(Picture courtesy of flickr.com.)
The Götterdämmerung that is the Republican Party’s campaign for the presidency in 2012 has been wild enough to give hope for a round of presidentin’ to everyone who’s enjoyed a few minutes in media’s glare. That includes TX gov. Perry, recently much touted for offering to secede, and throwing court challenges against EPA’s right to protect TX citizens from the polluters that fund his campaigns.
It is no secret that this state has a lot of business pleasing qualities, such as a total lack of state income tax and of environmental protections. Famously, we were the first to give industry self-regulation. Now while reported pollution of air and water is significantly improved, actual figures from the field show our cities are unlivable. Of course, we knew that. Texas leads the nation in shunting back any potential services for the working people that it lives off of.
What this nation really doesn’t need is another TX governor exporting the wild and wooly creations of this corporate welfare haven to the national level, at great cost to public interests.
Those celebrating him as the architect of our low-tax state would be forced to acknowledge that this is nothing new, and that Texas is also an extreme low-services state, with serious consequences for Texas families.
Education? We’re 50th in the nation in kids with a high school diploma by age 25, and 43rd in high school graduation rates. We’re 42nd in the nation in high school graduates going to college, and of those, only half earn a degree within six years.
Health care? We’re first in the nation in folks without health insurance and 49th in our low-income population covered by Medicaid.
Relative wealth? We’re fourth in the nation on the percentage of our residents living below the poverty line.
The environment? We’re first in the nation in cancer-causing carcinogens released into the air, first on toxic chemicals released into the water and first in the amount of hazardous waste generated.
The state is now consumed by the wildfires and drought that are so much part of life in the west. There will be no improvement in emergency services we rely on, but rather a big whine about how much they cost precious ‘job creating’ industry, from Perry. The governor who claims to refuse Stimulus funds actually used them to bolster up the big gaps in funding for services that his budget produced. Like most TX politicians, his total disregard for the truth rivals the worst of the rest of the field, but at least we have his works to judge him by. The verdict; run for your lives!
Only by total ignorance of facts could voters choose to worsen the conditions we have now. That will the choice if Perry’s name is on your presidential ballot in 2012.