June 8, 2011
By Merrill Matthews
Gov. Perry insists that he isn’t. But some folks are convinced, and others desperately hope, that he is. That hope is largely the result of frustration with the current crop of GOP candidates and Perry’s strong 10-year record as governor of Texas.
At a Donald Rumsfeld speech in Dallas on Monday, the Texas conservatives at my table were lamenting the current presidential candidate plight—or should I say blight. How could it have come down to this, they wondered? It’s a lament I hear a lot lately, as have reporters who have been writing extensively about the growing dissatisfaction.
I felt myself feeling a little sorry for the current GOP contenders. By all measures Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich, Herman Cain and Jon Huntsman have remarkable achievements. Yet none of them seems to excite conservatives and tea partiers, nor for that matter moderate Republicans or independents. It may not be fair, but it is the case—at least for now.
And so there is this pervasive hope that someone who conservatives can rally around will jump into the presidential race. That’s where Rick Perry comes in. . .
In its “Competitive States 2010” study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, it found that Texas had a state tax burden of 8.4 percent, compared to a U.S. average of 9.7 percent. And the Texas gross state product grew 94.5 percent over 10 years, vs. 66.3 percent for the rest of the country.
More importantly, Texas far outpaces other states in job creation. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, director and writer-in-residence, respectively, at Southern Methodist University’s William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom write, “From January 2000 to June 2010, Texas had a net increase of nearly 1.1 million jobs—more than any other state by far. In fact, Texas’ outsized gains eclipsed the total of the next five job-creating states: Florida, Arizona, Virginia, Utah, and Washington.”
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