Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The man behind the curtain in Texas is Uncle Sam

A post on Talking Points Memo shows us that Rick Perry's "Texas Miracle" is built on public sector jobs. Yeah, government funding and government jobs. Without them, the "Miracle" state is as bad off as the rest of us.

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.... [T]he recession cost Texas 178,000 private sector jobs -- a fairly small share for a populous state, when you consider that crisis cost the country many millions. But in the same period, it added 125,000 public sector jobs -- nearly half of all government jobs created in this period nationwide. Put together, the Texas has only lost 53,000 jobs total during the downturn.

As Bernstein notes this "shows Texas to be following a traditional Keynesian game plan: as the private sector contracts, turn to the public sector to temporarily make up part of the difference."

Additionally, 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.

So the next time someone says "Perry-jobs-miracle" to you, just respond "public-sector-big government-budget deficit". Maybe they'll even listen...

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