National Issues

The Texas Economy: Growing Jobs.

Earlier this Fall, ABC Houston asked the gubernatorial campaigns, "Introduce me to a Texan (or show me a place where you see Texans) struggling in today's economy and explain how you will help them?"

This was our response:

No doubt, the recession has reached every state in America, and Texas is not immune, but 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.”

Rich Lowry, in the National Review, adds:

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.”

Investor's Business Daily explains that Texas is leaving California in the dust, when it comes to recovering from the recession:

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.

Additionally, the Milken Institute examined U.S. metropolitan areas and ranked them by how well they are creating and sustaining jobs and economic growth. Texas claims 3 of the top 4 states, 5 of the top 10, and 11 of the strongest 25 cities in America. The Texas Public Policy Foundation also noted this week that in the battle between Texas and California, Texas wins, hands-down:

The report noted that the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data showed that Texas had gained 129,000 new jobs in the last year—more than half of the national total—while California had lost 112,000 during the same period.

“Texas’s superior economic performance is noteworthy,” Dr. Laffer said. “It’s just striking how the states with no income tax outperform the states with high income taxes. And the reason is simple: employers move to the location that promises better after-tax returns. Texas constantly focuses on improving its economic competitiveness and the citizens of Texas are benefiting because of it.”

The research showed that Texas’ economy has been growing stronger and with less volatility than California or the nation as a whole.

We need your help keeping Texas strong and prosperous! Visit http://hq.rickperry.org now, and recruit your friends, family, and colleagues who support Governor Perry. Early voting begins on Monday, October 18th! Find the most convenient Texas Early Voting locations in your county, and vote early to avoid the lines on November 2. Remember, you can vote anywhere in your county during early voting, but you'll have to vote at your specific precinct polling place on Election Day itself.

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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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, comments.lowry@nationalreview.com.

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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 http://hq.rickperry.org 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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VIDEO- Bill White's Sanctuary City.

Texans for Rick Perry has released a new video, “Bill White's Sanctuary City.”

Included in this video are testimonials from Houston police officers explaining their support for Gov. Perry and their opposition to former Houston mayor Bill White.

This video is available online at www.rickperry.org and www.liberalbill.com.

On Twitter? Follow @GovPerry2010 for updates, 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 http://hq.rickperry.org 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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VIDEO- Border Security: Governor Perry On The Record with Greta Van Susteren.

Earlier this week, Governor Perry interviewed via satellite with Greta Van Susteren regarding the situation on the Texas/Mexico border. Take a moment to watch the segment from On The Record:

Securing the border is a federal responsibility, but it's a Texas problem. Governor Perry is standing up for Texas, devoting hundreds of millions of dollars in Texas resources to the issue.

Texas, under Governor Perry, has put more boots on the ground, more technology to use, and more targeted operations to dramatically reduce crime along the border.

As the Governor continues traveling all around the state, sharing his positive message with Texans, the momentum and excitement of our campaign continues to build. Join us, and help keep Texas strong, secure, and prosperous.

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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Mexican officials stepping up search for body

October 6, 2010

Houston Chronicle/Associated Press

AUSTIN, Texas — The Mexican government says authorities have stepped up their efforts to find the body of an American reportedly shot to death on a border lake.

The statement from the Mexican Foreign Relations Ministry was in response to a call from Gov. Rick Perry, urging Mexico to use every resource available to find the body of David Hartley and have it returned to the U.S.

Tiffany Hartley, of Colorado, says her husband, David, was shot by Mexican pirates on Falcon Lake last week as they were returning to the United States on Jet Skis.

The statement said Mexican authorities "from the first moment" have been in contact with their U.S. counterparts to coordinate search and recovery of Hartley's body, and noted that Mexico has "stepped up their actions with the support of specialized personnel, boats and helicopters."

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Join Gov. Perry's HQ Round-up October 9th!


HQ-Round-Up Oct 9

Are you fired up and ready for November?

Are you eager to do something tangible to make a difference?

Are you fed up with Washington and ready to see conservative leadership bring this country back, one state at a time?

Do you want to do something real to help conservative leaders like Rick Perry maintain the fiscally-sound policy climate which allowed Texas business leaders create the number one job-creating economy in the nation?

October 9th, you can help push Gov. Perry towards the finish line!

Find a location near you, and help Governor Rick Perry recruit Home Headquarters to help turn out the vote during early voting all across the state.

UPDATE: A location has been added in Galveston County (Galveston Republican Headquarters 1100 Gulf Freeway, league city, 77573)--contact Elyse Derian for more information. Her contact info is in the table below.

Governor Perry needs your help.

For more information, contact the organizer for your location:

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Brand New VIDEO: Border

Texans for Rick Perry launched a new television spot this week called “Border.”

The spot highlights how Governor Rick Perry is utilizing Texas resources to secure the border, even as the Federal Government has been an abject failure on the issue.

Under Governor Perry's leadership, Texas has put more boots on the ground, more technology to use, and more targeted operations to dramatically reduce crime along the border. Below are just a few of Governor Perry's border security initiatives:

* Surge Operations. Starting in June 2006, state-funded operations have committed resources to strategic areas, resulting in an average of 65 percent reduction in serious crime in our border communities where Texas resources have surged. In 2009, the 81st Texas Legislature re-approved funding for border operations, dedicating more than $110 million for the second consecutive session.

* Transnational Gang Initiative. In response to a rising tide of gang violence in Texas communities, Gov. Perry secured funding for enhanced anti-gang efforts all across the state. On Feb. 26, 2009, Gov. Rick Perry sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano requesting the deployment of an additional 1,000 National Guard soldiers to the Texas-Mexico border. Gov. Perry reiterated his request and concerns in a letter to President Barack Obama on Aug. 21, 2009, and confronted the President in Austin yet again on the issue in 2010.

* Ranger Recon. In September 2009, Gov. Perry launched the Ranger Recon security initiative, which utilizes Ranger Reconnaissance Teams to tap the specialized criminal intelligence and apprehension capabilities of the Texas Rangers to protect Texans who live in remote areas of the border and whose lives and property are threatened by criminals coming across the border.

As the Governor continues traveling all around the state, sharing his positive message with Texans, the momentum and excitement of our campaign continues to get stronger every day. Join us, and help keep Texas strong, secure, and prosperous.

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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