TX Gov. Perry: Seriously?

Ask any half-interested Texan and they’ll tell you that the most important issue concerning the state legislature this year is the budget deficit. In that sense Texas is no different than any other state in the union. No one denies the problem, the differences of opinion are in how to go about fixing it.

Centuries ago this is where the court jester would enter, to provide relief. His job was to speak truth to the King, albeit in jest. But what if the King were to be the one acting silly?

There’s a projected $25 billion deficit in the State of Texas, and education is lying on the chopping block, appendages spread anticipating the ax. And what does Texas Gov. Rick Perry pronounce? That the most important issues facing the state are private property rights and abolishing sanctuary cities.

I must have had dozens of calls and conversations yesterday afternoon with people who had been there to hear Perry say that or who had found out and were livid. Mostly people were in disbelief.

Even observers from outside the state know what’s what. Paul Krugman, the columnist and Nobel laureate economist, and wrote this about Texas:

The truth is that the Texas state government has relied for years on smoke and mirrors to create the illusion of sound finances in the face of a serious “structural” budget deficit — that is, a deficit that persists even when the economy is doing well. When the recession struck, hitting revenue in Texas just as it did everywhere else, that illusion was bound to collapse.
Given the complete dominance of conservative ideology in Texas politics, tax increases are out of the question. So it has to be spending cuts

Serious stuff, everyone knows that, except that if you’ve got your eye on a run for the White House your priorities may be skewed. But it’s worse than that. If there are children in your state who have started middle school and have known only one Governor in their lifetime, and if that Governor is insulated by a group of opportunists who keep telling him how wonderful he is and what marvelous chances he has to become President of the United States, then property rights and sanctuary cities are, indeed, the most important things on your mind. One can’t move ahead in the conservative presidential primary process if you’ve got sanctuary cities in your back yard.

The humor of the sanctuary city idea is lost on few people in Texas. It’s a ridiculous idea. And even if it were to gain a slight push of a momentum, there’s redistricting to sort out. Perry isn’t the only politico looking out for the future.  Every Senator and Representative in every state capitol will be looking to protect their turf, er, district and constituents.  That’s their priority, not some idle grandstanding.

And consider this. The kids graduating from High School this year-and those who would have had they not dropped out-started school in the first grade the year Governor Perry was elected. Their entire primary and secondary education took place on his watch. You’d think he’d laud the marvel of his accomplishments in education as he inched to the Presidential race starting line. But I don’t think he or the folks in his bubble want anyone poking around his education record.

As for sanctuary cities, (like Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, El Paso, etc…) some questions: Was any of that rhetoric meant for Texan ears? Isn’t this the same Governor who proclaimed that laws such as Arizona’s sb1070 would not be well received in Texas? Doesn’t the elimination of sanctuary cities clear the way for local police to enforce immigration laws, if it would come to that?

Of course, it’s not like his stand on sanctuary cities is going to hurt his place among Texas Latinos. And who knows, maybe this latest stunt will get them to the polls.

[Photo by eschipul]

Subscribe today!

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Must Read