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Perry claims stimulus ‘failed,’ neglecting to note its usefulness to Texas

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The federal stimulus program that many experts agree kept the U.S. economy running in the midst of an unprecedented financial crisis was especially valuable to Texas, which accepted more aid dollars than any other state apart from California, using them to close nearly 97 percent of its budget deficit last year.

But according to a new fundraising letter from Gov. Rick Perry (R), a likely presidential contender, he thinks the stimulus “failed.”

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But that so-called failure is what let Perry and Texas Republicans balance the state’s budget in 2009 and 2010, kept tens of thousands employed and ensured that hundreds of thousands continued to receive health benefits. Overall, $28.5 billion in federal assistance was sent to Texas, and 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.

Giving potential supporters a “small taste” of what he feels is breaking the nation’s budget, Perry puts his sights on arts funding, government operating expenses and mass transportation projects, insisting they are examples of wasteful government spending. His letter includes dollar amounts dealt out to each program he believes should be eliminated — including an unspent $45 billion in stimulus funds — but only comes up with about $57.6 billion in savings, compared to a budget deficit that’s running just over $1 trillion for this fiscal year.

“It is almost inconceivable what President Obama and the big spenders are doing to this country,” he wrote. “They are setting a financial time bomb that will explode and devastate every American family unless it is immediately disarmed.”

But he wasn’t saying that three years ago, when President Obama was stepping into office and inheriting a $1.3 trillion annual deficit from President George W. Bush, the former Governor of Texas and Perry’s old boss. Nor did he say such things in 2001, when he came out in support of President Bush’s tax cuts, which tore over $1.8 trillion from of U.S. revenues by reducing the responsibilities of the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Nor did he speak out against the Republicans’ unfunded prescription drug plan that prevents government from negotiating for lower prices, or the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan, or the No Child Left Behind mandate that takes money away from under-performing schools.

By eliminating the Bush-era tax rates and allowing them to sunset, as Republicans originally planned, and revert to Clinton-era levels, approximately half of the U.S. budget deficit would be eliminated. President Obama has vowed to make ending the Bush tax cuts a centerpiece of his reelection campaign.

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Instead of pointing at the largest pieces contributing to the problem, Perry has consistently blamed Democrats, and particularly President Obama, for the nation’s budgetary woes. The numbers, however, do not match up with his rhetoric. According to a recent New York Times analysis, after nearly three years of the Obama administration, the total costs of his new policies have risen to $1.4 trillion, whereas after eight years of the Bush administration, the total costs of his new policies came out to $5.07 trillion, which is still rising due to the reoccurring nature of the expenses.

“The big spenders in Washington from the president on down need to feel the outrage of the American people,” Perry writes in his letter.

What he doesn’t add is what voters should do if the real “big spenders” have already left office.

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(H/T: Texas Tribune)


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‘Rather than leading — he lies’: MSNBC panel says Trump is a ‘danger to the country’ because he can’t be trusted

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MSNBC commentators, former assistant US Attorney Maya Wiley and Rick Wilson, explained that President Donald Trump's most significant barrier is making it past his own lies to save America from the coronavirus.

"There's a case tonight being tested in Walton County, Florida. The heart of Trump country," said Wilson, referring to the panhandle county east of Pensacola. "That's not going to be something you can just walk away from if it turns out to be a real case. We're seeing these things popping up all over. The safe bet was always to say, 'This could be bad. We'll do everything we can to stop it.' But he can't stop himself from self-aggrandizing and lying about things. And it's actually -- setting aside my normal criticism of Trump -- this is a danger to the country that he is not a trustworthy person for the American people. Even people who like him now he BS's them all the time. Now, if he says it's not a problem and people are being hospitalized, it is a problem."

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Trump ‘just wants this problem to go away’: President desperate to get coronavirus ‘off his plate’

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President Donald Trump is desperate for the coronavirus problem to go away, and he doesn't exactly care how it happens.

According to New York Times reporter Annie Karni, sources are telling her that the biggest concern Trump has is more about the markets than the deaths of Americans from the virus.

"First, let's establish, this is a president who tried to change science with a Sharpie when it came to hurricane path prediction," said MSNBC host Brian Williams. "That picture lasts forever."

"Even his allies on Fox and his allies outside the White House were kind of channeling to that proverbial audience of one that this was a great opportunity to look presidential and to tell the facts," said Karni. The Donald Trump we saw out there in the briefing room was very casual, kind of left the facts to the other people that accompanied him out there. But he clearly publicly and privately just wants this problem to go away. He wants to downplay it. He thinks -- he has called people who are talking about fears about it alarmist. He doesn't want to be alarmist, and he's kind of holding on to any comment that makes it sound like this will naturally be a problem that is removed from his plate. That's what we saw publicly, and that's what he's been saying privately as well."

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Seth Meyers: You know Trump isn’t the chief law enforcement officer because he couldn’t pass the physical

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"Late Night" host Seth Meyers warned that the United States is sliding into authoritarianism under President Donald Trump.

Sounding the alarm Wednesday evening, Meyers cited reports that Trump was making lists of disloyal people, purging them from their jobs, hiring unqualified cronies in top posts, and claiming he has the right to interfere in criminal cases.

While speaking to the press last week, Trump even announced that he's allowed to be involved in all criminal cases because he's the chief law enforcement officer of the United States. It's actually a title used for the attorney general.

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