RICK PERRY’S TEXAS JOB CREATION MIRACLE
MAYBE NOT SO MUCH
Former Republican Texas Governor is flirting with another run for the Presidency. Or has he already declared? With such a fulsome Republican field vying to be the anointed one, it’s hard to keep track. I wish him luck if he does make it. He will need it if his last attempt is any indication.
But apparently it’s not due to “luck” that he touts Texas’ first-in-the-country scorecard for job creation, a shining symbol of his and Republican conservative economic policies in action. You’ve heard it for months now, how Texas has created more jobs than any other state in the union – something akin to 400,000 of them between 2008 and 2014. I mean who could argue with such a miraculous success?
Actually Harold Myerson has come up with a few arguments. Now Myerson is not some sort of liberal/socialist/Communist economist like, say, Paul Krugman. No, in fact Myerson is pretty much a middle-of-the-roader economist not prone to abjectly biased conclusions and seems to love analysis. Yes, that’s right. He’s an economist who generally bases his conclusions on data and statistical information. And in this day and age of Rush/Fox bullshit passing for facts analysis he’s a bright light in the dark world of economic policy.
Here’s what Perry has said about the Texas Job Creation Miracle:
“We will unleash an era of economic growth and limitless opportunity. It can be done because it has been done in Texas.” He’s talking about taking his Miracle to the national level if he is elected President.
So here’s what Myerson says about Perry’s Texas Job Creation Miracle:
Texas job growth has been fueled by growth in the oil business but is now declining with the drop on oil prices.
The quality of Texas’ jobs is poor compared to other states with more Texans without health insurance than any other state in the Union.
Texas is one of the states with the lowest levels of union jobs, a pretty fair indicator of skimpy benefits and low wages.
Us taxpayers fork over $128 billion annually to Texas – the highest in the nation – to support Texas’ low paid, no benefits workforce.
Texas’ lack of an income tax and high sales taxes means that the poorest 20% of Texans pay 12.5% of their income in state and local taxes - one of the highest in the nation – while the wealthiest 1% pay only 2.9%.
“Without Texas,” Perry boasted when he announced his candidacy, “America would have lost 400,000 jobs” between 2008 and 2014. But if the rest of us taxpayers hadn’t been supporting the “Texas Job Creation Miracle” it could not have happened. Essentially, Texas’ best-in-the-nation job growth has been subsidized by the rest of us. I'd call that welfare.
I’d put the Texas Miracle in the same category as the Kansas and Mississippi conservative policy experiments: the trashbin labeled “JUNK.” So be careful when you hear Perry boasting about job creation in Texas. It just ain’t so.