Perry’s Full Time Job: Taking Credit For Jobs He Didn’t Create

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Stewart F. House / Getty Images

Governor Rick Perry speaking at Grapevine, Texas on June 27, 2013.

Texas Governor Rick Perry is once again touring blue states to tout Texas’ job creation miracle and claim that his policies made it happen.

In Maryland Wednesday, Perry visited  a Beretta USA gun factory, then appeared on CNN to debate Gov. Martin O’Malley in what turned out to be less of an argument than an exchange of rankings: where Texas and Maryland stand on the list of 50 states in job creation, median income and other employment related statistics. In recent days, Perry has run ads in Maryland encouraging companies to move to Texas.

To be clear, Texas is a job-creating machine, as this chart from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows. And Perry can take credit for having passed tort-limiting laws and running a tax write-off program that he claims has tempted businesses to his state. (The evidence is thin that those programs did much, though some of the tax breaks did make their way to companies that finance Perry’s campaigns).

The fact is, companies don’t pick up and move across the country for tax breaks alone or to protect themselves from potential lawsuits. They move because the business environment is better and because they can make more money. In Texas there are some specific conditions that make it so, economists at the Dallas Fed and elsewhere say, and none of them have to do with Rick Perry.

(MORE: Obama, Perry and the True Source of the Texas Jobs Miracle)

As I wrote last May, rather, they’re the result primarily of three things: geology, demography and geography:

First geology. You’ve heard that Texas has oil and gas. Well, thanks to the technological leaps allowing the extraction of oil and gas from shale formations, Texas has a lot more of both. From 2011-12 its Eagle Ford shale formation tripled its oil output, and oil production statewide could double by 2020.

Next, demography. Texas has benefited from that biggest of political hot potatoes, immigration. Rather than being a drag on the state’s economy, the steady influx of workers has fueled growth–according to economists [pdf] at the Dallas Federal Reserve–giving the state new, eager workers across a variety of employment areas.

Finally, Texas has benefited from geography. With its long land border with Mexico and its port access to the Gulf, Texas is a trade giant with Latin America, which has been on a GDP winning streak  for all but one year of the last decade.

All of which casts Rick Perry’s arguments that his state is setting an example of job creation for the rest of the country in a different light. On CNN Wednesday, Perry said, “This issue’s really about who has the best idea about how to grow America how to put Americans to work.” Unless Perry is claiming his policies would create more oil and gas, spike immigration or change the established borders of the United States, he might better serve Texans, and America, by cutting the amount of taxpayer-funded job posturing he engages in.

MORE: Why is Texas Governor Rick Perry in Illinois?

45 comments
NickWoodley
NickWoodley

The actual numbers of jobs created by Perry, inc. are (on a state level) about half a percentage point above O'Malley's.

Aren't we supposed to trust statistics?


Isn't that the basis of public polling? ;-)

- N

vatodio
vatodio

Perry passed business friendly laws.

His Government has set business climate favorable to businesses.

But credit doesn't belong to Perry for job growth in Texas? 

Huh?

I guess credit goes to Obama then, right Massimo?

onemind
onemind

So you are acknowledging that government can do very little to create jobs, correct? If so, why do you continually lean toward the position that the government is the main instrument that will bring prosperity through new programs and spending?

tv_22
tv_22

Why would it have to all be because of Perry?  He wants companies to move to Texas, companies want to move to Texas.  They don't move because of a current governor, they move because they think they can be more profitable, have access to workers and transportation.

ForrestHiggs
ForrestHiggs

What's the difference?  Obama constantly takes credit for a recovery that never happened.  :-p

junkbondtrader41
junkbondtrader41

What a stupid bit of self-referencing commentary!  

It's patently illogical to chalk up job growth to immigration and population growth, since people won't vote with their feet to relocate in places that lack for economic opportunity in the first place.  Texas is what it is because the tax and business climate, championed and preserved by Perry's political philosophy, made it that way.  

