<em>Stresses education and job creation as keys to continued success during visits to small businesses in Dallas and Amarillo</em>
DALLAS – Gov. Rick Perry today shared his message of fiscal responsibility during a visit to Texas Instruments. The governor spoke against Washington’s out of control spending, specifically noting the most recent budget that anticipates more than $5 trillion in deficit spending over the next five years, and noted reports of illegal activity related to the $700 billion Wall Street bailout. Earlier Tuesday, Gov. Perry spoke in Amarillo.
“This is just another example of the folks in Washington spending money they don’t have on solutions they haven’t thought through for problems they don’t really understand in an attempt to make people more dependent on them,” said Gov. Perry. “When you add in the latest revelations from the Inspector General reviewing the bailouts, including possible criminal and civil fraud, tax evasion, insider trading, and public corruption, you really have to wonder if the word ‘accountability’ is anywhere in Washington’s vocabulary.”
Gov. Perry further emphasized the importance of fiscal discipline by reiterating the need for Texas to amend its constitution with two key provisions: requiring a two-thirds vote of the Legislature to approve tax increases and limiting spending growth to the combined growth rates of Texas’ population and inflation. Both amendments will ensure the continued fiscal discipline that allowed Texas to balance its budget in 2009 while setting aside billions for its Rainy Day fund and cutting taxes for more than 40,000 small businesses.
In his remarks, Gov. Perry also stressed the importance of strengthening Texas’ education while maintaining a focus on job creation efforts as the keys to preparing an equipped workforce and overcoming the challenges of the struggling national economy. He reiterated his recent proposal calling on the Texas Education Agency and the Department of Public Safety to work with local school districts to further leverage the privilege of a driver’s license as an incentive to keep students engaged in the education process.
To ensure Texas continues providing a strong education to meet the challenges of an increasingly competitive workplace, Gov. Perry has announced a proposed expansion of the state’s Virtual School Network to improve access to high quality, online courses for high school students and help recapture students who have dropped out of school. Gov. Perry has also called on doubling the number of Texas Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (T-STEM) academies in an effort to educate more Texas students in the subjects required of an increasingly high tech economy and workplace, and expanding the UTeach Program in an effort to recruit university students earning math and science degrees into teaching.
Gov. Perry also credited the comparative strength of Texas’ economy to four principles that Texas leaders have upheld including fiscal restraint, a predictable regulatory climate, a reasonable and fair legal system, and an accountable public school system that is better preparing our children to compete in the workforce.
“Because we have kept it simple and stuck to our guns, entrepreneurs know that they can succeed on their own merits without being taxed, regulated and frivolously sued out of existence,” said Gov. Perry. “They also know that our workforce is getting stronger by the day because we have improved the quality of public education by emphasizing accountability, teacher incentive pay and mastery of the basic subjects.”
Acknowledging the challenging economic climate posed by the national recession, the governor pledged to keep working until every Texan who wants a job has a job and noted that Texas’ commitment to upholding a business-friendly climate will lead the state to continued economic success. Texas economist Ray Perryman recently noted that Texas is the “last in and first out” when it comes to the current economic downturn, pointing to the job growth that Texas has experienced in three of the past six months. The Texas Workforce Commission has also reported that Texas created more private sector jobs than any other state in the nation over the last 10 years and has the lowest unemployment rate among the 10 largest states in the nation.
“The story of hardworking innovators coming together to attract the best and brightest is played out again and again all across Texas as people take advantage of the job-friendly climate we’ve created and risk their capital in pursuit of a vision,” said Gov. Perry. “The fact is, even though no one is immune to the effects of the economic downturn, Texas is better off than just about every other state, thanks to years of disciplined conservative leadership at every level.”
<em>Senator says “I don’t do pork” but has been called “Queen of Earmarks” for requesting $10 billion worth</em>
Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison was today unveiled as the “Porker of the Year” runner-up for 2009 by Citizens Against Government Waste (GAGW). Appearing on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning, GAGW president Tom Schatz said that Sen. Hutchison finished second to Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank in the 2009 “Porker of the Year” balloting.
In announcing her runner-up finish, Schatz described Sen. Hutchison as “one of those individual members of Congress who unfortunately says that they are a fiscal conservative and yet she asked for about one-and-a-half billion dollars in pork-barrel projects for the current fiscal year. So you have telling the folks back home that I’m doing well, and then you have the actual record, so there is the hypocritical part of that.”
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“With a 17-year career in Washington of voting for bailouts, record deficits, and billions in earmarks, Senator Hutchison is once again being recognized for her bad spending habits,” said Texans for Rick Perry spokesman Mark Miner. “We hope the senator and her campaign enjoy the delivery of pork today on behalf of Texans for Rick Perry.”
This afternoon, the Hutchison campaign is being delivered 10 pulled pork sandwiches, one for every billion dollars in earmarks she has requested in her career.
