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Sep 16 2011

Perry, Texas and Stimulus Spending

In the Tea Party debate Monday night Gov. Rick Perry of Texas claimed that the stimulus package passed in 2009 didn’t create “one single job.”

“He (Obama) had $800 billion worth of stimulus in the first round of stimulus. It created zero jobs, $400-plus billion dollars in this package. And I can do the math on that one. Half of zero jobs is going to be zero jobs.”


So let’s take a look at stimulus spending in Texas using that state’s own website to track that spending. Texas received more than $800 million explicitly earmarked to pay salaries for public school teachers so they wouldn’t have to be laid off, which didn’t create any new jobs but prevented thousands of lost jobs. It received more than $250 million for construction work on schools but that work was apparently done by ghosts.

Texas received $160 million for construction work on water treatment facilities, $326 million for weatherization projects, almost $600 million for low income housing projects; apparently, all the work done on all of those projects was done by no one at all. There was $25 million to update HVAC systems in public schools, which somehow managed to get done without employing a single person. Not a single person was employed to do any of those things, which is pretty incredible when you think about it.

The list of construction projects funded by the stimulus package is very long. Perry’s administration received over $17 billion in stimulus funds. $2.8 billion of that went for infrastructure projects. Did they somehow manage to spend all of that money without creating even one job?

It’s funny how every single Republican who voted against the stimulus bill and claim that it created no jobs turned right around and started writing letters to the federal agencies in control of the spending, urging them to fund projects in their district because they would create so many jobs.

You can argue over whether the stimulus bill created enough jobs given the amount of money spent. You can argue over whether the cost of those jobs was too high because of the debt increase that resulted from the spending. But to argue that the spending didn’t create a single job is so mind-numbingly idiotic that it could only be said by a Republican presidential candidate.

8 comments

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  1. 1
    Dennis N

    They do their best to keep reality out of their economics, but sometimes it just forces its way in when it comes time to govern pragmatically. Government stimulus creates jobs, but you better dare not say that in public.

  2. 2
    Steve LaBonne

    The media won’t call them on the lies, Republican voters would believe the lies regardless, and the clueless swing voters who actually decide elections have no idea what’s going on and couldn’t care less about finding out. If this is a healthy democracy, I’m the King of Norway.

  3. 3
    Chiroptera

    Steve LaBonne, #2: The media won’t call them on the lies, Republican voters would believe the lies regardless, and the clueless swing voters who actually decide elections have no idea what’s going on and couldn’t care less about finding out.

    And, in fact, pointing out the lies, or even just pointing out that the candidates’ statements don’t match up with facts in reality, would bring accusations by the other media of “partisanship.”

    Yes, you read that correctly. Here in the US a media outlet just point out that the other candidates’ statements are untrue is considered partisanship.

  4. 4
    Aquaria

    Um…

    Ed…

    Do I dare tell you where some of this money goes in Texas?

    Hint: It’s not to the people it’s supposed to help. Here’s a great example:

    I know for a fact that millions in federal funds that were supposed to go to the colonias in South Texas to build water and sewage systems resulted in open ditches being dug to deposit sewage in, and the rest of the money being pocketed by the land owner who created an illegal subdivision on his land. I walked over those very “sewer lines” more than once when I did volunteer work in the colonias.

  5. 5
    ogremk5

    I’d be very interested in seeing what companies got those contracts for work and compare that to the list of Perry’s contributors.

  6. 6
    Steve LaBonne

    Aquaria- so because crooks (inevitably) made off with a modest percentage of the money, you conclude what, exactly? That Perry is telling the truth? (He demonstrably isn’t.) That letting the economy free-fall into the 2nd Great Depression would have been preferable to an inadequate stimulus that at least provided a floor? Do you have a point?

  7. 7
    Aquaria

    Gee LaBonne, how about I’m saying that these fuckers are corrupt and doing nothing while lining their rich friends’ pockets with the money that’s supposed to help people.

    I provided a very telling example of just that thing, to demonstrate how that sort of thing is endemic to Texas.

    Do keep up.

  8. 8
    Steve LaBonne

    I provided a very telling example of just that thing, to demonstrate how that sort of thing is endemic to Texas.

    Yes, we know Perry is a corrupt hack as well as a liar. That’s news? Not on this planet.

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