| Rick Perry and the Republican Party of Texas would have you believe that the Texas economy has been unphased by the recent economic downturn.
In Perry's "State of the State" address he mentioned the word "jobs" nearly two dozen times. He pacified Texans and ignored hard data.
"Every day, we hear more stories from across the country of jobs lost, plants closed, and homes on the auction block. As shockwaves of this crisis begin to resonate in Texas, we're reminded that we're not immune to these forces, yet we're still in better shape than most other states." (Full text of speech over at Capitol Annex)
The reality of it is, in 2008, Texas lost 134,598 jobs. After 4 months of job growth in Texas, Texas has lost nearly a quarter million jobs (221,790). The reality of it is, in 2008, the number of unemployed Texans increased by 134,598. After 4 months of declining unemployment, nearly a quarter million more Texans (221,790) became unemployed.
City by city, Texas had some nominal job growth in 2008 until April. After April the job situation in Texas gets bad in a hurry.
Between April and December of last year, unemployment increased in Austin by 6,809 people, in Dallas by 12,879, in El Paso by 4,729, in Houston by 17,615 people, and San Antonio was hit and now has at least 10,262 more people out of work and looking for jobs.
All of these numbers come directly from the Texas Workfroce Commission, but nobody seems to be talking about them.
Instead Perry has proposed a bold plan of isolation. He is attacking Washington for trying to jump start the sagging economy instead of talking about how the proposed stimulus bill could help Texas.
All across the country, states are hiking sales taxes, they're slashing education spending, preparing to pay state employees with IOUs, and begging Washington DC for a bailout.
Because we took a different approach back then, we know it's better to control spending to make government less burdensome, as a way to free up the economic power of our citizens.
What we are seeing is the economic strength Texas has created over the past decade can be completely eroded in a matter of months. While Texas created jobs for 4 months in 2008, the final 8 months were so bad that we have lost nearly a quarter million.
Rick Perry boasts about 1.2 million jobs created over a decade, but 2008 numbers project a loss of 332,685 per year. Granted those are faulty numbers because they don't take into account current job losses, city retention programs or any changes in unemployment figures that might be created at the federal level. What it does show is how long it takes to create jobs and a sound economy and how quick a political party can destroy the economy.
Currently the Republican Party's strategy is to stick their heads in the sand and pretend everything is just fine. They are looking at economic data on time lines that hide basic economic truths.
The reality is, our economy is broken in Texas and jobs are disappearing. What we need is leadership. What we need is a solution on how to recover from this global economic downturn. Refusing to vote (like John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison did) or refusing to address the problem is not a solution.