Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Tea Party Sells a "Winning" Candidate

The big buzz in the Tea Party types in the US is that with Texas governor Rick Perry they have a winner. He's a guy who has their right wing views and has successfully steered Texas through the last 10 years.

But that's a lie. Here's a post by Dean Baker on his Beat the Post blog correcting all the claims that Perry's Texas grew faster than the rest of the country. The only truth is that over the last couple of years while oil prices have soared, Texas has done relatively well. But Baker gives the whole 10 year record in this comparison:
Perry's Growth Failure in Texas

After getting my numbers wrong last time, I thought I would take one more look. Folks love to look at per capita GDP growth as a measure of economic progress. It's certainly not everything, but it does tell you something.

So how does Texas look under Governor Perry compared to his predecessors? Using data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis (I had to chain these two series), I get that in the years 1987-2000 per capita GDP growth averaged 2.2 percent in the U.S. as a whole. In Texas it averaged 2.8 percent, a 0.6 percentage point gap. However, in the years 2000-2010 the gap goes the other way. Per capita GDP in the U.S. as a whole grew at an average rate of 0.6 percent, while it grew at a 0.5 percent rate in Texas, a difference of 0.1 percentage point in favor of the U.S.

Click to Enlarge
Texas_growth_27052_image002 Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis.

What does this say about Governor Perry's success as the steward of the Texas economy? It doesn't tell us much. There are all sorts of reasons that Texas's per capita GDP growth might have slowed relative to the rest of the country that have nothing to do with the effectiveness of Perry's policies. However, if we are looking for quick comparisons, per capita GDP growth is a common one, and it goes the wrong way for the Perry economic miracle story.
You would think that Americans after 8 years of Bush's lies would be tired of right wing Texas governors lying to them and would ignore this Tea Party fanatic. But apparently not.

The tragedy is that the bottom 90% in the US are not well served by either party. Both are in the pockets of Wall Street. But at least the Democrats pretend to care about ordinary people. The Republicans have a track record of cynically using social conservatives to deliver votes to give the store away to the top 1%. But nobody has noticed. Amazing.

No comments: