The Choice

Gov. Rick Perry

From, by Gov. Rick Perry, January 9,2011 –

This election—including the Republican primary contest— is about a fundamental question in American politics: We have an opportunity to decisively turn away from big government in Washington. Do we want to take it?

Conservatives across the country are fed up with President Obama’s Washington approach to governance. Massive, budget-busting, deficit spending (except on defense, where he proposes cuts that are downright dangerous). Bailouts. An ever-mounting national debt. A federal government that has reached its tentacles further into Americans’ lives, by virtue of Obamacare with its noxious individual mandate to purchase health insurance. Excessive, bureaucratically dictated, job-killing environmental regulation. Dodd-Frank. The actions of the National Labor Relations Board, the Federal Communications Commission, and countless other agencies. A President who has engaged in offensive recess appointments to pay back his political allies ahead of a race he could well lose. And so on.

Almost universally, Republicans hold in contempt the real-life “ends” of the Obama administration’s policies, though admittedly there are those self-described conservatives who have favored (and even authored) Obamacare-like approaches to health care and policies like cap-and-trade. To us, those ends look decidedly liberal and reminiscent of European social democracies, and out of step with our vision for America.

Yet some conservatives, while rejecting the “ends” have not yet fully rejected the means, despite the fact that many Americans—and not just conservatives or libertarians— have reached the conclusion that the federal government has just become too big and has its fingers in too many pies, with the predictable negative real-world consequences for the rest of us.

They argue that a big intrusive government is fine, desirable even, so long as it pursues “conservative” goals, which frequently when scrutinized are neither conservative nor worthy. Earmarks are okay, as long as they are directed by “conservatives.” Expansions of government like Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind were acceptable because they represented “Republican” policy. Congress spending all its time in Washington, DC, and legislating madly is fine, so long as the congressmen are Republicans and they are pursuing something that the Washington, DC, establishment has deemed “conservative.” It’s okay to have a government so big, so unaccountable and playing with so much money that serving Members of Congress can get rich while on the job, and once off the job, they can get even richer by becoming high-powered corporate consultants before skipping over to K Street itself, to try to grow government and spend even more of your money.

To paraphrase Ronald Reagan, we have reached a critical juncture at which government is not the solution to our problems; government is the problem.

Big government conservatives will never truly overhaul Washington because they need the status quo in place to accomplish their objectives. They don’t want to rebuild the machine; they simply want to change the people pulling the levers.

But that is not what the American people want. There is such deep and widespread discontent that nothing short of a complete overhaul will satisfy their justifiable demands.

The American people expect changes equal to their concern, which is the highest it’s been in at least a generation, and I am the only candidate with a vision that is as strong and sweeping as the public is angry.

While others promise to tinker with the status quo, I am the outsider who will overhaul Washington. Others talk about trimming the bureaucracy; I will eliminate the Departments of Commerce, Energy and Education, gut the activist EPA, freeze bureaucrat salaries and make Congress part-time. Others talk about cleaning up the tax code; I say let Americans throw the whole thing out and pay a simple flat tax instead. Others talk about creating jobs; I alone have worked with the private sector to create more than 1 million jobs while the rest of the country lost 2 million jobs.

This is what the 2012 election is about with the Republican primary process ongoing, and it is what the 2012 general election should be about, too.

Do we want to stick with a big government approach that may, if self-described “conservatives” are in power, deliver up conservative ends, even though that same big government will be used by liberals to advance progressivism the second they get their hands on the reins of power?

Or do we want to try something different—making Washington, DC, as inconsequential as possible in our lives and scaling back the federal government to focus on legitimate national priorities like defense and border security, and leaving other matters like education, for example, to the states and localities?

This is the choice that I believe faces us, as more primaries approach and as Republicans select a nominee. Our answer to the question will determine the outcome of the nomination battle, and it will also determine whether this choice is ultimately presented to the American people in November.

I, for one, hope it will be. America cannot abide another four years of big, intrusive government, no matter its philosophical goals. It’s time for a change. That entails Americans getting a choice.