The man has been Governor for twelve years, through expansions and recessions alike, and the state's record speaks for itself.  There is always going to be an element of unfairness to some in politicians taking credit simply for being there.  But as the rules of politics go, that kind of record, longevity in office, and the fact that Perry's followed the exact opposite policy prescriptions the left proposes in governing, make for about as solid a case possible that Perry does indeed deserve it.  

psoggy01
psoggy01

because of developments in shale oil extraction the entire nation has much more oil and gas...texas and North Dakota have embraced the new technology on state and private lands while the Obama administratin has done everything in its power to stifle it...What Perry is doing now is sheer genius.  He knows that natural resource development has driven the job creation in Texas and immigration of both foreigners and californians has boomed.  He is not sitting on his hands waiting for the it to all crash down..he is doing what good CEOs do...diversifying!  bring in businesses that are not in the oil and gas business.  Perry has been great for texas.

kalikcrick
kalikcrick

I guess it's fair to criticize President Obama for his job creation also.

jbwillikers
jbwillikers

Dumbest article I have ever read. The conclusion is that Texas is great, a jobs machine, but Perry who has been Governor for three terms can't take any credit.  Calabresi - idiot..

mad.yank2
mad.yank2

This is the silliest article ever. California has more of all of those things and is shedding jobs like Miley Cyrus sheds her clothes. Clearly policies matter.

shepherdwong
shepherdwong

"...Perry can take credit for having passed tort-limiting laws and running a tax write-off program that he claims has tempted businesses to his state."

Now what was that third Perry program that brought prosperity to Texas? Umm...oops.

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

Perry's contributions to Texas have been negative.  Privatization of government services, education cuts, diminishment of individual rights, especially women's, obstructing health care, refusal to participate in the insurance markets, leaving it to the federal government, christian theocracy.  The Texas economic environment existed before he got here and he had nothing to do with it.  In addition to geology, geography and demographics, add extreme right to work laws; Texas has never had significant unionization.  

But all of that is beside the point that his full time job is actually national exposure and running for president at Texas taxpayer expense.  It will end with loud guffaws.  A cartoonist couldn't have drawn a more ridiculous charade.  Maybe Trump? 

Titanus
Titanus

Texas; a great place to find a job, and a terrible place to live.

Urbanitus
Urbanitus

As a former Texan, I can confirm that Perry is a hack and a shmuck.

MrObvious
MrObvious

Perry's miracle - a veritable smorgasbord of goodies for companies - low wages, little regulation and tax breaks (paid for by uncle Sam pitching in for everything else). It's the laziest of ways to govern. And this clown wanted to be president. Heaven help us.

jmac
jmac

Immigrants rule Texas.   It would curl up in a ball if Perry sent them home.   Any job you want done in your home (tile laid, fence put in, roof replaced, maid service, oak floors, etc)  you will have a pretty white man show up and give you an estimate from his company.   When that crew arrives to do the work they will all be Hispanic.  If you're lucky, one will speak passable English.   

That's Texas.  That's what Perry and the Chamber of Commerce have accomplished.          "Rather than being a drag on the state’s economy, the steady influx of workers has fueled growth according to economists at the Dallas Federal Reserve–giving the state new, eager workers across a variety of employment areas."   Want that in your state?  It's easy.  Hire them and they will come.  

It's going to come back and bite Texas hard.   And by all means, quote an economist at the Dallas Federal Reserve.  Dallas is all about the 1%.  That's ALL Dallas is about.  Come on down to Dallas and count the billionaires.  The ones that can declare bankruptcy and keep their homes, while a poor man dies with a $300 debt and his home is taken over by the state.  That's Texas.   


sacredh
sacredh

Did Perry brag about cutting funding for education, the minimum wage jobs, the dirty air, the uninsured and getting his @ss kicked when he ran for president?

Ohiolib
Ohiolib

Well, it's obviously created at least one job-for Rick Perry.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@onemind  Not the point. The Repub give aways to big business and the wealthy do little in themselves. 

NickWoodley
NickWoodley

@ForrestHiggs The job numbers now are worse than in '08.

How is this a recovery in the first place?


- N


HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@junkbondtrader41  Texas was and is a big assed economy, well positioned. Do want to credit the other party for all growth before that?

