is not yet in as bad shape as a few other states, but it is sliding fast into serious trouble.
That's why it is troubling that Perry yesterday refused to accept over $550 million in stimulus funds to help the unemployed. Especially in light of the fact that the state does not have enough in it's unemployment fund to last the whole year.
Add to this the fact that this is money that would have to be spent since the unemployed can't afford to save the few dollars they manage to get. That means there's $550 million that will NOT be spent boosting the Texas economy (with each one of those dollars passing through multiple hands). That money could have been a real boost to the state's economic well-being.
But Perry doesn't care about Texas or it's citizens. The only thing he cares about is his own re-election in the 2010 governor's race. He faces a serious opponent (Sen. Hutchison) who is currently leading him in the polls. He's counting on his ultra-right-wing base of Republican voters to carry him through the primary (like Rush Limbaugh's ditto-heads).
He knows the ultra-right wants badly to see the economy worsen and President Obama to fail, and he's willing to help by throwing Texas into the economic garbage bin. He's putting his own ambitions above the well-being of Texans, which should be no surprise since this is not the first time he's done it.
We must remember his vile actions when we go to the polls in November of 2010.