Gov. Perry on Economic Development in Texas

Texas has consistently been ranked as one of the best places to do business in the nation under Gov. Perry’s leadership.

  • Aggressive Job Creation. Since July 2003, Texas has created more than 1 million net new jobs. In 2008, more than half of the jobs created in the entire nation were created in Texas. In October and November of 2009, Texas gained 70,000 jobs while the nation as a whole lost 122,000 jobs. The Texas Enterprise Fund, the largest job creation fund of its kind in the nation, began under Perry in 2003 and is generating more than 55,000 new jobs and $15 billion in capital investment for Texas.
  • Record Property Tax Reductions. Gov. Perry championed $15.5 billion in property tax reductions, which resulted in a 33 percent decrease in school property tax rates for Texas homeowners and businesses.
  • Texas is Succeeding. Click here to see the dozens of accolades and awards Texas has received for its strong economy and friendly business climate.

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Rick Perry to Washington CEOs: Come to Texas

October 25, 2010
John Maggs
Just days before Washington state voters decide whether to impose a first-ever state tax on six-figure incomes, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has jumped into the middle of the fray. With a week to go before the Washington ballot initiative, Perry, a Republican, has taken an unusually aggressive swipe at Gov. Chris Gregoire, a Democrat. Perry sent letters Friday to 90 leading businesses in Washington – including Amazon, Microsoft and Starbucks – inviting them to relocate to Texas, which also has no income tax. "If Washington doesn't want your business, Texas does,” said Perry. “Texas has no personal income tax and no interest in getting one." Most Washington business leaders are lined up against the proposal, which would impose a 5 percent tax on individuals earning $200,000 or more a year and a 9% tax on those making more than $500,000. Microsoft founder Bill Gates, the state’s most prominent billionaire, has divided loyalties: his company is fighting the tax proposal on behalf of its many highly-paid workers, but the ballot initiative was sponsored by Gates father, a retired lawyer who argues that Washington needs the money to fund education. The software mogul himself has not taken a position on the tax, which stands to cost him tens of millions of dollars a year. The latest poll says the anticipated vote on the income tax initiative is too close to call. A Perry spokesman denied that the governor was meddling to defeat the Washington initiative, but conceded that the timing – a week before the vote – was no coincidence. “It seemed like the right time to do it, as businesses are focused on the election and on the possibility of paying higher taxes,” said Ray Sullivan. Washington and Texas are among seven states that impose no income tax, contributing to the fact that both are highly rated as places to conduct business. It is common for governors to recruit individual companies to relocate but unusual to make a blanket indictment of the business climate in another state. It is also unusual for governors to try to influence the outcome of ballot initiatives in another state. Gregoire, who supports the tax proposal, shrugged off Perry’s missives. “We're serious about keeping businesses here and attracting new ones to the state,” she said in a written statement issue by her office. “We've consistently ranked in the top five in the Forbes list of best states to do business—ahead of Texas." Gregoire spokesman Cory Curtis said the governor was not offended by Perry’s letters, but would not comment on whether the governor thought that Perry was trying to influence the vote. Asked what kind of relationship the conservative Perry and the liberal Gregoire have, Curtis said, “I don’t think they have any relationship.” In Forbes’ latest rankings, Washington placed fifth among states with a positive business climate, while Texas ranked seventh. Washington ranked 28th for the lowest business costs, and Texas was slightly better – 26th. Surprisingly, Washington bested Texas for imposing a lighter regulatory burden on business, ranking 5th while Texas ranked 17th. “We think that Washington will continue to be a better place [than Texas] to do business, whether or not the income tax initiative passes,” said Curtis. Perry’s spokesman said that Texas was the top-ranked state by business cable network CNBC and CEO magazine, and in most rankings, rated higher than Washington. Gregoire, like most Washington state politicians, has opposed the imposition of a state income tax, and never pushed it as governor. She has endorsed the ballot initiative, but vowed to veto any effort by the legislature to extend the tax to other taxpayers.