8 responses

  1. Jack C. Pickard

    I support Gov Perry, I just hope Gov Perry can survive this process long enough to allow for me to vote for him in the Republican Primary. We need a Moral President, that will return the government to the people and the states where it belongs.

  2. Senator-Blutarsky

    Perry may be good at invoking states rights and property rights, while disavowing ‘foreign creditors,’ but his actions as Texas’ longest serving governor tell a different story. Public private partnerships (or P3s) are part and parcel of the United Nations’ Agenda 21. Two of the purposes of Agenda 21 are to abolish private property and restrict mobility and P3s act as the vehicle to do it. Perry made P3s a centerpiece of his transportation policy since he stepped in as governor.

    It started with the Trans Texas Corridor, known at the federal level as high priority corridors, corridors of the future, or the NAFTA superhighways. Just in Texas, it was to be a 4,000 mile multi-modal network of toll roads, rail lines, power transmission lines, pipelines, telecommunications lines and more. It was going to be financed, operated, and controlled by a foreign company granted massive swaths of land 1,200 feet (4 football fields) wide taken forcibly through eminent domain.

    Called the biggest land grab in Texas history, it was going to gobble up 580,000 acres of private Texas land (the first corridor alone was to displace 1 million Texans) and hand it over to well-connected global players using P3s, who would gain exclusive rights to determine the route and what hotels, restaurants, and gas stations were along the corridor in a government-sanctioned monopoly for a half century. It was the worst case of eminent domain for private gain ever conceived.

    Property rights shredded
    The Trans Texas Corridor, and P3s in general, represent an imminent threat to private property rights. While lawmakers repealed the Trans Texas Corridor from state statute only months ago due to the public backlash, the re-named corridor (‘Innovative Connectivity Plan’) and its threat to property rights lives on through P3s. Two such projects underway by a Spanish developer, Cintra, will charge Texans 75 cents per mile in tolls (nearly $13 a day while Perry claims he hasn’t raised taxes or indebted Texans to foreign creditors) to access lanes on two public interstates — I-635 and I-820. A third project being developed by the same company for two segments on SH 130 is, perhaps, the only leg of the Trans Texas Corridor TTC-35 project that will ever be built.

    While Perry distracted Texans and tea partiers with ‘emergency’ resolutions on state sovereignty during the 82nd legislature, P3s spread from transportation projects to virtually every other type of public infrastructure in a bill, SB 1048, passed by the Texas legislature which he signed into law June 17. Now all public infrastructure, including public buildings, schools, nursing homes, ports, mass transit, etc. can be auctioned-off to private interests in long-term sweetheart deals with taxpayer subsidies and profit guarantees using P3s.

    P3s give a private corporation the power to tax the public, whether through charging tolls or other so-called ‘user fees,’ to access their own public infrastructure, and, perhaps more insidious, allowing well-connected private entities to profit from concessions on land taken through eminent domain.

    Why shouldn’t the original landowner be able to profit from developing his/her land instead of having the government take it in the name of a “public use” and give it to another developer, one with government connections? Perry’s administration of P3s is like his administration of his Emerging Technology Fund that’s been highly criticized for steering taxpayer money to Perry’s campaign donors — a case in point, Dan Shelley.

    Shelley worked for Cintra, who had its sites set on developing the Trans Texas Corridor. Shelley lands a job as Perry’s aide, steers the $7 billion corridor P3 to his former employer Cintra, then goes back to work for Cintra. That’s how Perry does business — pay to play.

    Texas “Open for Business”
    While Perry is staking his campaign on Texas being the top net jobs creator, Perry’s version of Texas being “Open for Business” isn’t about low taxes and less regulation as much as it is about doing business with foreign companies, including selling off Texas’ sovereign land and public assets to foreign creditors, an issue which Perry’s first television ad uses to take aim at President Obama.

