Gov. Perry - A Fiscal Conservative

As the national and global economies struggle to recover from their financial woes, Texas is displaying strength that is built on conservative fiscal discipline.

  • Overcame Budget Shortfall. Back in 2003, Texas overcame a $10 billion budget hole without raising taxes by making tough choices to effectively prioritize and cut spending. Six years later, our Rainy Day Fund is on its way to $8 billion.
  • Reducing Spending. There have been only two state budgets since World War II that cut general revenue spending in Texas, and Gov. Perry signed them both. Gov. Perry has line-item vetoed more than $3 billion in unnecessary spending from state budgets, more than all other Texas governors combined.
  • Cutting Business Taxes. During the 81st Legislature, Gov. Perry called for and signed HB 4765, which exempts small businesses with less than $1 million in gross revenues from the state’s franchise tax, up from $300,000. This is expected to spare 40,000 small local employers from paying any franchise tax, saving them $172 million in taxes, money which now can go to paying employees, expanding their businesses and otherwise bolstering the Texas economy. In 2006, Gov. Perry also signed legislation, which has to date saved Texans an estimated $16.4 billion in property taxes.

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Read Related Press Releases, Blog Posts and News Articles about Gov. Perry's Fiscal Conservative Principles

Texas: Succeeding. Economic facts you probably won't hear today from the President.

"Blueprint for Recovery: Deep in the Heart of Texas," a web video based on economic figures from nearly a year ago, highlights some of the ways in which Texas is leading the nation, even in these tough economic times. Indeed, it may be even more relevant today:

Nearly a year later, Texas remains the blueprint for America's recovery.

Facts you probably won't hear President Obama mention while he is in the Lone Star State today raising money for Liberal Trial Lawyer Bill White...

* CNBC has ranked Texas America’s Top State for Business, based on their study that scored each state based on 40 different measures of competitiveness. Texas received more points than any other state based on categories including: cost of doing business, workforce, economy, education, quality of life, technology and innovation, transportation, cost of living, business friendliness, and access to capital. (CNBC, July 2010)

* Texas’ major metro areas – Austin, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Houston and San Antonio – were named as America’s Recovery Capitals on a list compiled by Forbes. “Looking for a place to take advantage of the recovery?” Forbes asks. “Try Texas.” (Forbes, June 2010)

* Texas created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years. Texas also has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 largest states in the nation. Additionally, since the beginning of 2010, Texas has created more total new jobs (and more private sector jobs) than any other state in the nation. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2010)

* Texas has four of top 10 cities for new graduates looking for jobs. (Businessweek, July 2010)

* Texas has five of the top counties for job growth over the last nine years: #2 (Williamson), #3 (Hays), #5 (Fort Bend), #6 (Webb), #7 (Collin). (CNN/Money, July 2010)

For more on how Texas is succeeding under Governor Perry's leadership, see the TEXAS SUCCEEDING fact sheet, below:

Texas Succeeding Fact Sheet

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State-Bailout Trap: Gov. Rick Perry fights to preserve the fiscal autonomy of Texas.

August 9, 2010
National Review Online
Stephen Spruiell
When the House convenes today in a special session to vote on a $26 billion package of aid funds for state and local governments, it will have to decide whether to single out one state — Texas — for special treatment. This is not the kind of special treatment that we’re used to seeing in Washington, where senators often secure extra benefits for their states in return for their votes. Instead, Democrats are trying to punish Texas for its fiscal responsibility, above and beyond the punishment inherent in a “state bailout” that is intended mostly to help spendthrift states such as California, but that Texas taxpayers must help pay for nevertheless. The provision in question, an amendment authored by Rep. Lloyd Doggett, an Austin Democrat, would deny Texas its share of the bill’s education funds unless its governor “provides an assurance” that it will not reduce the percentage of total revenues it spends on education at any time in the next three years. Gov. Rick Perry argues that this is impossible: The state legislature controls education funding in Texas, not the governor, and the governor cannot bind future legislatures to any level of spending. Because Perry cannot provide the kind of assurance the Doggett amendment appears to require, he argues that it would deny Texas, and only Texas, over $800 million in education funds.

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Lone Economic Star

August 2, 2010
The Weekly Standard
Eli Lehrer
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 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.

