With Rick Perry announcing that he is insanely joining the GOP presidential nomination contest, the GOP clown car has gained another occupant. Perry's move makes it timely to look at what GOP voodoo economics have done to Texas and why it is an argument why Perry - actually, any Republican - should be elected to the White House. It also focuses one on the hypocrisy of the GOP that claims to worship Christian values even as the poor and less fortunate are kicked to the gutter. A column in the New York Times looks at the reality of what the GOP has wrought in Texas and how idiot white voters continue to be convinced to vote against their own interest by GOP appeals to racism and homophobia. Here are excerpts:
Remember the Texas economic miracle? In 2012, it was one of the three main arguments from then-Gov. Rick Perry about why he should be president, along with his strong support from the religious right and something else I can’t remember (sorry, couldn’t help myself). More broadly, conservatives have long held Texas up as a supposed demonstration that low taxes on the rich and harsh treatment of the poor are the keys to prosperity.So it’s interesting to note that Texas is looking a lot less miraculous lately than it used to. . . . . events in Texas and other states — notably Kansas and California — are providing yet another object demonstration that the tax-cut obsession that dominates the modern Republican Party is all wrong. The facts: For many years, economic growth in Texas has consistently outpaced growth in the rest of America. But that long run ended in 2015 . . . .
In most states, this slowdown would be no big deal; occasional underperformance is just a fact of life. But everything is bigger in Texas, including inflated expectations, so the slowdown has come as something of a shock.Now, there’s no mystery about what is happening: It’s all about the hydrocarbons. . . . this extractive-sector windfall accounted for about a third of the difference between growth in Texas and growth in the rest of the country.
Now one of the three big drivers of Texas growth has gone into reverse, as low world oil prices are bringing the fracking boom to a screeching halt. Hey, things like that happen to every state now and then.But Texas wasn’t supposed to be like other states. It was supposed to be the shining exemplar of the economic payoff to reverse Robin-Hood economics. So its recent disappointments hit the right-wing cause hard — especially coming on the heels of the Kansas debacle.
[M]eanwhile, there’s California, long mocked by the right as an economy doomed by its liberal politics. Not so much, it turns out: The budget is back in surplus in part because the emergence of a Democratic supermajority finally made it possible to enact tax increases, and the state is experiencing a solid recovery.
The states, Louis Brandeis famously declared, are the laboratories of democracy. In fact, Mr. Brownback himself described his plan as an “experiment” that would demonstrate the truth of his economic doctrine. What it actually did, however, was demonstrate the opposite. . . .
Will anyone on the right take heed? Probably not. Unlike real experimenters, Mr. Brownback wasn’t willing to take no for an answer, whatever happened, and the same is true for just about everyone on his side of the political divide. Or to put it another way, belief that tax cuts are a universal elixir that cures all economic ills is the ultimate zombie idea . . .
Still, the spectacle of the Texas economy coming back to earth, and Kansas sliding over the edge should at the very least make right-wing bombast ring hollow, in the general election if not in the primary. And someday, maybe, even conservatives will once again become willing to look at the facts.