Governor Rick Perry's a fraud: It's not as if Texas hasn't had lying morons [as] governor before, now is it (Miracle Faker," Jim Schutze, October 6)?
Leslie Seth Hammond, Phoenix
Excellent story misses mark: Jim Shutze's article on Governor Rick Perry — while interesting, informative, and worthwhile — may have missed the mark in certain respects.
Shutze confirms that Texas produced "40 percent of all new jobs in America" from June 2009 to the present but attributes the state's rise in unemployment during this period to the high birthrate during Perry's tenure, noting that the number of new jobs "have not kept up with new Texans."
But births during Perry's 11-year tenure obviously didn't enlarge the labor force. You'd have to go all the way back to 1991 and before to address workers who were 18 or older in 2009. Unemployment there rose despite significant job gains because the number of residents seeking jobs rose still faster.
It wouldn't be surprising if workers moved to the state, post-recession, attracted by both the comparative vitality of the economy and the comparative friendliness of the state toward Hispanic immigrant labor.
Workers go where the jobs are and where they're welcomed (or not chased off); and if Texas couldn't keep up with the inflow of migrant labor, the accommodation of that labor contributed substantially to job growth there.
Schutze's analysis of state and local taxes is excellent. If low taxes were the way to grow jobs, then Nevada, which has no corporate or personal income taxes, would be an economic powerhouse. Instead, Nevada's unemployment rate, as of August 2011, was 13.4 percent.
Nevada is remarkably similar to Arizona: Its model of economic growth depended heavily on housing construction, population growth, and tourism (Nevada has gambling, and Arizona has the Grand Canyon, Sedona, Flagstaff, and snowbirds).
Emil Pulsifer, Phoenix
Fluke's not Perry; it's Obama: Let me get this straight, Rick Perry has been elected governor how many times? How many years running the second-most-populous state in the Union does he have under his belt?
How many times did the Great Community Organizer (Barack Obama) get elected before they anointed him the Chosen One?
A fluke Perry is not. The fluke is in the White House as we speak.
Bobby Metzinger, Dallas
Dubya's successor in Texas =: Razzle, dazzle, snap, crackle, and flop.
Carolyn Shore Aresu, Houston
Perry chills aging hippies: Jim Schutze's an aging hippie who refuses to admit that Barack Obama is a tremendous flop. Voters are showing a preference for a guy like Perry, and that chills him to the bone.
Perry isn't perfect, but considering what he'd replace in the White House, he's a major, major upgrade.
Teachers have [ridden] a never-ending gravy train of benefits and pay for nine months' work, and they don't like anyone moving their cheese. Same for the hog trough of local governments. [Their] dependents don't like the thought of having to perform to private-sector standards.
You can address him as President Perry after January 2013.
James Miller, Dallas
Real jobs added under Perry: Adding companies that add jobs is not a beauty pageant. It takes hard work and political persuasion. Many of the ideas that created this performance were unpopular in the beginning. Facts are tough to get around. A private-sector job is real dignity for people.
[Let's examine your] vague assertion that Perry increased taxes at the municipal level. At least you were honest that state taxation decreased under Perry. Unfortunately, you also tried to attach the fine work of Democrat-controlled municipalities to his tenure.
The figures you cite are consistent with the social issues you have to deal with being a border state. In tough times, it's cuts or debt. We chose cuts at the state level [in Texas]. There are no easy answers. Cuts mean Will and Charlie will have a fighting chance in life. The debt route is their demise; we can ask Greece.
[Does] a good business environment automatically mean smokestacks? And getting right to the heart of the matter, when did we fall out of love with industry? If we do not want this business, other countries will take it and appreciate that we gave it up.
As for job growth, the headwinds from D.C. make [it] massively difficult anywhere. But Texas has performed much better than other states. Why not chart state job growth in aggregate number of jobs created? It tells the real story.
Businesses working in a Perry-policy environment added more jobs in the last decade than the nine best state competitors.
Judd D. Bradbury, Dallas