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Old 08-10-2011, 03:16 AM
CrowsMakeTools CrowsMakeTools is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 54
Default Perry and Texas

Kevin Williamson makes so many ridiculous assertions in this diavlog--it's a pity that Tim Fernholz is just not prepared to rebut him more effectively, especially on the issues related to Perry's record as governor of Texas.

With regard to the Willingham case, this has been discussed extensively on Bloggingheads before, and there is little point in re-arguing the points now. The Willingham case and Perry's disgusting behavior in obstructing the efforts of the state's forensic science commission's re-evaluation of the evidence will be subject to considerable additional scrutiny after Perry announces his intentions to run for President on Saturday. If you are interested in a right wing, Fox News critique of Perry's scandalous misbehavior in the Willingham case, here's a link:


When I heard Williamson praise the Texas environmental record, I practically banged my head against the screen. Texas has the worst record for both air and water quality among all 50 states.

But the Texas environmental record is really best understood as part of a broader pattern. Texas has been dominated by Tea Party style politics for a generation. Texas offers the country as a whole an excellent prognostic lens into the social consequences of what to expect from public policies that emphasize low taxes, small government, weak, pro-business regulatory regimes, and minimal public investment in education and social services. In Texas, these policies have contributed to a poorly performing, underfunded system of public education, environmental degradation, lack of access to health care, and increasing income disparity. Most importantly, job creation in Texas has not resulted in improved prospects for personal capital formation. Texans have an economy that is creating lots of low wage jobs, resulting in lots of households with home mortgages under water, and poor credit scores.

Here are a few of the highlights of Texas under the Perry adminstration, relative to the other 49 states:

Percent Living Below Federal Poverty Level 4th
Percent of Population with Food Insecurity 2nd
Average Monthly Women, Infant, and
Children (WIC) Benefits per Person 47th
State Aid Per Pupil in Average Daily Attendance 47th
Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) Scores 45th
Percent of Population 25 and Older
with a High School Diploma 50th
High School Graduation Rate 43rd
Percent of Mortgage Loans that are Subprime 9th
Mortgage Debt as Percent of Home Value 47th
Foreclosure Rates 10th
Median Net Worth of Households 47th
Average Credit Score 49th
Percent of Population Uninsured 1st
Percent of Non-Elderly Uninsured 1st
Percent of Low Income Population Covered
by Medicaid 49th
Percent of Population with
Employer-Based Health Insurance 48th
Total State Government Health Expenditures
as Percent of the Gross State Product 43rd
Per Capita State Spending on Mental Health 50th
Per Capita State Spending on Medicaid 49th
Income Inequality Between the Rich and
the Poor 9th
Income Inequality Between the Rich and
the Middle Class 5th

Perry's record in Texas will become a matter of national scrutiny after Saturday. Required reading for those who want to delve into the matter more deeply can be found in the Texas Legislative Study Group's publication, "Texas on the Brink." Before you decide to rent a U-Haul and move to Texas looking for work, read this:


My favorite Rick Perry quote, that really sums this all up:

"There is still a land of opportunity, friends it's called Texas," Perry said. "We're creating more jobs than any other state in the nation. ... Would you rather live in a state like this, or in a state where a man can marry a man?"
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