    Aside from the P3s, Texas has 20 active deals going with the Chinese and has 32 foreign trade zones (FTZs), a vehicle to ease the flow of foreign goods into the United States that are chalk full of tax breaks for importers. Perry’s office promoted these FTZs in a document entitled Foreign Trade Zones: Texas Wide Open for Business and even dedicates a web site for Texas FTZs,

    A recent Washington Post article documents Perry’s work to get Chinese government-owned telecommunications company Huawei, to base its U.S. operations in Texas, a company that the U.S. government has deemed a threat to national security noting that “three times since 2008, a U.S. government security panel has blocked Huawei from acquiring or partnering with U.S. companies because of concerns that secrets could be leaked to China’s government or military.”

    Perry’s coziness with the Chinese and foreign investors exposes a huge weakness in his right flank — illegal immigration and open borders. The Trans Texas Corridor has been linked to the global plan to economically integrate North America, with the eventual goal of a common security perimeter modeled after the European Union. Perry ushered in in-state tuition for illegals and has long been an obstacle to immigration reform or any Arizona-style immigration law.

    Perry’s record paints a much different picture than what candidate Perry would have us believe — that he’s a states rights, Constitutionally limited government conservative that’s responsible for the “Texas miracle.” In reality, he’s more like an Agenda 21 globalist willing to sell America to the highest bidder.

    1. This is old Ron Paul BS and they are full of themselves at the moment! Blkutarsky you have been spouting this BS forever now, find a different tune someone might believe.

      1. Senator-Blutarsky

        You must be seeing Ron Paul under every rock.

        What part of the article do you not “believe” ?

        Try to focus on the issues, and the character of the cretin those issues reflect – Rickys’ Agenda 21 servitude.

      2. Senator-Blutarsky

        PSST – Jack…………….I am letting you in on a little secret – The the Republican Wing of the Republican Party, has a big resolution against Agenda 21 treason Ricky P so loves, and embraces, recognizes Agenda 21 for what it truly is –

        Click to access ncresolutionexposingunitednationsagenda21_1207112final-1.pdf

  3. J C I like a lot of what RP says personally It is the rabid supporters that gets me worried.. I’ve finally had a chance to hear RP respond to explain his stance since he finally got a little coverage. IN my opinion he has answered about 80% of my questions to the positive support side. The other 20% is being answered by ardent supporters and it doesn’t provide a positive position for support for RP buttttt It makes me wonder if his answer would be more acceptable

  4. Senator-Blutarsky

    Hey JCP- this is from the Georgia Governor-

    gotta give him credit. Georgia Governor Nathan Deal learns quickly. He’s reversed his predecessor’s plans to privatize Georgia’s public roads in very controversial contracts known as public private partnerships (PPPs or P3s). Former Governor Sonny Perdue put a P3 program in place in 2009.

    That was then and this is now.

    After the explosive blowback from imposing tolls on EXISTING HOV lanes on I-85 in Gwinett County last October, Deal had to backtrack and slash toll rates by more than half in the first week. The Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) also increased the number of passengers needed to access the HOV lane from two to three, knocking many cars off the HOV lanes and into the general purpose lanes causing absolute GRIDLOCK on the free lanes. A not so ‘peachy’ public backlash followed in the Peach State. Deal pleaded with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to revert that requirement back to two passengers for motorists carpooling, but the FHWA rejected it.

    Shortly after the fall-out over the I-85 HOV/HOT toll lanes ensued, GDOT pulled back a P3 for a project known as “West by Northwest” on I-75 & I-575. The P3 industry was completely taken aback. They can’t fathom an elected official with the audacity to reverse controversial, anti-taxpayer policies that they lobbied into place so easily in 2009.

    January 12, Deal blasted P3s in his State of the State speech as “ill-conceived sell-outs” of state sovereignty. Finally someone gets it! The backlash to P3s, particularly the over-sized Trans Texas Corridor P3, in Texas has been no less vehement. However, Texas Governor Rick Perry, unlike Georgia’s Governor Deal, dug his heels in and continues to shove P3s down Texans throats.