LisaWhitehead1
LisaWhitehead1

@psoggy01 Wow, you set the bar pretty darn low if you think Perry is a genius for knowing that natural resources drive the Texas economy.  Especially since pretty much EVERYONE knows that natural resources have driven the Texas economy as far back as anyone can remember.  And if you think he's doing it out of the goodness of his heart, for the people of Texas, you're gullible as well.  Perry's making BANK off of all these natural resources and I'm sure he's brought all of his friends (aka "campaign contributors") along for the ride.  Gov. Oops doesn't do ANYTHING without getting something in return.  Genius?  LOL....Not even close.  Greedy sumbiotch?  You betcha'!  

Of course, when I watch his embarrassing debate performances on YouTube during the clown show that was the Republican primary of 2012, I sometimes forget that he really IS that stupid and think "Comedy Genius"!  Then I remember that no, he didn't mean to do that and yes, he really is an idiot.

HazeAndDrizzle
HazeAndDrizzle

@jbwillikers  The earth also moved further through the galaxy. Russian under went an industrial expansion under Communism. But you know what, it was due to that too. Same story in China.

jbwillikers
jbwillikers

@formerlyjames Sounds like you want to do your best to change to drag Texas into the pit that NY, IL, CA and other blue states are in.  A bountiful state ripe for the plucking.

RobertPreston
RobertPreston

@Titanus I live in Texas I and love it!  So do most of the people who live here and quite a few came from other states and countries.  That said I think Rick Perry is a joke and Ted Cruz just plan scares me.

sixtymile
sixtymile

@jmac I think you might wish to rephrase this slightly. In fact the substance of your comment (and where I believe we agree) is that immigrant labor gets the work done in Texas that lets others rule Texas (and make bogus claims of prosperity).

jmac
jmac

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley (as Perry's tries to lure jobs from Maryland) -    "While Texas leads the nation in minimum-wage workers, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ranks Maryland first in the nation in innovation and entrepreneurship, second in concentration of science, technology, engineering  and math jobs and third for its 'talent pipeline.'" 

But who cleans their stadium after a big football game?   What's more important?  

anon76
anon76

@sacredh 

Here's another thing for him to brag about:

Poverty rate in Maryland- 9.7% (11th lowest in the nation)

Poverty rate in Texas-     16.2% (46th lowest in the nation)


I suppose the impoverished in Texas are that way through choice.  Yay freedom!

anon76
anon76

@sacredh 

Curiously enough, he did brag about the high uninsured rate.  He called it the 'freedom' to choose insurance.  You know, the kind of freedom you have to not buy a hamburger when it costs $9.99 and you're only carrying a $5.

junkbondtrader41
junkbondtrader41

Are you expecting me to say no? Aside from the fact it's pretty much never been a state with a liberal way of governing, of course his predecessors get appropriate credit.

I don't even really get the point of your comment, unless you just felt the need to say ... something!

NickWoodley
NickWoodley

@mad.yank2 @kalikcrick EXACTLY what I was going to say.

Come on kali, answer the question.


You don't want to be another 'runaway lib' do you?

- N


formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@jbwillikers @formerlyjames 

You read me wrong.  I was merely pointing out that Perry is an air bag.  Texas was made by the old Texas Democratic Party, of which you likely know nothing.  It was composed of a broad range of political ideologies, both conservative and liberal.  Since its demise in the early '80s, it's been all downhill under Republicans.  

jbwillikers
jbwillikers

@RobertPreston @Titanus My son and his family just moved there for a fantastic job, great company - from......surprise, California. They live in a beautiful burb, a neighborhood with the grade school two blocks away!

reallife
reallife

@jmac  O'Malley(and you) forgot the government workers and the lobbyists

formerlyjames
formerlyjames

@NickWoodley  

Nick,  as I said, I was speaking of a party machine which was unique to Texas, not the national party.  Also as I said, you know nothing of it and the history.  

NickWoodley
NickWoodley

@formerlyjames @jbwillikers The 'old Democratic Party' eh?

I suppose we could bring back the old Democrat Party, but Holder might have a little trouble pardoning the actions of their KKK, over his Black Panthers.

Actually, bring back the old Dems.

I would pay to see that. ;-)

- N

PS. Also, you're talking about the party that has won re-election maybe a couple times in recorded American history.

Yeah, you guys....you're somethin' else.