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Former President George H.W. Bush and Former First Lady Barbara Bush Endorse Gov. Perry for Re-election

October 25, 2010
Join over 100 groups in supporting Gov. Perry for re-election HOUSTON – Today Gov. Rick Perry received the endorsement of former President George H.W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush for the general election. They were joined by representatives from more than 100 organizations and hundreds of leaders who have endorsed Gov. Perry’s re-election, highlighting his diverse, statewide support, which represents millions of Texans. “Gov. Perry’s leadership and proven track record is an essential component in keeping Texas a national leader in job creation,” said former President George H.W. Bush. “Texas has become a prime example of what happens when you mix fiscal responsibility, strong leadership and a vision of moving a state forward. It is an honor to endorse Gov. Rick Perry for the general election.” George H.W. Bush was sworn in as president of the United States in January 1989 and served until January 1993. During his term in office, the Cold War ended; the threat of nuclear war was drastically reduced; the Soviet Union ceased to exist, replaced by a democratic Russia with the Baltic States becoming free; the Berlin Wall fell and Germany was reunified with Eastern Europe; and he put together an unprecedented international coalition to liberate Kuwait. Former First Lady Barbara Bush is a tireless advocate of volunteerism, helping countless charities and humanitarian causes. Today she and President Bush serve as Co-Chairs of C-Change, an organization that represents more than 150 individuals and groups that fight cancer. She also enjoys reading to children at schools and hospitals across the nation. “I am deeply honored to receive the endorsement of former President George H. W. Bush and former First Lady Barbara Bush,” said Gov. Perry. “His devotion and leadership, to our country, has brought forth inspiration to us all.” Gov. Perry’s endorsements highlight the broad-based support he has from diverse groups and industries, ranging from agriculture, health care and retail sales, to construction, law enforcement and education. In his remarks, Gov. Perry emphasized the creation of 850,000 Texas jobs in the last ten years and the recent drop in the unemployment rate in Texas; leaving the national rate nearly two points above ours. He also touted our state’s low taxes, predictable regulatory climate, fair legal system and education efforts as crucial elements that have helped make it a national leader in exports and Fortune 1000 companies.

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Why Texas is eating California’s lunch

October 25, 2010
San Diego News Room
Michael M. Rosen
MARSHALL, TEXAS—Even in this small, quaint East Texas town, 20 miles from the Louisiana border, everything seems larger than life. From the endless rolling hills to the massive German shepherds that gave chase during my ill-advised runs in the countryside to the heaping portions of barbeque at the Country Tavern in nearby Kilgore (where I, keeping kosher, settled for a huge green salad), stuff in Texas just seems bigger. Politics, too, looms larger and more potent here than elsewhere. A former judge and the first Republican to represent this district since Reconstruction, Rep. Louie Gohmert is the kind of conservative that makes Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin seem squishy. Among his more notable achievements, he voted against both TARP and the stimulus; he supported a two-month tax income tax holiday for all Americans; he co-sponsored legislation that would compel all presidential candidates to make available certified copies of their birth-certificates; he went on national television to decry the scourge of “terror babies,” or the Islamist equivalent of anchor babies born to foreigners in the U.S.; and he accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of seeking the power “to force you to eat more fruits and vegetables.” It’s not just the politicians who embody supercharged conservative values, but the grassroots activists too. Earlier this year, a billboard in Marshall made national waves, asking passersby, simply: “Voted Obama? Embarrassed Yet?” Another billboard just outside my hotel was all black with the following message scrawled in bright yellow writing: “Had Enough of: Stimulus…Bailouts…Homosexual Marriage? Then Vote Republican.” There didn’t seem to be anyone in particular who approved that message. But what’s really big in Texas nowadays is economic recovery, especially compared to California. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that more than half of the net new jobs created in the United States over the past 12 months originated here in Texas: 119,000 out of 214,000. Amazingly, during those same twelve months, California shed 112,000 net jobs—almost the same number that Texas created. While Californians have been afflicted by a 12.4% unemployment rate—nearly three points above the national average—Texans enjoy an 8.1% rate, a point and a half below the U.S. as a whole. So how has the Lone Star State done it? Simple: lower taxes, less spending, and a friendly business climate. Unlike California and many states in the union, Texas has no state income tax. So while states like Washington, which also has no such tax, are entertaining ballot measures that would actually add a state income tax in the middle of a recession, Texas has remained blissfully free of such a levy. And while Texas imposes an oil severance tax, which we in California still (thankfully) don’t have, the burden it imposes pales in comparison to our cumulative tax load. Furthermore, the state government in Austin spends much less than comparably-sized states. According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, the state’s budget in 2008 amounted to 17.3% of GDP, five points less than the nation as a whole and eight points less than the Golden State. Spending per capita in California is 33% greater than in Texas. Indeed, it’s difficult for the legislature to spend much when it meets only every other year. But most impressively, the state goes out of its way to recruit businesses to its precincts. Governor Rick Perry famously takes “hunting trips” in California for businesses sick and tired of our deadly combination of high taxes and absurd regulation. Even Sen. Dianne Feinstein’s husband recently moved workers from the Orange County office of his CB Richard Ellis real estate company to Dallas. According to the Claremont Institute’s William Voegeli, between 2000 and 2007, California lost 1.1 million people while Texas absorbed 500,000 new arrivals. And whereas California for the first time in more than 100 years will likely not receive a new congressional seat after the 2010 decennial redistricting, Texas is set to gain as many as four new congressmen. So sure enough, Texas isn’t just big, it’s getting bigger, and at the expense of states like our own. Until we turn things around quickly in California by learning from the Lone Star state, Texas will keep eating our lunch. Michael M. Rosen This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , a News Room contributor, is an attorney in Carmel Valley and the Secretary of the Republican Party of San Diego County. The views expressed are his own.

