In response to the criticism in the Dallas News story of 2010, Governor Perry refused to disclose the investors in Texas Emerging Technology Fund recipients.
Here’s Perry touting his ETF in October of 2009, selling it as how Texas handles economic troubles, calling it a job creation system and saying that “investing resources” is a way to do that (hello, this is what the Tea Party calls socialism when President Obama does it): VIDEO at the link, above.
We don’t know if the ETF created any jobs, because while “job creation” is listed as one of the reasons for the fund, the state has refused to disclose how many, if any, jobs were created as a result of the state’s investment in private firms.
But Perry is also picking the winners and losers, using government money to prop up favored companies – something that flies in the face of free market ideology. The market is supposed to pick the winners and losers. They sink or swim based on their performance – survival of the fittest. Instead, Perry is offering welfare entitlement programs to favored companies, which not only hurts the competition and is unfair to them, but also is using government money to invest in private firms. While many states do this, a Governor who professes to hate the fed and hate big government and claims to be a free market conservative is facing legitimate accusations of hypocrisy, not to mention charges of misusing public funds.
Republicans run their candidates on the notion that they have “business experience”, but private business can operate in the dark, without disclosure and accountability, whereas when the government uses taxpayer money, they are supposed to be accountable for how that money is used. It seems clear that when Republicans talk about running government like a business, they mean using taxpayer money to fund their political donors’ private firms.
Where Rick Perry Are you Tonight, Video- From Sanger ISD (Denton County TX)
Uh. Oh. Looks like Bully Rick Perry wants to avoid posse comitatus and use our military to go into Mexico!
The Texas governor asked, “Why not be flying those missions and using that real-time information to help our law enforcement?” He added, “Because if we will commit to that, I will suggest to you that we will be able to drive the drug cartels away from that border.”
It’s not the first time Perry has floated the idea of incorporating Predator drones into efforts to secure the border. During an interview on Fox News last year, the Lone Star State Republican made the same suggestion. He said, “My question to this administration, how many Americans have to die on that border before you really understand we need boots on the ground, a law enforcement presence, National Guard troops, predator drones flying in the air, that technology that those pieces of equipment have to give real-time information to law enforcement, to the local police chiefs?”
Around the same time, Perry appeared to express a willingness to deploy U.S. troops across the border to bolster the fight being waged against Mexican drug cartels.
“I think we have to use every aspect of law enforcement that we have including the military,” he said during an appearance on MSNBC. “I think we have the same situation as we had in Colombia. Obviously, Mexico has to approve any type of assistance that we can give them.”
Over the past 20 years, college costs in Texas have quadrupled, with the steepest jump occurring since tuition was deregulated by the state in 2003. Former first lady Barbara Bush observed in a February Op-Ed that the state ranks 49th in verbal SAT scores, 47th in literacy and 46th in average math SAT scores: "We rank 36th in the nation in high school graduation rates. An estimated 3.8 million Texans do not have a high school diploma ... the United Way estimates that the price tag for dropouts to Texas taxpayers in $9.6 billion every year." But the state's latest budget cut $4 billion from public schools.
A recent, four-part series on Perry's Texas from a team at the Houston Chronicle reports:
"After a decade of Perry-style frugality the Texas welcome mat is growing increasingly threadbare as the state struggles to accommodate a booming, young populace hoping to travel its roads, get educated in its schools, drink its water and access its health care system. During Perry's tenure the state has postponed investment or turned to debt to finance crucial infrastructure needs, experts say."
The average urban Texan loses a week a year to traffic delays on the state's "overburdened" highway system. While Perry boasts of luring thousands of doctors to the state, "lawmakers this year cut $805 million from doctors serving Medicaid patients" and "postponed $4 billion in Medicaid costs for payment in the next payment cycle." Texas is 48th out of 50 states in the number of physicians per 100,000 residents.
Perry doubts climate change is real, yet,
"As Texas endures its most severe one-year drought in its history, state leaders have identified $53 billion in state investments needed to expand water capacity by 2060 but have not resolved how to pay for it. Unless Texas increases its water resources, experts say 83 percent of Texans will not have an adequate supply of water in times of drought."
Perry issued a proclamation urging Texans to pray for rain.
With more bad news ahead, stagnant wages and an explosion in population and the labor force that now has unemployment advancing much faster than Perry's touted job growth, "the Texas miracle" is heading into a ditch.
Which brings to mind another tall tale, the old joke about the Texan who says to an Eastern visitor, "Yessir, I can drive across my ranch all day and all night and still not get to the other end." To which the visitor replies, "I know what you mean. I have a car like that, too."
The plan was to have UBS buy the life insurance policies with mega-insurer AIG, then bundle those policies into securities, and sell them off to a small group of investors. By keeping the investor group small, Gramm could avoid the public and regulatory scrutiny required by standard public securities sales. He wouldn't even have to disclose details of the scheme to the Securities and Exchange Commission.
Texas would get a portion of the fees UBS received from selling the securities. But while Gramm's pitch included far more structural details than Morrissey's previous talk, it came up shorter on one crucial piece of information: how much money the state would actually make.
Morrissey had described a payout of up to $700 million. But Gramm refused to offer even general revenue figures. In one ghoulish section from the meeting notes, Gramm emphasized that the actual payments to the state would depend on who died, and when.
"These amounts depend on interest rates and deaths," the notes read. "They can't price it yet, or estimate the amount of money available annually to TRS until the bank looks at the universe of those participating."
None of the state's money would be at risk in the initial purchase of life insurance plans, but the state's potential liabilities got murkier when those plans were bundled into securities. In order to profit from those security sales, Texas would have had to partner with UBS. And if investors ultimately thought they'd been bilked in the arrangement, Texas could be sued. It was also not clear how the state would form a partnership with UBS, or how much it would cost.
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