Gov. Rick Perry Uses Tax Dollars To Attract Businesses To His Limited Government Message

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Texas is a growing state and Governor Perry has let his low tax/low regulation rhetoric trump our growing infrastructure needs. The Texas Association of Business has already warned that businesses in Texas are threatened by the state of our education system. That's why it is so ironic that in the same week he started a million dollar ad buy to lure companies from other states to Texas, he also had to add transportation, a very basic need, to the call of a very expensive special session.

There is wide speculation that Perry will cede the Governor's mansion to Greg Abbott, and run for president again, but it's not clear how mocking other states or taking their jobs will be a campaign asset. Essentially on the national level Perry's “job creation” in Texas amounts to “job shifting”. His plan of letting other states educate a workforce and incubate businesses merely to lure them to Texas is at best a cynical one, but is the focus of his “Texas Wide Open For Business” website. There Texas' job numbers and industry profiles are highlighted in what Perry claims are the, “opportunities and freedom available to families and businesses thanks to Texas' healthy economy.” But what is oddly missing is anything about the health of the people of Texas, or our top ranking uninsured population, instead under the “Quality of Life” tab you will find information about the state's sports franchises and our natural resources. There is, as Dan Harr of the Hartford Courant put it, a “dark underbelly” to every aspect of the Texas model. For instance that our sheer size alone lends itself to many of the pros Perry is selling like, low cost of living, and high number of exports.

It's no surprise the Governor's ads will be airing in the blue states of New York and Connecticut as he has made similar pitches to businesses in California and Illinois. Probably the most insincere aspect of his pitch for limited government is how much he has used it for purposes of personal gain and business development. The Texas Open For Business website includes a host of “incentives” targeted at business, which if they were truly people would be called tax cuts, subsidies or at the very least loopholes. Also worthy of note is that it is all being paid for by TexasOne, an organization funded by private corporate donations, local governments and economic development corporations, and overseen by the Governor's office. And, while Perry's office claims that no tax dollars were used to purchase ads or pay for travel, the Houston Chronicle found that over $2 million of the almost $5 million raised by TexasOne did infact come directly from sales taxes.

See the commercials airing in CT and NY this week below the jump…


About Author

Joe Deshotel

Joe was born and raised in Beaumont, Tx, but live music and politics brought him to Austin. He has worked in and around government and elections for over a decade including for a member of US Congress, the Texas Legislature, the Mayor of Austin. He currently serves as Communications Director for the Travis County Democratic Party. He is most interested in transportation, energy and technology issues. He also likes Texas Hold'em and commuting on his electric skateboard. Follow me on Twitter at @joethepleb.

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