During a 2006 Senate debate, Sen. Hutchison infamously said, “I don’t do pork,” but in 2009 she was called the “Queen of Earmarks” by the San Antonio Express-News for her more than $10 billion in earmarks, “a staggering sum that has never been tallied before. It ranks her among the most successful earmarkers in congressional history.”
(SOURCES: “Candidates clash over Iraq,” Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 10/26/06; “Texas senator is queen of earmarks,” San Antonio Express-News, 10/9/09)
On the eve of the second Texas Republican gubernatorial debate, Gov. Rick Perry told East Texans that under his administration, Texas has set a blueprint to recover from the economic crisis that he believes Washington should follow.
Governor Rick Perry issued a statement this evening on Republican Senator-elect Scott Brown's big win in Massachusetts:
“I want to congratulate Senator-elect Scott Brown on his historic victory in Massachusetts. His election, along with the election last November of Republican governors in Virginia and New Jersey, should send a loud and clear message that the states of this great nation will continue to reject the misguided policies coming out of Washington, D.C. The election of a 41st Republican to the U.S. Senate is especially significant to stop the ill-advised health care bill that will cost states billions of dollars. I fully support Senator-elect Brown’s pledge to stand with Republicans in Congress to stop this harmful piece of legislation.”
Out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia, Texas ranks No. 3 as one of the top friendliest states for small businesses and entrepreneurship in the country.
The Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council cited the state’s low business tax rates, workers compensation benefits, and state and local government spending issues as positive factors key to Texas’ third place ranking in the council’s 2009 Small Business Survival Index study.
Factors keeping the state from one of the top two spots, however, were gas and diesel taxes, Texas’ crime rate, utility costs, property taxes, and state and local sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, the council said in the study, released in late 2009.
“The Small Business Survival Index gets at the public policy costs and trends that affect – directly or indirectly – entrepreneurship and small businesses,” study author and Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council Chief Economist Raymond J. Keating said in a statement. “These measures should matter to everyone because small businesses, of course, drive innovation, economic growth and job creation. If we want to get our economy back on a solid, robust growth track, then we need pro-entrepreneur policies at the federal, state and local levels.”
David Berzina, executive vice president of economic development for the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce, said Texas’ high ranking isn’t surprising considering the opportunities available to entrepreneurs across the state and in North Texas.
“Employees from some of these larger firms, Texas Instruments, Bell Helicopter, Lockheed Martin, they get the spirit and start a business of their own after they get their training from some of these bigger companies. They come up with an idea, and pursue the American dream,” he said.
Berzina added that Texas’ universities and community colleges work together to provide opportunities for business education and development.
Brad Hancock, director of Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business Entrepreneurship Center, said the center has seen an increasing number of students joining the center and showing interest in opening their own small businesses.
The growing interest could be a rebound effect from the troubles corporate America has experienced over the last several years, Hancock said, adding that while students show interest in a number of different industries, technology is becoming one of the more popular choices.
“We are seeing more students, I think because they’re more technology proficient, looking at technology-based business,” he said. “I think more students are asking ‘How can we use the iPhone? How can we use the Internet and this technology that’s emerging?’”
Alvaro Guillem, president and CEO of ZS Pharma Inc. in Fort Worth, said he could have picked any state in the U.S. to open his pharmaceutical development company, but chose Texas because of the state’s tax rates and business infrastructure.
“Over the last few years what I’ve been doing is developing pharmaceuticals and bringing products to the market,” he said. “We could have headquartered anywhere, but over the last several years, Texas as a state has developed quite an infrastructure when it comes to supporting product development, and supporting everything being contained in Texas. That makes it much more easily managed when you deal with a project where you don’t have to go all over the place to look for resources to support what you’re doing.”
Guillem added that Texas also has been a business-friendly state because of its tax rates.
“Nobody likes to get taxed, but if you have to get taxed at least be reasonable, and Texas seems to do that,” he said. “The business climate has been very conducive for settling in and doing business.”
In ranking the 50 states and District of Columbia, the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council considered some of the major government-imposed or government-related costs – 36 total – affecting investment, entrepreneurship and business, according to the study.
One of Texas’ highest rankings is a result of the state’s lack of a state personal income tax, which can affect individual economic decision making in important ways, the study said. And while Texas also benefited from not having a corporate income tax, it did receive a low ranking – coming in at 39 out of 51 – for higher state and local sales, gross receipts and excise taxes, in the study. Texas also ranked at 39 for property tax rates, at 45 for the number of health insurance mandates, and at 42 for the state’s crime rate.
“When companies look at Texas, they’re discovering that we’ve fostered an environment that encourages people to pursue their dreams, build businesses and create jobs,” Gov. Rick Perry said in a statement. “This index is further proof that our conservative fiscal principles, low taxes, predictable regulatory environment and educated workforce have made Texas the best state in the nation to build a business and create jobs.”
AUSTIN – Gov. Rick Perry today received the endorsement of Michael Reagan for re-election in 2010.
