Today, Rick Perry officially announced that he will be running for president in 2016, confirming the second run that we all knew was coming for a very long time.
Coverage of Perry’s announcement has focused on how he’s “humbler” this time around. But how humble is it, really, to declare you’re going to convince the country you deserve the most powerful office in the world, especially after making such a spectacular fool of yourself the first time you tried? I’m not sure “humble” is the best word to describe someone like that.
Besides Rick Perry’s infamous “oops” moment, the thing most people know him for is his supposed “Texas Miracle” of job creation. It’s what Perry is hoping to focus on in his second run for president. Perry’s website mentions his “‘tested leadership’ and ‘proven results,’ particularly in job creation.” Said Perry in a campaign video, “It’s going to be a show-me, don’t-tell-me, election.”
Okay then Rick, if you insist, let’s have the people who know you best–Texans–show you just how our state is looking after your 14 years as governor:
- The “Texas Miracle” of job creation is mostly a bust: Most of the jobs added are due to population growth, taxes aren’t as low for most people as Perry claims they are, and Texans’ per capita income is stagnating.
- Meanwhile, Texas’ infrastructure is crumbling, unable to keep up with the influx of people–but the state is struggling to fix it because nobody wants to raise taxes.
- Texas has one of the highest poverty rates in the nation, with 4.5 million people living below the federal poverty line. That includes 25% of Texas children.
- Hunger is also on the rise, with millions being forced to choose between buying food and meeting their other basic needs.
- Texas still has the highest uninsured rate in the nation. While that number shrank in the past year thanks to coverage from the Affordable Care Act, it’s still not as high as it could be: one million Texans are stuck in the so-called “coverage gap” thanks directly to Rick Perry’s refusal to expand Medicaid.
- Thousands of Texas women are being denied access to health coverage thanks to laws that Rick Perry has signed–a fact that he called “good news”
What’s more, while Texans lives got worse, Perry tried to make his own life better through rampant corruption. Let’s not forget that Rick Perry is still facing felony charges for coercion and abuse of power for threatening to veto millions of dollars for the state’s public integrity unit after Travis county District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg refused to heed his demands that she resign after a DWI conviction.
But hey, Rick Perry is “humble” now. It’s not because he’s acknowledging his abysmal track record or his missteps that led to a felony indictment–it might be because he got glasses, or learned to count to three? Either way, he’s hoping that the nation will turn a blind eye to his many (many, many) faults, and give him the chance to run the United States into the ground just like he did in Texas. For everyone’s sake, let’s hope that that never becomes reality.