Governor Perry delivered his State of the State address this week, proposing to consolidate or suspend non-critical state agencies in order to make state government more streamlined and efficient. The governor also outlined his priorities for the 82nd Legislative Session, including balancing the budget without raising taxes, preserving essential services, and strengthening Texas' position as a national economic leader through sound policies. Check out the Governor's entire State of the State address below.
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.
Texas has been the engine of the current economic recovery, creating more than half of net job growth across the country in the last twelve months. From 2000 to 2009, while Texas created more jobs than all the other states combined, it simultaneously lowered its ozone levels 22 percent; the nation as a whole lowered its ozone level only 8 percent. Houston, which had long been vying with Los Angeles for the title of the most ozone-polluted city in the country, achieved the federally required ozone standard last year. In fact, all Texas urban regions met the federal standard except Dallas/Fort Worth, which exceeded the standard by only one part per billion. Stringent but targeted controls, cutting-edge science, innovative technology, billions of dollars invested by the state and private industry, and the volunteer efforts of thousands of Texans drove the improvements in air quality. The state designed and implemented the undertaking largely in cooperation with EPA.
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.
As the United States contemplates a clean-energy future, leadership is coming from a surprising place— Texas.
This state is well-known for producing oil and natural gas. But Texas also has erected far more turbines than any other state and now has nearly three times as much wind capacity as Iowa, which is ranked second. Forests of turbines have sprouted atop remote, scrubby mesas. If Texas were its own country, it would generate more wind power than all but five nations—the United States, China, Germany, Spain and India.
‘‘Texas still has a long way to go to meet its future energy demand with an increased amount of clean energy, but there’s a lot of success to build on,’’ said Michael Brune, the executive director of the Sierra Club, a major environmental group based in San Francisco, who visited the state last week. Texas, he said, ranks second nationally in the creation of clean-energy jobs, after California.
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry has received the endorsement of both the Texas and national chapters of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA) for the 2010 general election.
“Gov. Perry has proven himself a strong ally of sportsmen through his efforts to push back against unnecessary federal regulations upon anglers, while also effectively protecting the environment,” said Robert T. Healey, chairman of the RFA. “His efforts have kept Texas a top destination for outdoor recreation and we are proud to endorse him in his re-election campaign.”
“While the federal government seeks to impose burdensome, unnecessary mandates upon the angling industry through shortened seasons and bag limits, Gov. Perry has sought to balance the need between protecting our sport as well as the environment,” said Jim Smarr, chairman of Texas RFA. “His leadership over our state has made Texas a place where any individual from any background can take hold of opportunity and find success. We are proud of his ongoing support of Texas anglers, particularly his efforts to support the federal flexibility in the Magnuson Act, and are pleased to endorse his re-election effort.”
On the 80-mile drive from San Antonio to the Texas capitol in Austin, it’s difficult to miss the signs of growth. At every highway exit, it seems, huge new shopping malls greet motorists. Valleys where cattle grazed five years ago now sport shiny new Target stores, tract homes, and tennis courts. Between 2000 and 2009, Texas added about 4 million residents, more than half of them migrants from elsewhere in the nation. And Texas will almost certainly emerge from the recession with the nation’s strongest and most important economy.
In May alone, Texas, America’s second most populous state, added over 75,000 jobs—more than California (the biggest), New York (third biggest), and Florida (fourth biggest) combined. Texas has shown consistent gains in 10 of the 11 categories of private employment that the Bureau of Labor Statistics measures. The state is far more than cowboys and oil: It has several of the nation’s leading medical research centers (Baylor and UT hospitals among them), one of the biggest computer makers (Dell), and a financial industry that never took a turn for the worse. And, even though unemployment remains a tick over 8 percent (about a point and a half lower than the national average), the rapid growth is bringing this down quickly. During the last week in June, the job-hunt website Monster.com offered more new job openings in Texas than in California even though the Golden State has over 10 million more people. In a nation looking for economic good news, Texas stands out as a bright spot.
Clean air and good jobs; When it comes down to it, that’s the legacy of Texas’ existing air permitting program.
Operating from a position mired in bureaucracy, however, the EPA is determined to “federalize” our 16-year-old system. It’s a move that will kill tens of thousands of Texas jobs and effectively kick the legs out from under one of the strongest economies in the country during a time when our national economy remains on shaky ground.
They certainly can’t find fault with what Texas has accomplished under our system:
In less than six months, Texas voters will go to the polls and choose between two starkly different visions for Texas.
The first vision is one of limited government that fosters an environment for good Texas jobs, economic growth, boundless opportunity, and greater personal freedom.
The second, favored by Gov. Perry’s opponent, is a vision of more government spending, more taxation, and expanded government control over every aspect of your life. He supports the goals Obama-care. He calls spending cuts by state agencies “Soviet-style” governance. And he supports California-style emissions regulations, which would cripple industry in Texas.
In fact, if you wonder why Bill White is an Obama-like liberal, look no further than the issue of cap and trade…more accurately known as cap and tax, because it will cap our economy and tax away our jobs.
While Texas leaders fight the Obama Administration’s job-killing regulatory policies in court, the former mayor of Houston—our nation’s largest energy producer—advocates policies that would decimate the very industry the Bayou City was built on.
The Democratic nominee for governor went so far as to send an advisory memo to Obama’s chief of staff, telling him how to sell cap and tax to the American public!
Iowa wants what Texas has: brisk job growth linked to fast-growing wind generation.
"I just want Texas to know that we're coming after you," said Iowa Gov. Chet Culver on Monday at the Windpower 2010 convention in Dallas, where he and two other governors lobbied for federal rules that would spur wind power development.
While the environmental appeal of wind power endures, it's the high-paying employment from wind technology suppliers, maintenance workers and utility companies that's also good political capital for Culver, who was joined by Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter and Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in touting wind's stimulus.
"Texas has to be applauded for what it's done" with wind power, Strickland said at a news conference where he announced a partnership with General Electric Co. to help build the first offshore wind farm in the Great Lakes.
About 10,000 jobs linked to Texas wind power today will grow to more than 41,000 as the state builds out its wind grid and nearly doubles its generating capacity this decade, a recent study projects. Texas plans to spend $5 billion to build lines to carry wind-generated electricity from the west to North Texas and big population centers.