"Gov. Perry's proven commitment to conservative values and fiscal responsibility has made him a national leader in the effort to limit government intrusion and keep our nation on the path of prosperity,” said Reagan. “His work has made Texas a model for good governance that the rest of our country would do well to emulate. I am proud to endorse him in his re-election and look forward to working alongside him to continue promoting the conservative values that create opportunity and maintain our nation's strength."
Michael Reagan hosts a conservative talk radio program, the "Michael Reagan Show," which has more than 5 million listeners and is syndicated to more than 200 radio stations in the U.S. through Radio America. He is the son of former president Ronald Reagan and founder of the Reagan Legacy Foundation, a non-profit, charitable organization that seeks to advance the causes championed by President Reagan and to memorialize the accomplishments of his presidency.
“I’m pleased to have the support of such a respected and effective conservative leader as Michael Reagan,” said Gov. Perry. “He is a powerful voice in the effort to espouse the fiscal and conservative values that have made our nation strong and prosperous, and I am eager to continue working alongside him to uphold these values in Texas and beyond.”
What's the worst state to do business in? According to readers of Chief Executive magazine, it's California. In the same poll, Texas won first place as the best state in which to put your headquarters.
As reported in The Economist, the two largest states in the nation have very different philosophies and very different success rates.
In the 1950s and '60s, California was the embodiment of the American Dream, offering great schools, roads, jobs, and communities with all the latest amenities, not to mention good weather, beaches, and quick access to the mountains and wilderness for recreation. As home to Disneyland and the movie industry, the state represented all that was glamorous and new.
Cut to the present day. California is $26 billion in the hole and has recently been paying its bills with IOUs. Its once-proud schools are suffering and the prison system is releasing criminals early because the state can't afford to keep them. Social services are being cut right and left. Infrastructure is aging and falling apart. Unemployment is nearing 12 percent. State employees are forced to take unpaid furlough days and many California cities are worse off than Detroit. Its state income tax is the second highest in the U.S., and government regulations seem perversely aligned to discourage people from doing business there.
In fact, people are fleeing the so-called Golden State at a rate of more than 100,000 a year. From the Great Depression on, California was a dream destination for Americans. Now it looks more like a nightmare, taking on new debt at a rate of $25 million a day.
Texas, on the other hand, was considered something of a backwater in the 1950s and '60s, and certainly not a glamorous destination for the upwardly mobile masses. How things change. Unemployment in that state is two percentage points below the national average. It has one of the lowest rates of repossession for housing. There is no state income tax, nor is there a tax on capital gains in Texas.
Also, the Lone Star State has more Fortune 500 headquarters than any other place in the union: California has 51, New York has 56, and Texas has 64. AT&T, Dell, Texas Instruments, ExxonMobil, ConocoPhillips, American Airlines, Continental Airlines, Southwest Airlines, J.C. Penny, and Halliburton are all located in Texas.
Texas also has a geographic advantage over California. California has mountains that limit growth. Texas is largely flat. California is big. Texas is bigger. If you drive from Houston to El Paso, you're halfway to Los Angeles – without leaving Texas.
Texas created 70 percent of all the new jobs in the United States in 2008, and it has a budget surplus. No wonder it's the fastest-growing state in America, with 150,000 new residents arriving each year. Houston promises to become the nation's third-largest city in the near future, edging out Chicago for that spot. And 3 of the 10 largest cities in the United States are already in Texas – Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio.
Both the Brookings Institution and Forbes Magazine studied America’s cities and rated them for how well they create new jobs. All of America’s top five job-creating cities were in Texas. It's more than purely economics and regulation can explain, though. Texas – and Houston in particular – has a broad mix of Hispanics, whites, Asians, and blacks with virtually no racial problems. Texas welcomes new people and exemplifies genuine tolerance. When Hurricane Katrina hit, Houston took in 100,000 people. Not surprisingly, Houston has more foreign consulates than any American city other than New York and Los Angeles.
And while Texas is creating jobs and new business, the Financial Times recently observed that the failure of a state as large and important as California is serving as a drag on the entire U.S. economy. Much of what we perceive as a national housing crisis, for example, is really concentrated in a few of the hardest-hit regions – California and Florida chief among them. Meanwhile, areas such as Texas have experienced a much milder downturn. In short, the catastrophes in Florida, Nevada, and especially California make the national market look really bad.
A few governors, such as Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Rick Perry of Texas, had the foresight to turn down their share of the $7 billion for unemployment insurance, realizing that once the federal funds run out, benefits would be unpayable. "One of the smartest decisions we made," says Mr. Daniels. Many governors now probably wish they had done the same.
Now, in an election year, Congress wants to pass another $100 billion aid package for ailing states to sustain the mess the first stimulus helped to create. Governors would be smarter to unite and tell Congress to keep the money and mandates, and let the states adjust to the new reality of lower revenues. Meanwhile, Mr. Perry and other governors who warned that the stimulus would have precisely this effect can consider themselves vindicated.