Monday, June 20, 2011

First Look: Rick Perry

Since establishment candidate Mitt Romney appears to be the Republican Party equivalent of LeBron James (He just can't take over the game when necessary), many establishment types are tossing around former Texas A&M male cheerleader and current Texas governor, Rick Perry, as a presidential candidate.

Here's a quick first look at Perry:

He began his political career as a Democrat in 1984 in the Texas House. Way back in 1988, he supported Al Gore for president. When that didn't work out for him, or Gore, he joined the Republican Party.

Despite the widely held view that Texas is in strong financial shape, the state has severe debt overhang. Since Perry took over as governor in 2000, blame for the current debt situation can be place at his feet.

While not raising the sales tax in Texas (Texas has no income tax). He raised just about every other fee and tax he could think of, including a surcharge on traffic violations. He also borrowed money for road bonds and borrowed from the Federal Unemployment Trust Fund.

In 2003, he launched the Texas Enterprise Fund, he quickly, in 2004, gave $20 million to Countrywide Financial, the mortgage creating machine that was a major player in subprime, no docs mortgages.

Depending how it is calculated, the debt of the state of Texas could be considered as high as $269 billion, which on a per citizen basis is $10,644 and is higher than even the $9,931 per citizen debt in the state of California.

In 2000, when Perry first became governor, total spending by the state of Texas was $49 billion. At the end of 2010, it was $90 billion.

I can just imagine what this guy would do at the federal level with Ben Bernanke around to backup his spending.