The Texas job machine
Texas Gov. Rick Perry electrified liberal and conservative pundits by entering the GOP presidential primary. But both will be disappointed. Liberals because Perry’s economic record — his main selling point — is more defensible than they want to believe, and conservatives because it is less than they do.
Compared with the rest of the country, Texas has been a job-creating machine. After Perry assumed office in 2000, Texas gained more than a million jobs, while the nation lost 1.5 million. Nearly 40 percent of all new jobs since the recession officially ended have been created in Texas. “We are home to one in 10 Americans, but four of 10 jobs are in our state,” boasts Perry.
He attributes the job spurt to his commitment to low taxes, business-friendly regulations, controlling government spending and tort reform. His liberal detractors credit the sun, the moon and the tides.
They claim that Texas’ job growth has little to do with Perry’s policies and more to do with Texas’ vast reserves of oil, the growing demand for which triggered an economic boom. But by that logic, California should be a jobs mecca, as it is the country’s third-largest oil producer after Texas and Alaska. What’s more, California is blessed with fertile soil and other natural resources that Texas lacks. Yet Texas has added 165,000 jobs in the last three years and California has lost 1.2 million.
The inconvenient truth is that the jobs boom in Texas has something to do with its being No. 1 in ease of doing business — and the job bust in California has a great deal to do with it being last. Indeed, in the first four months of this year, 70 businesses shut their doors in the Golden State, with 14 of them making a beeline for Texas.
What’s true for businesses also is true for workers. Liberals sneer that many of Texas’ new jobs pay minimum wage without benefits — jobs that no self-respecting American should have to accept, especially given the pathetic social services Texas provides. This may be true, but the 1,100 or so Americans who move to Texas daily don’t give a fig.
Texas ranks rock-bottom in per capita social spending. But it also has one of the lightest personal tax burdens in the country and a low cost of living, which are hugely attractive to out-of-work Americans. Their flocking to the state has bumped up Texas’ unemployment rate to 8 percent, prompting Rachel Maddow to jeer on the air that Perry’s jobs record is not a whole lot better than many other states. What she refuses to see is that while in those states high unemployment is due to anemic job growth, in Texas it is due to robust population growth. If anything, Texas offers proof that people prefer jobs, even low-paying ones, to lavish social benefits — repudiating the liberal tax-and-spend economic model.
However, if liberals underestimate Perry’s jobs record, conservatives overestimate his fiscal record. Perry boasts that he has plugged the recession-induced hole in the state budget three times without raising taxes. Still, for the 11 years Perry has been in office, overall government spending has gone up by 4.2 percent every two years, compared with 2.3 percent under George W. Bush, after controlling for inflation and population growth. Perry’s supporters dismiss that comparison, noting that nearly half of this spending is tied up in federal programs he can’t control. The general revenue spending that he does control, they claim, has gone down for the first time since World War II.
But if Texas has lost control over its budget, the blame lies with Perry — and his Republican legislature — both of whom have aggressively scavenged for federal grant dollars. Indeed, Perry has habitually touted the great subsidies he has extracted from Uncle Sam for state programs ranging from homeland security to disaster relief. Even as Perry condemned President Obama’s stimulus and bailout package, he actively courted these funds, plugging the $6 billion hole in his previous budget almost entirely with stimulus money.
Perry’s problems extend beyond his mediocre fiscal performance. He also has a crony-capitalism problem. Grants from two funds he created, ostensibly to seed tech startups and lure companies, found their way into the pockets of his campaign contributors. This won’t go down well with voters weary of government waste and abuse, especially since Perry had final authority over the funds, and not an independent agency as is usually the case. Worse, Perry refused to axe these programs even to plug the deficit.
There is something else that ought to miff Perry’s conservative base about these funds: They legitimize an “industrial policy” economic approach that empowers government to pick economic winners and losers. Indeed, Perry defends these programs on grounds that they helped create jobs. But if he can use government money to generate jobs in Texas, can he credibly oppose Obama using stimulus money to generate jobs around the country?
With President Obama out of ideas for an out-of-work nation, Perry’s strong jobs record will appeal to voters. His challenge won’t be convincing them that he has the right ideas — it will be convincing them he has the scruples to make the right calls.
SOURCE. See also here for an answer to Leftist attempts to downplay Texas job growth.