    Perry has gotten away with saying one thing and doing another. His presidentially-timed book, Fed-Up, touts his commitment to states rights and state sovereignty. However, he’s sold off both to the highest bidder in plain sight through his support of P3s. The Texas voters have never held Perry accountable for his unspeakable acts of trampling on property rights (eminent domain for private gain) and selling off state sovereignty. But it’s interesting to note, in order to get re-elected on 2010, Perry did have to fool enough Texas voters into believing he had pulled the plug on the Trans Texas Corridor, though the TTC was still moving forward under a new name — “innovative connectivity plan.”

    It was the relentless cry from the grassroots that led to the complete repeal of the Trans Texas Corridor by the Texas legislature in 2011, AFTER Perry was re-elected in 2010. Yet Perry still brags about the Trans Texas Corridor on his presidential campaign web site. Perry’s total disconnect with the grassroots in his own state are reflected in his nepotism as he futilely clings to his presidential hopes. Yet even with the repeal of the Trans Texas Corridor, it’s still being built segment by segment through P3s that Perry and the Texas legislature just authorized in the 82nd legislative session in 2011, despite the grassroots opposition by more than 100 tea parties.

    Elected leadership makes all the difference
    Perhaps another reason for the reverse in Georgia is due to the fact that its transportation commissioners are also ELECTED not appointed. The grassroots in Texas advocated that the Texas legislature scrap the current five gubernatorial appointees that make-up the Texas Transportation Commission and replace them with elected leadership that answer directly to the PEOPLE for four years when the Texas Department of Transportation was under the sunset review process. But Perry insisted his current appointees stay in place so that he can continue to force his unpopular, anti-taxpayer, anti-property rights agenda upon Texans. As many Americans have discovered, Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature are controlled by special interests, not the public interest, and they’ve been allowed to get away with being tone deaf to the public outcry against P3s and tolling on existing roads.

    As Georgians discovered, transportation commissioners now have the power to levy taxes through tolls with unprecedented ease by imposing tolls on existing freeways. When a P3 is involved, they hand that power to levy taxes over to a private corporation (essentially a form of fascism). Clearly, that doesn’t sit well with taxpayers or anyone concerned about state sovereignty over public infrastructure.

    Permanent new tax – tolls in PERPETUITY
    In the old days of traditional turnpikes, toll roads were implemented on brand new roads and financed using private toll revenue bonds with no risk to the taxpayer — and without messing with existing corridors that are already built with tax dollars. The taxpayers also insisted that the tolls come off the road when it’s paid for.

    Well, under P3s, dubbed “innovative financing,” the projects use heaps of taxpayer money (in Texas, up to three-quarters of the funding comes from the taxpayer, not the private entity), and the toll stays in place long after the debt is retired as the private entities cash-in through guaranteed profits for a half century or more. The toll rates ain’t cheap either — on two projects in Texas, the toll rates will be 75 cents PER MILE to take the foreign-owned toll road.

    In Texas, unelected public toll authorities use similar financing schemes as they borrow money against the revenue stream of one toll project in order to fund the next, necessitating the toll on the first project stay in place longer. When they do this multiple times over, called multi-leveraging, the tolls will end up staying in place in perpetuity because the financing for other projects depends on another’s revenue stream.

    They’re also using borrowed money to secure more borrowed money and so on, many times over — like building roads with credit cards. It’s the same sort of financing gimmicks that caused the sub-prime mortgage crisis that brought down the housing market and global economy. Our politicians are building an infrastructure bubble that will be deemed too big to fail and they’ll come to the taxpayers to bailout their mess.

    Perry and the Texas legislature just gave unelected toll authorities ownership of any state or federal highway segment that it tolls in PERPETUITY (HB 1112 passed in 2011). Why would a toll authority need to “own” a road in perpetuity? Why wouldn’t it revert back to a FREEway once the toll is paid off and then operated and maintained by the highway department? Because they plan to keep the tolls in place in PERPETUITY.

    Toll authorities have no other revenue stream to maintain their roads except tolls, unlike the highway department that receives gas taxes and other taxes/fees to build and maintain public roads. In October of 2009, the Alamo Regional Mobility Authority (the new way to refer to tolling authorities by leaving the word “toll” out) even admitted it will charge tolls in perpetuity when it imposes tolls on every single EXISTING freeway lane on US 281 in San Antonio.

    So our hat’s off to Governor Deal who’s not only standing up for states’ rights and state sovereignty, but also smart enough to see a LOSING position on P3s and tolling in Georgia and RETREAT. Now if Texans would wise-up and require their politicians to do the same!

    Continue reading on GA Governor emerges as leader against privatized toll roads – San Antonio Transportation Policy |

  5. On the good side. reposted from red state Posted by shinglejim (Diary

    We’ve been treated to a great deal of angst in the past week as some on our side have questioned Romney’s work at Bain capital. It’s been described as an assault on capitalism, one of the foundations of conservatism. If you listen to the arguments made from those complaining, you’d believe that leveraged buyouts and layoffs are the cornerstone of capitalism and to question them is to question one’s conservative bona fides.

    Capitalism is more than leveraged buyouts and private equity investments. Capitalism is the free exchange of goods for a profit, the ability to accumulate capital and private property rights. Its entrepreneurship and competition and all they do to create a healthy economy. A few companies are changing the way people view capitalism and its happening in that laboratory of innovation known as Texas. The leaders of these companies believe capitalism doesn’t have to be a zero sum game with one winner and one loser. This belief that capitalism maximizes the value for all stakeholders rather than a select few is catching Texas by store. Its this view that should be compared to Romney’s record at Bain and I believe that is exactly what Perry is trying to do.

    I’ve spent my entire fifteen year career in business. I’ve participated in mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and refinancing transactions. My view has always been that the shareholders and investors of a company are the ones putting their money at risk; therefore they rightfully deserve the rewards. That is the beauty of capitalism and thats what makes America great. I still agree with that premise, but today I approach it from a different perspective. The reason for the change you ask? A few months ago, I was treated to the most vigorous defense of capitalism I’ve ever heard. Surprisingly, it didn’t come from Limbaugh or Kudlow or anybody from the Republican Party. In fact it came from noted Libertarian John Mackey, founder of Whole Foods in Austin, Texas.

    I grew up a Rush baby, but I’ve never heard Rush defend capitalism as eloquently as Mackey did that day. He spoke of competition, entrepreneurship and private property rights. He aimed both barrels at unionization and over-regulation and blew them away. He spoke of capitalism as one of the factors key to ending Communism, how it has improved the life of everyday Americans and spoke of what it can bring in the future as it creates wealth for those around the world. He had both conservatives and liberals eating it up. It was truly amazing.

    Mackey defines capitalism as creating value for all stakeholders. Sounds simple enough until you think about all of the stakeholders in a business. The investors, customers, suppliers, and employees are all stakeholders. Maximizing the benefit of one at the expense of another does not create the maximum value for the business. Creating the maximum value of a business means maximum value for all stakeholders, win – win decisions that benefit all. I likely disagree with Mackey on what I’d do with my profits, but I can’t argue with his methodology for making the profits.

    It all starts with the leadership. To over-simplify, if you partner with your vendors in a win-win scenario, you can offer a superior product at a price that benefits both of you. If you treat your employees great with better benefits and respect, they’ll treat the customers great and will perform superior work on your behalf. If the customers are treated great and you have a superior product, they’ll reward you with their business which in turn makes the investors happy. Sounds simple, right?

    It took some time to get my arms wrapped around this view of capitalism as it flew in the face of investor first theory I was taught. But I must say it makes sense when you consider everything involved in successfully running a business. What I just described is obviously easier said than done. It takes work and is sometimes counter-intuitive. But again, it takes a special kind of leadership to accomplish. You must sometimes go against one’s natural interest of placing yourself first. It takes longer to make the profit, but it also can dramatically increase the amount of profit made. I would argue the leadership required for this form of capitalism is not the kind of leadership that Romney possesses and I think Perry would as well.

    So where does Texas fit in to all of this? As I said, Mackey hales from Texas and this style of capitalism is being led by companies like Southwest Airlines, Whole Foods, and The Container Store. All are very successful companies, are current or emerging leaders in their industries and all are headquartered in the great state of Texas.

