Gov. Perry insists that he isn’t. But some folks are convinced, and others desperately hope, that he is. That hope is largely the result of frustration with the current crop of GOP candidates and Perry’s strong 10-year record as governor of Texas.
One of the country’s most astute Republican observers tells me that he’s sure that Perry is running for president and will announce it after the end of the current legislative session. When I ask why, he claims Perry is doing all the things you would expect him to do if he were running. He has a point.
That said, if Perry does decide—or has decided—to get into the presidential race, he would have one heckuva record to run on.
The governor has repeatedly refused to raise taxes, demanding spending cuts instead to balance the state’s budget. Regulations and taxes remain low, making Texas one of if not the most business-friendly state in the country.
In its “Competitive States 2010” study by the Texas Public Policy Foundation, it found that Texas had a state tax burden of 8.4 percent, compared to a U.S. average of 9.7 percent. And the Texas gross state product grew 94.5 percent over 10 years, vs. 66.3 percent for the rest of the country.
More importantly, Texas far outpaces other states in job creation. Michael Cox and Richard Alm, director and writer-in-residence, respectively, at Southern Methodist University’s William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom write, “From January 2000 to June 2010, Texas had a net increase of nearly 1.1 million jobs—more than any other state by far. In fact, Texas’ outsized gains eclipsed the total of the next five job-creating states: Florida, Arizona, Virginia, Utah, and Washington.”
The result of the governor’s policies, plus other factors like no state income tax, has led to a significant in-migration. Cox and Alm of SMU’s O’Neil Center found in a recent study that “Texas led all other states with a net in-migration of 500,000 people from 2004 to 2008.”
People are voting with their feet and moving to Texas. And if given the chance to make Texas’ policies the country’s policies, lots of Americans would vote for that change.