Liberalism's "New" Strategy: The Same Old Lies
Perhaps the most profound quality common to liberals is their ability to keep straight faces (or even look gravely serious) while spewing the most hysterical and laughable lies. In this manner we have heard them in recent years frantically pontificating about how “global warming” would surely end life on this planet as we know it, unless of course they were allowed to grow government, encroach on our time honored freedoms, and raise our taxes.
Similarly, we have been forced to endure their shameless sanctimony as they lectured real America on the topic of “civility,” which ultimately means that conservatives rightly ought to remain silent while they grow government, encroach on our freedoms, and raise taxes. And whenever any real opposition arises, they revert to demands for “bipartisanship,” which means that our side should collaborate with them as they seek to grow government, encroach on freedom, and raise taxes.
In recent months, this campaign has gone into high gear. Clearly, despite all pretense of being confident in the Democrat agenda and its unfailing popularity with the American people, leftists remain shell-shocked in the wake of last November’s conservative electoral landslide. And with each ensuing public opinion poll showing another drop in their standing among the people of the Heartland, and similar numbers indicating that their esteemed leader, Barack Obama is fast losing ground with the electorate, panic is spreading among liberals who, only a few years back, believed that the nation’s future was completely theirs to commandeer and reconstruct.
Of particular alarm and frustration to them has been the grassroots movement popularly dubbed the Tea Party. Reflecting an authentic and devoted groundswell of common citizenry who, previously having remained detached from the distasteful confrontations of the political arena, its members now realize that continued indifference is a luxury they can no longer afford. By continued passivity, the nation they knew and cherished is being wrested from them and must be retaken if the promises of its future are to be restored to their former luster.
Throughout much of 2009 and early 2010, the liberal Democrat/media cabal believed it could dilute and undermine the Tea Party by merely ignoring it. Yet as Election Day 2010 approached, and legitimate polling data increasingly indicated that the Democrats were destined to lose big come November, opposition to the movement became more brazen and vitriolic. Post election, every conceivable “analysis” was presented as cold hard “fact,” depicting the political tsunami as overblown, and citing such anomalies as the California, Nevada, and Delaware Senate races, in which Democrats won, as proof that America still leaned hard-left. The massive Tea Party gatherings in Washington and elsewhere in the nation were ostensibly a flash in the pan, and would soon dissipate.
Yet as the nation enters into the 2012 election cycle, it is increasingly clear that the liberal Democrats are both aware of the continued presence and growing influence of the movement, and petrified by everything that it represents. So, they have predictably returned to their political playbook and resorted to the standard tactics by which they have often neutralized opponents in the past. Not surprisingly, this assault embodies all of the typical and despicable ploys that so characterize liberalism in general. But the latest efforts reveal that as a result of their panic, they are vastly overplaying their hand. And in so doing, the effort will surely backfire.
Consider the transparently frenzied attempts to exploit every potential crisis engulfing the nation, and even the world, as an opportunity to impugn the Tea Party. It is beyond absurd to contend that a groundswell of American patriots objecting to their government’s wanton spending binges and extra-constitutional legislating is somehow culpable for everything from the mayhem of a deranged murderer in Tucson, to the downgrading of America’s bond rating, to the riots in London. Nevertheless, such indictments, and even more, are regularly leveled by liberals with straight faces.
The chronically buffoonish Senator John Kerry (D.-MA) echoed this nonsense, referring to the bond rating fiasco as the “Tea Party Downgrade.” Previously, he asserted, with apparent solemnity, that Tea Party statements and concerns “don’t deserve equal time” in the media since they do not pass his standard for being “legitimate.”
Vice President Joe Biden derided the involvement of Tea Party activists in the recent debt-ceiling battle, accusing them of “acting like terrorists.” Such a characterization is particularly despicable coming from an administration that refuses to apply such a label to Muslim men known for brutal murders of Western non-Muslims.
Increasingly, the venomous leftist hyperbole exceeds any boundaries of reason or believability, and appears on its face to be so shrill and excessive that it no longer inflicts any damage on its intended targets, but instead reflects the psychosis of it authors. Thus, such ferocious invectives as Missouri Democrat Emmanuel Cleaver’s “Satan sandwich” and New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd’s characterization of the debt debate as a “Washington Chainsaw Massacre” now border on the comedic.
In what may at first seem like an extreme contradiction from all of the allegation of Tea Party murder and mayhem, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-NV) on August 14 repeated his “observation” that the Tea Party is in retreat, and that “They will lose a number of [Congressional] seats next year.” In this he echoed an earlier premature obituary from January, in which he enthusiastically proclaimed, “The Tea Party is dying.”
