#1: Perry’s Claims of Job Creation Don’t Stand Up to Scrutiny

1. Perry’s claims of creating a million jobs don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Because the number of jobs in Texas rose from 9,537,900 in December 2000 to 10,619,800 in July 2011, Perry claims to be responsible for creating 1.08 million jobs since he became governor.

Even if we grant that he is personally responsible for creating these jobs, a deeper examination of these numbers shows that they provide nothing to crow about:

Conclusion:

With Perry, there’s a lot to be nervous about. Even if his “provocative language” appeals to conservatives in the Republican Party, they may just find out that he doesn’t have the ability to generate traction in a general election campaign, in which he would need to impress more than just the great state of Texas.

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#2: Perry’s Subsidy of Banks Doesn’t Inspire Confidence in His Financial Acumen

2. Perry’s government subsidy of banks doesn’t inspire confidence in his financial acumen.

An AP article reported that – under Perry’s leadership – Texas subsidized two of the banks that were major contributors to the subprime lending crisis (Countrywide and Washington Mutual) to the tune of $35 million. The article also reported that, after receiving grants from the Texas Enterprise Fund, the two banks increased their risky lending practices, and that the two banks contributed to Perry’s campaign fund. In 2007:

As credit-rating agencies continued downgrading hundreds of billions in mortgage-backed assets on Wall Street, Perry’s spokeswoman described Texas as ‘one of the hottest housing markets in the nation’ and dismissed concerns about the looming economic implosion as ‘slightly alarmist.’

NPR reported that:

Perry has been repeatedly accused of cronyism during his time as Texas governor in which both Perry and companies doing business in or with his state appear to benefit financially from the arrangement.

The allegation that cronyism was behind his 2007 executive order to have 12-year old Texas girls receive the HPV vaccine (his former chief of staff lobbied for the drug maker Merck) is at the heart of that controversy. And there are a number of other allegations that the Texas Enterprise Fund, meant to help bring jobs to Texas, was used to reward companies linked to Perry supporters.

Given the current state of the national economy, it seems that Republicans would be better served to pick a candidate with a more impressive financial resume.

#4: Perry’s Transportation Solution in Texas Worse than High Taxes

4. Perry’s transportation policy has provided Texas the most expensive solution possible for building new roads.

According to a US Department of Transportation report, Texas leads the nation in toll road projects since 1991:

Texas has the most toll activity of any state. This is not surprising in light of the Texas DOT policy of giving priority consideration to tolls for new capacity and aggressive promotion and institutionalization of public-private partnerships.

According to an open letter posted by the Texas Tea Party PAC, traditional public toll roads in Texas charge 10-20 cents per mile, but the new style of toll roads promoted by Texas DOT “bear almost no resemblance to traditional, taxpayer-controlled turnpikes.” Characteristics of these new toll roads include: relying on “innovative financing schemes,” placing control of many Texas roads in the hands of Cintra (a multinational corporation headquartered in Spain), charging up to 75 cents per mile, and limiting competition with the new toll roads.

The Economic Policy Journal reports troubling issues with Cintra: the North Tarrant Express contract has a clause that if the project is unprofitable, the state of Texas will buy back the project. In addition, a man who served as a Perry legislative liaison when the Cintra contract was awarded worked for Cintra both before and after the period he worked for Perry.

Perry claims to favor low taxes, but – in the case of Texas transportation – he avoided a fiscally conservative pay-as-you-go approach and instead imposed a far higher price tag downstream.

Many voters may prefer the Ponzi scheme of Social Security to the Perry scheme of creative government financing.

Many Americans Mistakenly Think FLDS and LDS are Connected

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), a worldwide church that is headquartered in Salt Lake City and has over 13 million members, has released the results of a survey that indicate Americans confuse the FLDS Church (Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints) with the LDS Church.

  • 36% mistakenly believe the YFZ Ranch is part of the LDS Church
  • 6% mistakenly said that the FLDS and LDS are partly related
  • 29% said they were not sure of the relationship between the FLDS Church and LDS Church
  • Only 29% correctly responded that the two groups are not connected at all

I had mistakenly believed that most Americans had figured out that the FLDS Church and the LDS Church are completely separate churches and have no more relationship between each other than, for example, the Lutheran Church and the Catholic Church.

Even though 91% of those surveyed had heard about the YFZ Ranch, most respondents could not correctly identify the religious affiliation of the people living at the YFZ Ranch.