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Texas Construction Association PAC Endorses Gov. Perry for Re-election

October 23, 2010
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of the Texas Construction Association Political Action Committee (TCA PAC) for the general election. “Gov. Perry’s fiscally conservative track record of supporting efforts to improve the business environment in Texas and create new jobs has helped our industry flourish,” said Steve Rians, Chairman of the Board of the Texas Construction Association. “We are proud to have the opportunity to endorse Gov. Perry in the general election.” The Texas Construction Association was established in 1998 by Texas construction subcontractor and supplier organizations to promote the common interests of these organizations in Texas. TCA is comprised of 15 member associations. Through these associations and direct memberships, TCA has over 2,300 company members which collectively employ over 175,000 employees. “I am honored to receive the endorsement of the Texas Construction Association PAC,” said Gov. Perry. “The members of this association help build Texas schools, office buildings and factories, and I will continue to support their efforts so that our great state can continue to lead the nation.”

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A Natural Experiment in Political Economy

October 18, 2010
John Steele Gordon
It is often pointed out that the states make great laboratories for political-science experiments. And an experiment has been underway for quite a while testing the liberal model — high taxes, extensive regulation, many government-provided social services, union-friendly laws — against the conservative model — low taxes, limited regulation and social services, right-to-work laws. The results are increasingly in. As Rich Lowry reports in National Review Online, the differences between California and Texas are striking. Between August 2009 and August 2010, the nation created a net of 214,000 jobs. Texas created more than half of them, 119,000. California lost 112,000 jobs in that period. Lowry writes: Texas is a model of governmental restraint. In 2008, state and local expenditures were 25.5 percent of GDP in California, 22.8 in the U.S., and 17.3 in Texas. Back in 1987, levels of spending were roughly similar in these places. The recessions of 1991 and 2001 spiked spending everywhere, but each time Texas fought to bring it down to pre-recession levels. “Because of this policy decision,” the Texas Public Policy Foundation report notes, “Texas’ 2008 spending burden remained slightly below its 1987 levels — a major accomplishment.” The result has been dramatic: “A new Texas Public Policy Foundation report notes that Texas experienced a decline of 2.3 percent from its peak employment [in the current recession], while the nation declined 5.7 percent and California 8.7 percent.” And people have been voting with their feet: A thousand people a day are moving to Texas. It will likely gain four House seats next year, while California for the first time since it became a state in 1850 will gain none. So, again, the evidence would seem to be overwhelming: high tax-and-spend policies and regulation produces stagnation and unemployment, low tax-and-spend policies and regulatory restraint produce the opposite.

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Brand New TV Ad: New Jobs

Texans for Rick Perry launched a new 30 second TV ad this week called “New Jobs.”

Did you know that over the time that the rest of the country lost more than 3 million jobs, Texas added more than 850,000 jobs? For more info, check out the New Jobs video on Governor Perry's YouTube page.

We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit now, and get your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry out to vote. Early voting begins today, Monday, October 18th, and runs through October 29th!

