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RICK PERRY: Small-Government Zealot or Spendthrift? – National Review Online

September 13, 2011

But factor in inflation and Texas’ population boom, and the uptick in spending becomes significantly more reasonable. The same analysis by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Romney campaign used as a source for the 17-percent spending growth each budget cycle reported that “once adjusted for population and inflation, that rate falls to 4.2 percent.” But that rate includes federal dollars sent to Texas. Subtract that, and Perry has decreased spending — the first time any Texas governor has done so since World War II. “When you exclude federal dollars, state spending adjusted for population growth and inflation actually has gone down by 6 percent,” FactCheck.org reported on Perry’s record.

Perry: Small-Government Zealot or Spendthrift?

Rick Perry’s spending record could be a liability

KATRINA TRINKO

SEPTEMBER 13, 2011 12:00 A.M.

Opponents hope Rick Perry’s spending record as governor may be his Achilles’ heel.

During the debate at the Reagan Library last week, the Romney campaign blasted out an e-mail to reporters entitled, “Perry’s Record on Spending,” with an ominous warning that “under Perry’s leadership, total state spending has increased by an average of nearly 17 percent each budget cycle.” Keep Conservatives United, a PAC supporting Michele Bachmann’s candidacy, released a TV ad earlier this month charging Perry with “doubl[ing] spending in a decade.”

But factor in inflation and Texas’ population boom, and the uptick in spending becomes significantly more reasonable. The same analysis by the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the Romney campaign used as a source for the 17-percent spending growth each budget cycle reported that “once adjusted for population and inflation, that rate falls to 4.2 percent.” But that rate includes federal dollars sent to Texas. Subtract that, and Perry has decreased spending — the first time any Texas governor has done so since World War II. “When you exclude federal dollars, state spending adjusted for population growth and inflation actually has gone down by 6 percent,” FactCheck.org reported on Perry’s record.

“I think the Texas record on spending on the whole has been pretty good,” says Joshua Trevino, vice president of communications at the Texas Public Policy Foundation, a free-market think tank. (Full disclosure: TPPF receives the royalties earned by Perry’s book, Fed Up!) Trevino cites a Kaiser Family Foundation study of the states’ 2009 fiscal year spending per capita that ranked Texas 47th in the nation.

“From our perspective, we’d like to be 50th,” Trevino admits, but goes on to note that “being near the bottom is not a bad place to be.”

Perry also received praise from Club for Growth, which called Perry’s spending record “excellent” in the group’s presidential white-paper analysis of his overall record. The report credits Perry’s frequent use of the veto for Texas’s slow rate of spending growth: “During his tenure as Governor, Perry vetoed hundreds of millions of dollars worth of spending, perhaps even a lot more.”

via Perry: Small-Government Zealot or Spendthrift? – Katrina Trinko – National Review Online.

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