Commentary

Some Perspective on Perry and Texas Jobs and Taxes

My colleague Shikha writes in The Daily:

Texas Gov. Rick Perry electrified liberal and conservative pundits by entering the GOP presidential primary. But both will be disappointed. Liberals because Perry’s economic record — his main selling point — is more defensible than they want to believe, and conservatives because it is less than they do. He attributes the job spurt to his commitment to low taxes, business-friendly regulations, controlling government spending and tort reform. His liberal detractors credit the sun, the moon and the tides.

. . .

The inconvenient truth is that the jobs boom in Texas has something to do with its being No. 1 in ease of doing business — and the job bust in California has a great deal to do with it being last.

. . .

Still, for the 11 years Perry has been in office, overall government spending has gone up by 4.2 percent every two years, compared with 2.3 percent under George W. Bush, after controlling for inflation and population growth. Perry’s supporters dismiss that comparison, noting that nearly half of this spending is tied up in federal programs he can’t control. The general revenue spending that he does control, they claim, has gone down for the first time since World War II.

But if Texas has lost control over its budget, the blame lies with Perry — and his Republican legislature — both of whom have aggressively scavenged for federal grant dollars. Indeed, Perry has habitually touted the great subsidies he has extracted from Uncle Sam for state programs ranging from homeland security to disaster relief.

Adrian Moore

Adrian Moore, Ph.D., is vice president of policy at Reason Foundation, a non-profit think tank advancing free minds and free markets. Moore leads Reason's policy implementation efforts and conducts his own research on topics such as privatization, government and regulatory reform, air quality, transportation and urban growth, prisons and utilities.

Moore, who has testified before Congress on several occasions, regularly advises federal, state and local officials on ways to streamline government and reduce costs.

In 2008 and 2009, Moore served on Congress' National Surface Transportation Infrastructure Financing Commission. The commission offered "specific recommendations for increasing investment in transportation infrastructure while at the same time moving the Federal Government away from reliance on motor fuel taxes toward more direct fees charged to transportation infrastructure users." Since 2009 he has served on California's Public Infrastructure Advisory Commission.

Mr. Moore is co-author of the book Mobility First: A New Vision for Transportation in a Globally Competitive 21st Century (Rowman & Littlefield, 2008). Texas Gov. Rick Perry said, "Speaking from our experiences in Texas, Sam Staley and Adrian Moore get it right in Mobility First." World Bank urban planner Alain Bartaud called it "a must read for urban managers of large cities in the United States and around the world."

Moore is also co-author of Curb Rights: A Foundation for Free Enterprise in Urban Transit, published in 1997 by the Brookings Institution Press, as well as dozens of policy studies. His work has been published in the Wall Street Journal, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, Houston Chronicle, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Orange County Register, as well as in, Public Policy and Management, Transportation Research Part A, Urban Affairs Review, Economic Affairs, and numerous other publications.

In 2002, Moore was awarded a World Outsourcing Achievement Award by PricewaterhouseCoopers and Michael F. Corbett & Associates Ltd. for his work showing governments how to use public-private partnerships and the private sector to save taxpayer money and improve the efficiency of their agencies.

Prior to joining Reason, Moore served 10 years in the Army on active duty and reserves. As an noncommissioned officer he was accepted to Officers Candidate School and commissioned as an Infantry officer. He served in posts in the United States and Germany and left the military as a Captain after commanding a Heavy Material Supply company.

Mr. Moore earned a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Irvine. He holds a Master's in Economics from the University of California, Irvine and a Master's in History from California State University, Chico.