Let's start with the Man Of The Hour, Rick Perry. He said, "Ninety-five percent of all the jobs that we've created have been above minimum wage." I don't know about you, but since minimum wage jobs are what most start-ups do, that buried the needle on the bullshit meter. Someone cried, "Citation needed," and Perry's campaign pointed to only 5.3% of all jobs in Texas pay the minimum wage according to federal statistics for December 2010.
Pop quiz: what's the flaw in that? If you answered, "That's ALL jobs!", congratulations! You win a year's supply of oxygen! Data for new jobs isn't collected, so there's no telling what the actual number might be. Another flaw you may have noticed is that there is a difference between "minimum wage" and "just above minimum wage," like how McDonald's pays a dime more than MW. 51% of all Texas workers make less than $33,000 a year. 30% make more than $50K. Not counting salaried employees, 9.5% of Texas hourly workers make minimum wage or less, tying with Mississippi for highest in the nation (source: Texas Workforce Commission).
Oh, hello, Mitt Romney. Would you like a little ass kicking? I have to believe you would, since you boasted that, "At the end of four years, we had our unemployment rate down to 4.7 percent. That's a record I think the president would like to see. As a matter of fact, we created more jobs in Massachusetts than this president has created in the entire country."
Oh, dear. Someone is playing fast and loose with numbers. Unemployment in the country is currently at 9.1% Romney's 4.7% looks pretty good until you learn that Romney inherited an unemployment rate of 5.6%. In other words, in four years (2003 to 2007), he lowered unemployment by less than one percentage point. Actual numbers: over his four year term, employment grew from 3.23 million to 3.29 million. That's 60K jobs, 15K per year. Anyone want to place any bets about that being more jobs than Obama's created?
Well, that was fun. Back to Perry. "What I find compelling is what we've done in the state of Texas, using our ability to regulate our clean air. We cleaned up our air in the state of Texas, more than any other state in the nation during the decade." He mentioned that Texas has reduced nitrous oxide emissions by 58% and ozone by 27%. Not bad, huh?
However, Perry is taking credit for someone else's work, specifically, Lyndon B. Johnson and George Bush Sr. Those reductions were REQUIRED under the federa Clean Air Act (the section on ozone was redone in 1990). Not only that, but the feds took away some of Texas' air pollution permits for not complying with federal regulations. A wake-up call? Buuuuuull shit, buddy. The Texas lege passed (and Perry signed) a bill that would delay enforcing stiffer clean air regultions for two more years.
And who can forget this little back and forth:
PERRY: "Michael Dukakis created jobs three times faster than you did, Mitt."
ROMNEY: "Well, as a matter of fact, George Bush and his predecessor created jobs at a faster rate than you did, governor."
PERRY: "That's not correct."
ROMNEY: "Yes, that is correct."
The envelope, please?
Romney was correct! Wait...what the hell am I so excited about?
Shrub was governor of Texas for six years, 1994 to 2000. Employment under him grew by 1.32 mil. Perry has been gov for eleven years. Employment under him grew by 1.2 mil.
As for Perry's assertion, well, we've already seen math is not his strong suit, but he was relatively on the mark. Dukakis had two terms in Massachusetts, 1985 to 1979 and 1983 to 1991. Employment went up by 500K during those years, averaging out to 41K a year. As previously established, Romney created 60K jobs in four years, 15K a year. As I believe the saying goes, "Close enough for government work."
That was fun. We must do this again some time.