Join the campaign today, and help us keep our strong momentum going.

On Twitter? Follow @GovernorPerry for updates from Rick Perry himself, @GovPerry2010 for updates from the campaign, and become a fan of Governor Perry on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest campaign news.

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A Trenchant Tale Of Two States

October 15, 2010
Investor's Business Daily
Business Climate: In Texas, the payroll count is back to pre-recession levels. California is nearly 1.5 million jobs in the hole. Why such a difference? Chalk it up to taxes, regulation and attitude. The contrast between America's two largest states, in terms of both population and economic heft, is as stark as it has ever been. Texas is leading the country out of the recession; California is holding it back. By August, the job count in Texas had rebounded to where it was when the recession officially began in December 2007. California's payroll was still 1.46 million below the pre-recession level. The nation as a whole was down by 6.42 million jobs. In other words, California, with one-eighth the nation's population, accounts for more than a fifth of its job deficit left over from the downturn. What country needs a state like that dragging it down? Of course, what America really needs is not to be California-free, but to have something like the old California back — the economic dynamo that was the envy of the nation in the '50s and '60s. But to those who try to do business in the state now, those days seem impossibly distant. California's business climate is notoriously bad. CEOs polled by the magazine Chief Executive have ranked it dead last for the past five years, with Texas, naturally, ranked first. To anyone seeking to start an enterprise and hire workers, moving to Texas is a lot less trouble than trying to change California's high taxes, overregulation and not-so-subtle bias against the profit motive. A new study from the Texas Public Policy Foundation gives a good overview of why California lags so far behind and what it can learn from its Lone Star rival. The study was prepared by the econometrics firm of supply-side guru Arthur Laffer, so it's no surprise that Texas gets high marks for low taxes and, in particular, its lack of a personal income tax. The data behind these conclusions are hard to discount, no matter what your point of view. California and other states with steeply progressive income taxes simply do not grow as fast as their tax-free competitors. The nine states with no income tax had nonfarm payroll growth of 11.76% from 1999 to 2009. Payrolls in the nine states with the highest top tax rates (a group that includes California) rose an anemic 2.48%. The difference in tax systems reflects a difference in attitudes toward business and the wealth that business generates. Capital gains are tax-free in Texas; in California, they are taxed up to 10.55%. To an entrepreneur choosing where to set up shop, the message is clear: Texas wants to reward success; California wants to tax it. California also has developed a web of regulations that raises labor costs, spurs litigation and ties up building projects indefinitely. Government at all levels squeezes businesses and property owners with fees and mandates. Finally, at the basic, personal level, businesses in California feel what can only be described as a bad vibe. They get the sense that they're just not wanted. As one of the CEOs in the Chief Executive survey put it: "California is terrible. Even when we've paid their high taxes in full, they still treat every conversation as adversarial. It's the most difficult state in the nation. We have actually walked away from business rather than deal with the government in Sacramento." Just how pervasive is the state's anti-business attitude? Consider a recent story about how some governments in the San Francisco Bay Area — get this — are gouging the solar power business. If California officialdom stands for anything, it stands for renewable energy, against Big Oil and for "green jobs." Yet an informal survey by the Sierra Club, reported this week in the San Jose Mercury News, found that some cities were charging sky-high fees for solar installations on schools, churches, retail stores and other buildings. The city manager of Brisbane, a town that charges $13,510 for a permit to install a 131-kilowatt system, told the Mercury News that his city is "trying to promote the most solar that we can." But lowering the fee would "be passing on savings to a commercial, for-profit developer, and that doesn't make a lot of sense to us." That just about says it all — we're all for solar, but we can't have people making money off it, now can we? As long as California officials can say something like that with a straight face, the state faces a very long slog back to prosperity.

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The Texas Model: The Lone Star State speeds up its recovery with pro-business policies.