It may appear that such divergent assessments of the Tea Party are at total odds with each other. On the one hand it is dissipating into oblivion, yet it has the power to destroy the U.S. economy. However, the underlying motivation for such radically dissimilar critiques is quite consistent. Though totally incongruous if taken literally, they are in fact separate fronts of a common attack. And the nature of that onslaught can be studied in the pages of Saul Alinsky’s Marxist/Leninist grail “Rules for Radicals.” When seen through the dark prism of Alinsky’s subversive philosophy, the continuity of the anti-Tea Party agenda becomes crystal clear. Marginalize it under any circumstances, employing any lie necessary to achieve the goal.
However, the people of Real America are no longer susceptible to such tactics, but are informed and aware of the methods and motives of those leftists who employ them. And the shrill tenor of liberal caterwauling against the conservative grassroots carries with it an underlying message. The empty promises of liberalism are finally facing a day of reckoning. The gig is up and the left, in abject terror, knows it.
Europe’s woes no excuse for abysmal US growth: "Today, once again, the market is crashing largely due to events in the European Union. President Obama and other policy makers wring their collective hands and say: 'It’s not our fault. Our options are limited in preventing the European contagion.' But Europe’s woes should not be an excuse. If anything, they present an opportunity to for the U.S. to capture the capital that is fleeing there, which would fuel job and business growth on our shores."
FDR’s advisers knew what Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman don’t: "One persistent myth that libertarians and other free-market types have to unmask is that President Herbert Hoover’s belief in laissez faire was responsible for dramatically worsening what became the Great Depression. The myth that Hoover stood around and did nothing while the economy collapsed gets repeated ad nauseum in the media by pundits including everyone from Nobel Prize winners like Paul Krugman to, most recently, MSNBC talk-show host Rachel Maddow."
Please help Lt. Dan Choi: "I have some troubling news about Don't Ask, Don't Tell activist Lt. Dan Choi. Dan currently faces up to 6 months in prison for protesting DADT in front of the White House. He will be the first person in nearly a century to be put on trial over an arcane law written for and last used to silence important women suffragists. But apparently that wasn't enough for the Obama administration to vent their frustration with him."
The huddled masses leaving en masse: "The US Census data show that over the last decade, about 1.6 million New Yorkers moved out of the state. The biggest chunk of these emigres was from the city itself: 70% of New Yorkers moving out of state were from NYC, and another 10% were from Westchester and Nassau Counties, which are essentially suburbs of NYC. These losses were offset in part by an influx of 900,000 foreign immigrants. But there was still a net loss of nearly 700,000 residents, and the number of foreign immigrants was the lowest in about four decades."
A day that should live in infamy: "Today is the 40th anniversary of President Nixon's announcement of price controls on the American economy. He imposed an immediate freeze on all wages and prices that lasted for 90 days. Then he went through the various phases of control, leading to decontrol by 1974. With one main exception: oil and gasoline. Controls remained on oil and gasoline and these controls led to a lot of damage."
Report: Huge rise in unwed parents: "The number of US parents who live together without marrying has increased twelvefold since 1970, according to a report released yesterday that says children now are more likely to have unmarried parents than divorced parents. The report was published by the National Marriage Project, an initiative at the University of Virginia, and the Institute for American Values, two partisan groups that advocate for strengthening the institution of marriage."
An illiberal liberal: "Brad DeLong writes that 'America’s best hope for sane technocratic governance required the elimination of the Republican Party from our political system as rapidly as possible.' There are two things wrong with that statement. One is that he wants a technocratic government. Top-down. Orderly. Planned. But we live in a bottom-up world. Everything from language to Wikipedia to the economy itself is is a spontaneous order. They grow and evolve despite, not because of, direction from above. The most beautiful designs have no designer."
Housing, the hidden entitlement: "Amid all the clamor about entitlement reform during the struggle to raise the debt ceiling, one enormous cost -- and potential source of future savings -- largely escaped scrutiny: the billions of dollars the United States spends to support the mortgage market. ... Today, the government backs 95 percent of new loans, leaving taxpayers more exposed than ever"
Pentagon: Army poorly tested armor inserts: "The Army improperly tested new bullet-blocking plates for body armor and cannot be certain that 5 million pieces of the critical battlefield equipment meet the standards to protect U.S. troops, the Defense Department's inspector general found. The Pentagon report focused on seven Army contracts for the plates, known as ballistic inserts, awarded between 2004 and 2006 and totaling $2.5 billion."
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)