Rick Perry's Texas Mirage
Rick Perry is raising impressive amounts of cash and, even though he's stalled a biit in the polls lately, has been largely successful in promoting the storyline that he's an anti-government tax-cutter who has seen a business and job boom in his home state.
It's a record that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.
In this week's cover story "Miracle Faker," Village Voice Media writer Jim Schutze takes a close look at Perry's actual record and finds it comes up way short of the "miracle" sttus being touted.
When the Republican contenders (and the media covering them) talk about taxes, it's not a matter of if Texas's are low but how low they are -- and whether Perry played any role in making them that way. But lost in that concession is the fact that Texas's taxes are not, on the whole, among the country's lowest. At best the state's in the middle of the pack in terms of the actual tax burden on its citizens, and it's actually more expensive than most in business taxes. He's right that it's a small-government state: lots and lots of small government.
As for that government-is-the-enemy card he keeps playing: Perry's personal political biography includes episodes of naked disdain for local prerogatives, leaning instead toward a top-down governance style that at times has alienated both farm folks and city dwellers, including some Republicans.
Read this week's cover story here.