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Newt Gingrich, on Rick Perry and Texas.

On NBC's Today Show this morning, Newt Gingrich explained how Governor Perry's fiscally responsible approach in Texas has created an economic climate that is the envy of the nation. Texas is the state where, even in these tough times, more jobs, prosperity, and opportunity have been created than in any other state in America:

Indeed, just this morning, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data showing that from June 2009 to June 2010, Texas yet again created more jobs than all other large states combined:


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VIDEO: CNBC Announces Texas Number One State For Business.

CNBC today named Texas the Top State for Business:

Texas powers past the tough times on the strength of its economy—top-ranked in our Economy category four years in a row. The Texas economy is the 15th largest in the world, according to government figures; larger, for example, than all the Scandinavian nations combined.

The Lone Star State is home to 64 Fortune 500 companies, more than any other state, in a wide variety of industries. So while the state’s last win in 2008 came with oil at a record $145 a barrel—a natural tailwind for the largest industry in Texas—the state managed to do even better this year despite the fact that oil is trading at roughly half that price.

CNBC also noted that Texas this year earned the "best overall score in the history of our study."

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Three Texas metro areas among best for growth, study says

May 13, 2010
Ft. Worth Star-Telegram
Steve Campbell
Texas metro areas have already been singled out as among the best places to ride out the Great Recession, but a new study illustrates the long-term vigor of the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and Austin economies. Seattle; Washington, D.C.; and Denver topped the list of strongest local economies over two decades, from 1989 to 2008, according to Policom Corp.'s 2010 ranking of 366 metropolitan statistical areas. And while Houston (No. 4), Dallas-Fort Worth (No. 10) and Austin (No. 12) didn't lead the list, the top 15 spots are virtually interchangeable, said William Fruth, president of Policom, a Palm City, Fla., company that specializes in analyzing local and state economies. What does stand out is Texas' long-term economic performance, he said. Driving that success is the state's diversified economy, low tax rates and limited regulation, he said. "There is no other state in the country that has had a better track record for 20 years of quality economic growth than Texas," Fruth said. "When you chart out the states, no one has done better." Why? "I knew the answer to that question and I asked a local economic developer in Texas. His response: 'We shoot regulators at the state line.' That sums it up," Fruth said. "You have greater economic freedom and an attitude that we want economic development. "You go to Texas and you are a go-go state. We want you to come here and grow and be profitable." Fruth's list closely mirrors an assessment of the best cities to find jobs released by in April. "If you look at all the regions, nothing else does as well as Texas," Pepperdine University professor Michael Shires told the Star-Telegram after the five major Texas cities notched half of the top 10 spots for jobs. "During volatile times, places with broad-based growth strategies -- like Texas and Utah -- do best," Shires wrote in an article accompanying the rankings, "Finding the Good in This Bad Time." Fruth said his rankings incorporate 23 economic factors and don't reflect the "latest 'hot spot' or boomtown" but areas with the strongest economic foundations. "While most communities have slowed or declined during this recession, the strongest areas have been able to weather the storm," he said. "The top-rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time." Two factors helped Seattle notch the top spot: Boeing and Microsoft. "They provide lots of jobs, and they pay very well," Fruth said. Washington, D.C., which has been ranked 1st, 2nd or 3rd over the last seven years, has a built-in advantage, he said. "The federal government is bigger than any corporation. It keeps growing. The jobs are stable, and they pay well." Other Texas metro areas in the top 100 were San Antonio (No. 29), Corpus Christi (No. 80) and Killeen-Temple-Fort Hood (No. 89). Read more:

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The Texas Success Story.

Take a moment to watch our latest web video highlighting the success of the Texas economy:

Two amazing but true facts about the strength of the Texas economy:


Amongst the 40 largest states (accounting for 97% of the U.S. population), Texas is the only one that still had more jobs in March 2010 than before the national recession began three years ago (Jan. 2007-Jan. 2010). Texas’ net increase in jobs compares to California’s net loss of nearly 1.3 million during the same period.


Texas created more new jobs over the past decade than any other state in the nation. Most other U.S. states, on the other hand, actually ended the decade with fewer jobs than when it began. (Jan. 2000-Jan. 2010)


Texas' success did not happen by accident. Our state's fiscally conservative, pro-growth approach has helped Texas weather the recession better than any other large state in America.

