During an appearance in New Hampshire on Thursday, Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) told a crowd of potential supporters that the Recovery Act “didn’t create any jobs, as far as I can tell.”
The comment is another in a long line of denials by the governor that billions of dollars in economic stimulus helped his state.
Overall, $28.5 billion in federal assistance has been sent to Texas, the second most of any state. Officials used it to keep schools open, put more people to work on infrastructure projects and ensure children still received needed health care, among other things — all in spite of Perry’s posturing against such measures.
The Houston Chronicle estimated that nearly 50,000 jobs had been created or saved by stimulus funds across the state of Texas alone. The state even sponsors a web portal where users can track stimulus funds by city and county, revealing exactly what it was used for.
Perry hasn’t always pretended to be against federal aid. From 2003 to 2006 he oversaw a lobbying campaign that sought federal relief funds, generating over a billion dollars for state coffers. Some of that money was even used to fund programs Perry now claims to be against, according to Time.
In spite of his state using stimulus dollars to close 97 percent of its budget deficit in 2010, his new-found presidential ambitions would seem to dictate that Perry continue beating the drum against a program that helped Texas tremendously.
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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