    Let’s use The Container Store as an example of what private equity can be under this new vision of capitalism. You can then compare it to Romney’s term at Bain and draw your own conclusions. The Container Store was founded in 1978 in Dallas, Texas. The company experienced modest growth and by 2007 had grown to approximately 40 retail outlets across the United States. In 2007, it was purchased by the private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners.

    As you may remember, 2007 was not the best time to purchase a retailer. The credit market froze and the economy tanked. The newspapers were filled with stories of mass layoffs, bankruptcies and potential delistings. Circuit City, KB Toys, Blockbuster and Home Depot are examples of retailers who experienced mass layoffs. Bombay, Movie Gallery, and again, KB Toys are examples of retailers who had significant store closings. Every retailer was hit and the American public’s discretionary income disappeared.

    So what did Leonard Green do with The Container Store during this time of dread? They stayed true to The Container Store’s foundation principles ( which mirror Mackey’s description of capitalism. They tightened their belt like other companies, but they executed in a different manner. No store closings and no employee layoffs, everyone pitched in extra during the holidays, company-wide conference calls to reinforce the company’s commitment to its employees were routine, and arrangements were made with vendors to make sure they weren’t squeezed out of business during the tough times. No bailouts or excessive bonuses were paid. Every team member from sales clerk to CEO was in it together. All of this was made possible by management and their equity partners at Leonard Green. Was it the easy thing to do? Probably not, but it was the right thing to do to create maximum value for all stakeholders in the business. It was capitalism at its finest as defined by Mackey.

    Let’s fast forward to where Container Store stands now five years later and still owned by Leonard Green. According to an article in the Dallas Morning News this week, they’ve opened up four new stores in the last year. Total new stores are up 30% since Leonard Green took over and 13 more openings are planned over the next two years. The same article states that same store sales are up 8% over last year as well. All of this is being done during one of the worst times in recent memory for retailers and without any closures or layoffs. Further testament to this ownership and management style is the fact that The Container Store is rated one of Fortune’s 100 best places to work.

    In the Container Store example, each of the stakeholders has benefited. Leonard Green and the investors have seen their investment increase over the five year ownership period; Container Store vendors are selling more products as the number of outlets grows, thus increasing their bottom lines; customers across the country are rewarded with better offerings and supreme customer service; and employees have more opportunities for advancement while earning a better wage and benefits. Its no coincidence that Container Store’s CEO, Kip Tindell, was a college roommate of Mackey. Together they’re leading this new breed of capitalist that is redefining the public perception of this cornerstone of America.

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is the type of capitalism born in the laboratory of innovation known as Texas that Perry champions. He speaks about it at every campaign stop and during every debate. It is the ability to risk capital and reap the rewards of growing a business that benefit many. It is the truest form of capitalism and frankly, we should all spend more time defining capitalism as Mackey has. If Romney’s record mirrors the capitalism preached by Mackey, he should be out front promoting it. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions why he is not or more likely cannot. What we hear instead is the “profits for me and to hell with thee” mentality painted in the Gingrich film. Whether that accurately paints the picture of Romney’s entire body of work at Bain or not, its a big part of the record and we should not ignore it. Unfortunately when we raise the question, we have been greeted with the response “… but Staples” or an attack on the character of the questioner for not being a “true conservative.”

    To bring this to a close, Perry’s questioning of Bain’s record is not an attack on capitalism; it is an attack on Romney’s decision making while practicing the art of capitalism. When you compare Romney’s version of capitalism at Bain to Mackey’s vision of capitalism the distinction is quite clear. Both Romney’s and Mackey’s are founded on principles of entrepreneurship, competition, property rights, and open markets and are therefore, capitalism in the truest sense of the term. However, when put into practice, one of them is a hell of a lot more rewarding than the other and is a lot easier to sell to the American public. Capitalism doesn’t have to be a zero sum game and everyone on our side would be better of promoting it as such.

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