  • 30% identified the affiliation as The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, LDS, or Mormon
  • 44% were unsure
  • 6% said Mormon fundamentalists
  • 14% said FLDS

Elder Quentin L. Cook, an LDS apostle, said:

We’d much rather be talking about who we are than who we aren’t. While many news reporters have been careful to distinguish between our church and this small Texas group, it is clear the confusion still remains.

Below is an example of one of several videos the LDS Church has posted on You Tube in an effort to define what the LDS Church is by looking at the lives of church members living in Texas.

It’s pretty clear that there is no lack of confusion right now about both the FLDS and the LDS. Many of my previous posts have documented misrepresentations of and misunderstandings about the FLDS. It seems that, even with all the coverage of the events surrounding the FLDS Church, there has been a good deal of misunderstanding about the LDS Church as well.

CPS Advisory Committee Member Said Service Plans Abuse Parents

State of Texas 49, King George 28

49. An Advisory Committee Memory appointed by Governor Perry to advise the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services said the approach outlined in the service plans represents an abuse of the FLDS parents.

KXAN reported that advisory committee member Tim Lambert said:

They say, “OK, we’ve got the kids for a year. Now, you gotta do what we tell you to do. We don’t know what that is, and that might change as we go along.” Now, I would submit to you that is abuse. That is parental abuse by CPS.

I’ve previously docmented instances in which CPS actions caused FLDS children to suffer (FLDS child dehydrated and manourished; FLDS kids ate poorly and slept poorly; FLDS kid with 104 degree fever not allowed to be with mom; FLDS kid cyring himself to sleep). Now we can observe that CPS actions also unnecessarily caused suffering of the FLDS parents. CPS being let loose on the FLDS community is looking more and more akin to a bull being let loose in a china shop.

FLDS Child Dehydrated and Malnourished while in State Care

State of Texas 48, King George 28

48. A two-year old FLDS girl became dehydrated and malnourished while in state custody.

As reported by the New York Times, Ruth Fischer faced a distressing sight when she visited her daughter in a hospital:

Hannah looked like a little orphan sitting on the couch. Her hair was stringy and she was in a diaper, a pair of dirty socks and a hospital gown.

Similar to what happened in the case of two other children (see previous post), in addition to suffering physical health problems, her daughter also became withdrawn.

It seems that CPS was quite efficient at abusing the FLDS children in the short length of time that they had custody of the children…

Service Plans Capable of Breaking up FLDS Church

State of Texas 47, King George 28

47. The service plans for the FLDS families were capable of breaking apart the FLDS Church in Texas.

The service plans allege that (link to example plan):

The adults have chosen to be members of a community that appears to support systemic [sic] abuse of children…. Sexual abuse has been confirmed for some children which poses risk of abuse to all children.

And the cover letter states:

If the judge is not satisfied that you can provide a safe place for your child where they are free from abuse, the judge may decide to … permanently take away all of your rights as a parent of the child.

It doesn’t require an excessive amount of reading between the lines to draw the conclusion that if FLDS parents want to keep their children they should leave Eldorado. The service plan even helps this conclusion along by assigning DFPS (Texas Department of Family and Protective Services) the task to:

Assist the parent with finding community and other resources to sustain independent living arrangements.

The service plan praises the FLDS community’s system of mutual financial support:

They have a community financial support structure within the YFZ ranch. They are resourceful by gardening, making clothing and utilizing home-making skills and strong construction skills. The mothers have support from other adult women and adolescent girls who assist with child care responsibilities. The family refrains from drug and alcohol abuse.

However, the plan makes it pretty clear that the parents are expected to remove themselves from that financially supportive environment. One of the tasks assigned to the parents in the service plan is to:

Participate in educational/vocational testing for yourself, and work on educational or vocational training as needed to be able to financially support your child.

Another task assigned to the parents involved budgeting skills. The service plan appears to be saying, “You have a nice financial support structure in your community: now please get out of it.”

A law professor and expert on juvenile law quoted by the Dallas Observer summed up the service plans well:

My understanding of the plans is that they may have to be willing to separate from the larger community and become more of a nuclear family, and maybe even be willing to live outside of the compound. As I understand it, one of the goals is not to punish the parents, but to liberate them from this community and conditions, in which other women have said it is very difficult to leave.

After reading through one of the service plans, the main thing I find myself asking is the following: why is there so much mention of budgeting, vocational training, and housing and no mention of not permitting children to marry before the age of consent. Wasn’t that supposed to be the problem the state was trying to address?