Tim Pawlenty finished third in the Iowa straw poll and is dropping out of the race.
However, Rick Perry is stepping up. The Texas governor has formally announced he is running for President.
Perry's got some 'splaining to do over Confederate license plates. However, that's not the part I'm interested in. That's just SOP for the home of gun racks and open liquor. Here's what I want to take Perry to issue on.
Perry is going for the double dip recession angle, how the bailouts and such under Obama were supposed to avoid double digit unemployment, create jobs, and stimulate the economy. And the center piece of his platform o' bullshit is the job growth in Texas over his ten years as governor. He boasts about how there is a net gain of one million jobs today versus when he first became governor. "We are home to fewer than one in 10 Americans ... but four in 10 new American jobs are in our state."
Pretty impressive, no? Well, no. Here's the first thing to keep in mind. Texas has seen a rapid population growth, whether from immigration or residents expanding families or people moving in for company transfers. I mention this because Texas leads the nation in minimum wage jobs (many of which don't provide benefits) such as fast food joints. You know, the things that expand when the population expands. This would have happened no matter who was governor.
And, in addition to, on top of that, the job growth is not keeping pace with the population growth. Since 2007, the state's number of working age residents has expanded by 6.6%, nearly twice the national average. In order to get their employment percentage back to where it was before the recession hit, they would need to create another 629,000 jobs.
There's also another wrinkle to consider -- Perry signed a new budget in May that cuts $15 bil in government spending over the next two years, and the federal stimulus funds are gone. It's estimated that 100,000 jobs, most of them public sector, are about to vanish into dust.
So, anyone voting for him expecting he will create jobs? Pay close attention to how he does his math.