The non-partisan, non-profit Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council just last week again named Texas' tax structure among the very best tax systems for entrepreneurship and small business in 2010.

NewGeography examined the best cities for jobs in 2010, and it was not accidental that Texas cities dominated the rankings in the small, medium, and large sized city categories.

With high profile companies such as Facebook now calling Texas home and creating jobs in our state, it makes sense that Texas saw the second largest high-tech employment gains in the nation in 2008 even as the recession gathered steam. Jeff Clark, TechAmerica Executive Director added, “The fact that Texas’s tech industry was adding jobs in 2008 amidst the recession is a testament to its strength.”

Chief Executive Magazine surveyed more than 600 CEOs and found that Texas is still the top state for business-- for the sixth year in a row.

Texas, the second-most populous state and the world’s 12th largest economy, is where 70 percent of all new U.S. jobs have been created since 2008. Unsurprisingly, it scores high in all the areas CEOs value most. “You feel like state government understands the value of business and industry to create jobs and growth,” observed one CEO. Its tax credits and incentives to business choosing to locate or expand are among the most aggressive. The Texas Enterprise Fund is by far the largest deal-closing fund of any state, with grants totaling $377 million disbursed in 2008.

Little wonder then that while Texas gained over 848,000 net new residents in the last 10 years, according to the Census Bureau, California lost 1.5 million.

Individuals responsible for the success of large and small businesses alike know that Texas is a place where organizations can risk their capital, find a qualified and educated workforce, deal with low taxes and a predictable regulatory climate, not be over-litigated, and succeed.

Individuals looking for good jobs know that Texas is a great place to live, work, and raise a family; the latest data from Allied Van Lines once again proves that point, as more Americans voted with their feet and relocated to Texas than any other state last year.

The Dallas Federal Reserve noted this week that Texas exports rose 20.3% in the second half of 2009 and 7.6% in February 2010, Texas home sales are again on the rise, Texas retail sales have grown for eight straight months, and March job growth in Texas was twice the national rate (while the foreclosure rate in Texas is half the national pace).

Indeed, while no place in America has been completely immune to the global economic crunch, the Dallas Fed explains, "new data and anecdotal evidence suggest that a recovery is under way in the state."

Even the Brookings Institution, which nobody would mistake for a right-of-center organization, takes note of Texas' success.

There is a reason so many are recognizing Texas' success. Let's keep the positive momentum going in Texas. Let's re-elect Governor Rick Perry in November.

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Texas Gains Recognition for Economic Strength under Governor Perry's Leadership

Economic and job growth in Texas will help lead the nation out of recession. The Texas model is one that other states’ governments and the federal government should study for success. As evidence mounts, more and more public officials, news publications, and opinion leaders are pointing to Texas as the ideal case of fiscal management.

Governor Perry’s commitment to fiscally conservative principles has kept Texas the best economic climate in the nation. The American dream is the opportunity to raise a family with the freedom to prosper, and that dream is made possible through low taxes, predictable regulations, limited government, balanced budgets, and a fair legal system. The best thing government can do is step back and allow the private sector to flourish.

CEO Rankings

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Best and Worst States for Business 2010

April 29, 2010
Chief Executive Magazine
<b>More than 600 CEOs rated states on a wide range of criteria from taxation and regulation to workforce quality and living environment, in our sixth annual special report.</b> In Chief Executive’s annual survey of best and worst states for business, conducted in late January of this year, 651 CEOs across the U.S. again gave Texas top honors, closely followed by North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. They gave the booby prize for worst state to California, with New York, Michigan, New Jersey and Massachusetts filling out the bottom five-a line-up virtually unchanged from last year. Florida and Georgia each dropped three places in the ranking, but remain in the top 10. Utah jumped six positions this year to sneak into the top 10 at No. 9. The business leaders were asked to draw upon their direct experience to rate each state in three general categories: taxation and regulation, quality of workforce and living environment. Within each category respondents graded states in five subcategories, as well as ranking each in terms of its importance to the respondent and how individual states measure up <a href="">(Click here to see How CEOs Grade the States chart).</a> <center><img src="" width="300" height="262" alt="CEO Rankings" /></center> For example, Texas fares competitively with Nevada and Delaware in terms of taxation and regulatory environment, but scored best overall, in no small measure because of the perception that its government’s attitude to business is ideal. Runner-up North Carolina edged Texas slightly in its living environment, but scored somewhat below the Lone Star state in terms of government attitude to business and work ethic, which is a sine qua non for the business leaders. <a href="">(Click here to see the chart)</a> After employee work ethic, CEOs most highly prize lower tax rates and perceived attitudes toward business, followed by living environment considerations, such as real estate costs and education. “Texas is pro-business with reasonable regulations,” one CEO respondent remarked, “while California is anti-business with anti-business regulations.” Another commented, “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.” “The leadership of California has done everything in its power to kill manufacturing jobs in this state,” observed another CEO. “As I stated at our annual meeting, if we could grow our crops in Reno, we’d move our plants tomorrow.” How is it that the nation’s most populous state at 37 million, one that is the world’s eighth-largest economy and the country’s richest and most diverse agricultural producer, a state that had the fastest growth rate in the 1950s and 1960s during the tenures of Democratic Governor Pat Brown and Republican Governors Earl Warren and Ronald Reagan, should become the Venezuela of North America? Californians pay among the highest income and sales taxes in the nation, the former exceeding 10 percent in the top brackets. Unemployment statewide is over 12.2 percent, higher than the national average. State politics seems consumed with how to divide a shrinking pie rather than how to expand it. Against national trend, union density is climbing from 16.1 percent of workers in 1998 to 17.8 percent in 2002. Organized labor has more political influence in California than in most other states. In addition, unfunded pension and health care liabilities for state workers top $500 billion and the annual pension contribution has climbed from $320 million to $7.3 billion in less than a decade. When state employees reach critical mass, they tend to become a permanent lobby for continual growth in government. Bill Dormandy, CEO of San Francisco medical device maker ITC, summed it up: “California has a good living environment but is unfavorable to business and the state taxes are not survivable. Nevada and Virginia are encouraging business to move to their states with lower tax rates and less regulatory demands.” <b>Lone Star Leader</b> By contrast, Texas, the second-most populous state and the world’s 12th largest economy, is where 70 percent of all new U.S. jobs have been created since 2008. Unsurprisingly, it scores high in all the areas CEOs value most. “You feel like state government understands the value of business and industry to create jobs and growth,” observed one CEO. Its tax credits and incentives to business choosing to locate or expand are among the most aggressive. The Texas Enterprise Fund is by far the largest deal-closing fund of any state, with grants totaling $377 million disbursed in 2008. Little wonder then that while Texas gained over 848,000 net new residents in the last 10 years, according to the Census Bureau, California lost 1.5 million. New York State’s net loss exceeded 1.6 million - the highest of any state. High-tax, big- government New Jersey ranked fourth, with a net loss of almost 460,000, enough to drop it from 10th to 11th place in population. “The New York state legislature is the most dysfunctional in the land and one of the reasons why New York is the worst,” one exasperated New York City business leader volunteered. The political elites in the states that dismiss out-migration trends overlook the radical demographic adjustment underway. As higher-income earners leave, they are more often replaced by those with lower incomes and lower skills, many needing public assistance. Gone too are the entrepreneurs and risk-takers, off seeking regions where their job creating abilities are rewarded. Another more daunting reality is in store. The so-called de-leveraging of America hasn’t reached government. U.S. cities and states have issued over $2 trillion in new debt since 2008, with another $1 trillion scheduled this year. The problem is that state revenues in real terms may not reach 2008 levels until late in 2012, according to John Thomasian of the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices. As he emphasizes in his paper, “The Big Reset: State Government after the Great Recession,” states will have to rethink and redesign government in terms of what is essential and what can be made more efficient if their citizens are to have much of a future. The results of this survey may point the way.

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Over 1,000 Jobs to be Added in San Antonio

Governor Perry has made job creation the top priority in Texas under his leadership. Over the past decade, Texas has created more private-sector jobs than any other state, and in 2008, Texas created more jobs than all the other states combined.

Recently, Gov. Perry announced that Kohl's would add more than 1,000 jobs to the San Antonio area through an investment of the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF), as Texas remains the best place to live, work, and raise a family.

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