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Looking at Rick Perry’s job record a little more closely


Looking at Rick Perry’s job record a little more closely

Adam Russett August 17, 2011

Texas Governor Rick Perry recently announced that he would be running for President of the United States against fellow forerunners Michele Bachmann and Mitt Romney. He has come out swinging, calling out Obama on everything from stimulus plans to patriotism itself. One of his key points is that he has experience creating steady job growth, as evidenced by Texas' booming economy. 

NPR recently investigated the job trends in the Lone Star State a little more closely and found that Perry is just the latest governor to oversee a steady surge of employment across the board.

"It's not just the last 10 years; this has been going on now for 21 years – at least," Richard Fisher, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, told the radio station.

Part of the economic strength of the state lies, ironically, given the strong anti-immigrant sentiment, with workers who are employed for low wages, some of whom are undocumented. They've also been responsible for the explosion in population, which has been another pillar of the success, according to Fisher.

Oil and gas industries have boomed in Texas, creating 40,000 new jobs since 2009 alone. Part of the attraction is that Texas has no state or corporate income tax, and regulations – including environmental ones – are kept to a minimum.

Of course, the downside is scant public services. Texas ranks near-last in both education and Americans insured for healthcare.

Overall, Bill Hammond, the president of the Texas Association of Business, explained that Perry has an admirable track record of job growth and budget balancing.

The real test will be whether Perry can out-Tea Party Michele Bachmann, but remain close enough to the Republican moderates at the same time to attract Romney voters. While Romney is still thought to be the top candidate for the party nomination, the next few months are sure to be interesting.