Austin, Texas, and Washington are a little more than 1,500 miles apart, but the differences in governing philosophy could be measured in light years.
Both towns feature well-intentioned public servants and impressive capitol domes, but they seem to represent the polar opposites in the ongoing debate over the benefits of limited government.
In Texas, we have long based our approach on individual liberty and initiative, believing that families, entrepreneurs and individual citizens deserve the opportunity to strive and succeed -- with minimal government interference. After regular, 140-day legislative sessions every two years, Texas lawmakers go home to live under the laws they pass.
Rick Perry's possible 2010 opponent went on the attack yet again today in the pages of the Austin American-Statesman, criticizing the Governor for rejecting $555 million dollars in strings-attached federal stimulus dollars. Back in March, Governor Perry said "thanks, but no thanks" to that portion of the Obama stimulus package if it meant changing Texas law and expanding the government's intrusion into private enterprise.
Michael Q. Sullivan, President of the watchdog group Texans for Fiscal Responsibility, explains that revisionist history from the Senator isn't scoring her any points:
The conservative movement and the responsible business community (large and small businesses alike) were uniformly opposed to taking those burdensome dollars. Not only would it have required massive tax increases in the future, it would have done so with requirements that the state forever alter our unemployment insurance laws. (The feds now claim they were joking about that "forever" part, but the federal law still clearly states that the rules must be permanent.)
Both the Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Business loudly urged lawmakers to reject the use of stimulus funds. As did nearly every member of the Texas Conservative Coalition, the conservative caucus of the Texas Legislature. A mid-session report by the group pointed out that “federal matching funds drive increases in state spending, exposing taxpayers to increased tax liability from both federal and state governments.”
It would have been irresponsible to take those federal UI dollars. Frankly, it represents a lack of leadership to have voted against in the Senate what she now demands Texas to have accepted. And it is always poor judgment to cede the state's clear authority over such matters to Washington, and certainly to the Obama Administration.
Earlier this year, Governor Perry rejected $555 million in strings-attached stimulus dollars. The response from Texans was and remains overwhelmingly positive.
Late last week, Rick Perry's possible 2010 opponent joined liberal critics attacking the Governor for his decision to say "thanks, but no thanks" to Obama. The conservative Pratt on Texas radio program in Lubbock had a nice recap of this latest out-of-touch attack from Washington against Rick Perry. Listen here:
“I really appreciate the fact that Governor Perry came here to personally thank them for what they are doing and to listen to their concerns. Contingency Operating Base Adder is out of the way. Most VIPs usually only go to Baghdad. Governor Perry not only took the time to come here to COB Adder, but went to Taji and Al Asad to see soldiers there, as well. “He was enthusiastic the entire time and really enjoyed spending the time with the soldiers,” Blair said.
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