The Federal stimulus money seems to be a recurring subject in the Texas media. Although Rick Perry rejected $555 million in unemployment insurance money, he accpepted about $14 billion in Federal stimulus money. This often gets swept under the rug by his campaign, and for good reason. First of all, it’s an incredibly large sum of money. A 10th Amendment candidate, as Perry is attempting to brand himself, should not have accepted any Federal money.
The problem with this, as Jason Embry points out, is that the Rainy Day Fund” that Perry touts “went untouched,” could not have been so without Federal aid. Embry gets his information from the National Conference of State Legislatures:
The national group asked states to say how they closed their budget gaps for the 2010 budget year, and 35 states responded. Of those, 25 said they used federal stimulus dollars to close budget gaps, and Texas reported that it relied most heavily on stimulus dollars, using those dollars to provide 96.7 percent of the gap-closing solution. Nebraska was next at 88 percent.
So if it weren’t for Obama’s stimulus, Perry would have had to deplete the Rainy Day fund, and probably also raise taxes to make up for the difference. Because the mainstream media doesn’t make a habit of getting into details like this, you rarely hear about it. Kudos to Embry for taking the time.
This “Please, sir, can I have some more?” Perry is rarely seen in public. Rather, we get his opposite twin–the 10th Amendment posturing Perry. On the Mark Davis show this morning, Perry claimed that if Obama’s healthcare plan became law, he would make the “not in my state” stand. Secession, anyone? That’s the only plausible thing Perry could be referencing. Otherwise, he’s obligated to comply with U.S. law.
And somewhat related to the “Two Perrys” theory, the Dallas Morning News notes that public and private Perry are very different, as well (“Democrats routinely mention they’ve talked to Perry about some issue or another, and suggest they get along just fine when it comes to most state-specific issues.”)
This, understandably, upsets many conservatives. Bloggers at the RNI have noticed the disparity between Perry’s words and actions:
While Texas Governor Rick Perry assumes a populist tone at several Tea Party Rallies in the Lone Star State, even to the point of suggesting to reporters that State secession might happen if there is continued overreach in Washington, it is important to recall that he has been a “friend” of policies favoring amnesty for illegal immigrants, a Trans-Texas Corridor, and an emerging, de facto North American Union. If he has such checkered past on issues of national sovereignty, then his sudden interest in state sovereignty must be seen for what it is: a campaign gimmick and an act of brazen, political demagoguery.
A harsh critique, indeed. But it’s not entirely unfounded. Someone who has moseyed about the governor’s mansion for as long as Perry has is bound to have people who notice his political maneuvering. To counter them, he’s become incredible astute at learning how to get elected. As long as he can keep what happens in between elections fuzzy in the minds of Texas voters, he’s sitting pretty.