Jim Hightower is a Texan who is bringing truth into the spotlight that Rick Perry is now latching onto. Hightower, a Texan, is America’s #1 populist who has been following the antics of Rick Perry for years. Perry is not who he says he is says Hightower in his commentary, Perry Tales: jobs creation.
The "Texas Miracle"
Presidential wannabe Rick Perry is flitting hither, thither and yon, spreading little "Perry Tales" about the economic miracles he has produced in Texas.
Fantasy number one is a creationist story about jobs. As he recently flitted across Iowa, he gushed that he has built "a job-creating machine in the state of Texas," and a Perry aide flatly said, "The governor's job-creation record speaks for itself."
Just a Tale
Actually it doesn't. Probe even an inch into the million-job number that Perry tosses around like fairy dust, and you'll learn that these are mostly "jobettes" that can't sustain a family. Most come with very low pay and no health care or pension, and many are only part-time or temporary positions. Indeed, more than a half a million Texans now work for minimum wage or less – a number that has doubled since 2008, leaving Texas tied with Mississippi for the nation's highest percentage of its workforce reduced to poverty pay.
Public vs Private Sector
Spreading even more fairy dust, Perry claims that his Texas Miracle is the result of him keeping the government out of the private sector's way. But peek behind that ideological curtain and you'll find this startling fact: during Perry's decade, the growth in private sector jobs has been a relatively paltry nine percent, while the public sector has more than doubled that, increasing the number of local, state, and federal workers in Texas by 19 percent. One out of six employed Texans are now teachers, police officers, highway engineers, military personnel, and other government workers – and many of these jobs were created with federal money, including cash from Barack Obama's stimulus program that Perry-the candidate now loudly denounces. There's his "miracle."
Meanwhile, joblessness is on the rise in Texas, and the whole Perry Tale is about to go poof – thanks to his recent multibillion-dollar budget cuts that will destroy more than 100,000 good jobs throughout the state.
Interestingly, even his tea-partyish hatred — nay, loathing! — of big government's intrusion into the lives of ordinary citizens turns out to be just another Perry Tale. In fact, there would be no Rick Perry without the steady "intrusion" of government into his life.
Local taxpayers in Haskell County put him through their public school system — for free. He and his family were dry-land cotton farmers, and federal taxpayers helped support them with thousands of dollars in crop subsidies — Perry personally took $80,000 in farm payments.
State and federal taxpayers financed his college education his at Texas A&M, even giving him the extracurricular opportunity to be a cheerleader. Upon graduation, he spent four years on the federal payroll as an Air Force transport pilot who never did any combat duty.
Then, in 1984, Perry hit the mother lode of government pay by moving into elected office — squatting there for 27 years and counting. In addition to getting regular paychecks from taxpayers for nearly three decades as a state representative, agriculture commissioner, lieutenant governor and governor, he also receives platinum-level health care coverage and a generous pension from the state, plus $10,000 a month for renting a luxury suburban home, a covey of political and personal aides and even a publicly paid subscription to Food & Wine magazine.
So when this taxpayer-supported lifer flits into your town to declare that he will slash public benefits and make government "as inconsequential as possible," he means in your life, not his.
Hightower fights on behalf of "consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks." He knows Texas, and knows the real story behind the self-absorbed, fantasy driven, hypocritical Rick Perry.