Thursday, August 18, 2011

Miracle Growth

Gov. Rick Perry is fond of touting the “Texas miracle” in the state’s economic growth and job creation and how it’s a model for the rest of the country to show that he did it without any help from the big bad government.

Small problem.

Despite being one of the loudest critics of President Obama’s stimulus, Perry used billions of dollars of federal money to patch Texas’ budget shortfalls, and was thus able to create and maintain lots and lots of public sector jobs. In fact, if you look at net job creation between 2007 and 2010, it’s clear the only thing keeping Texas buoyant was government jobs.

That and a little bookkeeping legerdemain made it look even better than it actually was.

Perry’s papered over some looming budget gaps with fancy paperwork, and unless he or the next governor take steps (like raising taxes) to balance the books, he’ll have to cut spending (read: public sector jobs) and many of his gains will have proved illusory.

But it makes a great campaign slogan, and that’s all that matters.