October 15, 2010
National Review
Rich Lowry
Texas already looms large in its own imagination. Its elevated self-image didn’t need this: More than half of the net new jobs in the U.S. during the past 12 months were created in the Lone Star State. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 net new jobs were created in the United States from August 2009 to August 2010. Texas created 119,000 jobs during the same period. If every state in the country had performed as well, we’d have created about 1.5 million jobs nationally during the past year, and maybe “stimulus” wouldn’t be such a dirty word. What does Austin know that Washington doesn’t? At its simplest: Don’t overtax and -spend, keep regulations to a minimum, avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot, and display an enormous neon sign saying, “Open for Business.” At bottom, the struggle between national Republicans and Democrats is over whether the country will adopt a version of the Texas model, or of the Michigan, New York, or California model. Will government allow the private sector to thrive, or stifle growth with its hyperactivity and favoritism for anti-business interests? If migration were a referendum, the Texas model would be winning in a rout — more than 1,300 people a day moved there between their 2007 and 2008 tax filings, according to Internal Revenue Service data. It’s not as though Texas has been exempt from the Great Recession. Its unemployment rate is 8.3 percent — high, though beneath the national rate of 9.6 percent. It faces a recession-driven shortfall of roughly $15 billion for its next two-year budget, a significant challenge to its low-tax ways. But it has weathered the storm better than the nation, and better than its mammoth competitor on the West Coast. A new Texas Public Policy Foundation report notes that Texas experienced a decline of 2.3 percent from its peak employment, while the nation declined 5.7 percent and California 8.7 percent. During the past 12 months, California nearly canceled out Texas’s job creation all by itself, losing 112,000 net jobs. Its unemployment rate is above 12 percent. Texas is a model of governmental restraint. In 2008, state and local expenditures were 25.5 percent of GDP in California, 22.8 in the U.S., and 17.3 in Texas. Back in 1987, levels of spending were roughly similar in these places. The recessions of 1991 and 2001 spiked spending everywhere, but each time Texas fought to bring it down to pre-recession levels. “Because of this policy decision,” the Texas Public Policy Foundation report notes, “Texas’ 2008 spending burden remained slightly below its 1987 levels — a major accomplishment.” Less spending means lower taxes. Texas doesn’t have an income tax — in contrast to California’s highly progressive income tax — and it is among the 10 lowest-tax states in the country. Its regulatory burden is low across the board, and it’s a right-to-work state that enacted significant tort reform in the middle of the last decade. It is true that Texas enjoys bountiful oil and natural-gas reserves, but its attitude toward those resources is what’s most important — “if you got ’em, use ’em.” If only the Obama administration’s Department of the Interior agreed. The state long ago defied the stereotype of an economy entirely dependent on bumptious oilmen. In Dallas–Fort Worth, Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, it has four diverse, thriving metropolitan areas featuring robust high-tech and manufacturing sectors. In Texas in recent decades, the watchwords have been prudence and stability in the course of nurturing a pro-business environment, while California has undergone a self-immolation that Pres. Barack Obama wants to replay nationally. Joel Kotkin writes of California in City Journal, “During the second half of the twentieth century, the state shifted from an older progressivism, which emphasized infrastructure investment and business growth, to a newer version, which views the private sector much the way the Huns viewed a city — as something to be sacked and plundered.” With predictable results. For policymakers wanting to restart the American jobs machine, forget the Alamo. Keep in mind the Texas model. — Rich Lowry is editor of National Review. He can be reached via e-mail,

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Brand New TV Ad: Right Track

Texans for Rick Perry launched a new 30 second TV ad this week called “Right Track.”

Did you know that Texas is where 4 out of 5 new private sector jobs have been created since 2005? For more info, check out the “Right Track video on Governor Perry's YouTube page.”

We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit now, and recruit your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry. Early voting begins on Monday, October 18th!

Join us today, and help us keep our strong momentum going.

On Twitter? Follow @GovernorPerry for updates from Rick Perry himself, @GovPerry2010 for updates from the campaign, and become a fan of Governor Perry on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest campaign news.

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NEW VIDEO: "Texas"

Texans for Rick Perry launched a new 30 second ad this week called “Texas.”

The spot highlights Governor Perry's positive message about Texas.

We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit now, and recruit your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry.

As the Governor continues traveling all around the state, meeting with Texans from all walks of life, our campaign continues to gain strength. Your enthusiasm and energy is contagious. Join us today, and help us keep the momentum going.

On Twitter? Follow @GovernorPerry for updates from Rick Perry himself, @GovPerry2010 for updates from the campaign, and become a fan of Governor Perry on Facebook to stay up to date on the latest campaign news.

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