In his quest for the presidency, Texas Gov. Rick Perry says three things: His state's economy is better than America's. Low taxes and small government are the reasons. He gets the credit.

Almost none of that is true.

The Texas economy isn't stronger than the national economy, and it might be fundamentally weaker. Poverty is increasing much faster in the state than it is across the country. Despite Perry's chief campaign message — that thanks to him, Texans have damn near too many jobs to go around — unemployment in the state isn't bucking any trends. In fact, it's at an all-time high.

Perry's narrative is attractive from afar but crumbles on close inspection. And its foundation is just as wobbly. When the Republican contenders (and the media covering them) talk about taxes, it's not a matter of if Texas's are low but how low they are — and whether Perry played any role in making them that way. But lost in that concession is the fact that Texas's taxes are not, on the whole, among the country's lowest. At best the state is in the middle of the pack in terms of the actual tax burden on its citizens, and it's actually more expensive than most in business taxes. He's right that it's a small-government state: lots and lots of small government.

As for that government-is-the-enemy card he keeps playing: Perry's personal political biography includes episodes of naked disdain for local prerogatives, leaning instead toward a top-down governance style that at times has alienated both farm folks and city dwellers, including some Republicans.

But critics who don't know Perry well, including those obsessing over his recent oratorical flubs, have said one thing about him that is not true, according to those who have faced him in battle: He's no lightweight. Enter the ring assuming that and you could wind up on the mat counting stars.

"When we see him govern, he's awful," says Jason Stanford, a campaign consultant who ran former Democratic state Congressman Chris Bell's unsuccessful race against Perry for governor in 2006. "But when we see him campaign, he is a genius."

You've seen it by now, on the campaign trail or at the debate podium: Perry cocking that cowboy smile and vowing to "get America back workin' again." He will do it by making Americans more like Texans, who are not, he says, "overtaxed, overregulated, and overlitigated." In Washington he will force government to do what he claims he made it do in Austin: "get out of the way and let the private sector do what the private sector does."

It's a powerful ten-second pitch. Of course, smart, well-paid wonks employed by his opponents are working hard to create a good ten-second anti-Perry pitch. But the truth about Perry's "Texas miracle" can't easily be packaged in a sound bite.

At the heart of Perry's so-called miracle is his state's edge in job creation. He cites U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) numbers to show that Texas added a million jobs during his 11-year tenure as governor of Texas, while the national economy shed 2.45 million jobs. On the surface it seems like a slam dunk.

But those numbers, heavily cherry-picked for effect, are where the wonks will go when the wonks get going. Perry's cheery picture ignores a darker story line in which unemployment under his regime has increased much faster than the national rate. It's now at a 24-year high, putting Texas at midpack among the states.

Perry's favorite window in time is June 2009 until now — "since the recession ended," if you believe it ever did. He keeps saying Texas produced 40 percent of all the new jobs in America during that period, and the BLS numbers back that up. What Perry doesn't say is that in that same time frame, Texas unemployment ran up from 7.7 to 8.5 percent — the highest since the devastating 1987 Texas oil and gas bust — while the national unemployment rate dipped from 9.5 to 9.1.

How did Texas add jobs and suffer greater unemployment at the same time? By growing its population. During Perry's tenure, the state's population has grown at more than twice the national rate, the larger share of that growth coming from the birthrate — in other words, not only from folks flocking to Texas for all of those jobs Perry is allegedly making. New jobs in Texas have not kept up with new Texans.

Bernard Weinstein, an energy economist at Southern Methodist University (SMU) in Dallas and a consultant to national corporations and associations, says the Texas climate is more business-friendly than the national one, and he gives Perry credit for being "a good steward of Texas values." But even Weinstein balks at giving Perry credit for the state's economy. Much of Texas's good fortune, he says, derives from what the rest of the country has been doing for the past 50 years.

"Texas is in the middle of the country," Weinstein says. "That used to be a liability. Now it's an asset. As the population has moved west, as we have developed highways and air corridors and air conditioning, all of a sudden instead of being in the middle of nowhere, we're in the center of everything."

These major demographic shifts, continental in dimension, have provided Texas with significant windfalls, Weinstein says. Perry claiming credit for them is like the baton major strutting in front of the circus parade and pretending he's the one deciding where to turn.

"At least for the last 40 years, Texas has led the nation in population growth and job creation," Weinstein says. "So if there is a Texas economic miracle, it started long before Rick Perry."

Does saying that Texas is "business-friendly" mean the state is unlike the rest of the country in some significant way, something important enough to make Texas more prosperous than America? Academic studies and the testimony of people involved in shaping the state's economy say no. Instead, Texas is much more like the rest of the country than it used to be, but maybe a little worse at being that way than others.

Since the financial collapse of 1987, Texas has been doing what everybody else has been doing — seeking new high-tech and information-based industries, in large part by investing in public education and research. Not only does Perry not get credit for that effort, but also his critics, and even some of his friends, worry that he is presiding over a Tea Party-inspired dismantling of it.

Texas used to be different, but not in a way many people in the state remember fondly. The collapse of the state's economy in the late '80s laid bare a parochial business climate that had failed to keep its own house in order. In the runup to the crisis, local banks took cash from an oil boom and used it to play real estate poker. Many bad bets were made. When the bubble burst, almost all of the locally owned banks in the state's major cities collapsed, and real estate values disappeared into the dirt. It was a sobering time.

After the bust, Weinstein says, talk shifted to the state's need to diversify, to get off the oil and real estate bottles. Looking back, he says the devastation wrought by the bust sort of took care of the diversification issue on its own. "The economy diversified itself," he says, "because as energy and real estate and agriculture shrank, the state's economy de facto became more diversified."

In attempting to diversify, though, Texas became much more like everybody else in terms of public policy. There was "a rush to the adoption of public policies to stimulate economic growth," Weinstein says. "So we got legislation in Austin allowing local government to give away tax base.

"Prior to the energy bust and the real estate collapse, we didn't have things like economic development sales taxes and property tax abatements, emerging technology funds, the Texas Enterprise Fund," he says of states' efforts to lure companies across their borders. "We didn't do that stuff. A lot of other states did, but we didn't, because, number one, we never needed to, and number two, well gosh, that's state socialism. But nonetheless we started doing all that stuff."

In its pursuit of new industries, the state didn't just give tax money away. It also levied record-high new taxes and put the new revenue into public education and university research. At roughly the same time, an important court ruling forced the state to share education funding more equitably among rich and poor school districts.

Paul Colbert, now an education consultant in Houston, served in the Texas Legislature with Perry in the late '80s and early '90s. He points to a legislative session in 1987 in which Perry, then still a Democrat, joined a majority in both parties in passing a record-setting tax increase. With that money, Colbert says, "we did several things that turned the economy around, intentionally. One of them was that we didn't cut funding for public education.

"Number two, we made a conscious effort to focus on payments to higher education in the areas of research funding, in particular in the areas of creating spinoff from university research and economic development that basically resulted in creating what they now refer to as the Silicon Hills of Austin."

As a result, companies began moving headquarters or significant operations to the Austin area, including Dell, Nvidia, 3M, and Apple — so many that the direct American Airlines flight from Austin to San Jose, California, now discontinued, was called the "Nerd Bird."

There were other payoffs from the state's investment in education. Texas public school students made significant strides on achievement tests. "If you go back to the early 1990s," Colbert says, "there was a Rand study, the first of a number of Rand studies, that indicated that Texas had basically jumped well ahead of the pack in education. If you went demographic subgroup by demographic subgroup, we were well ahead."

Texas has not remained faithful to these efforts under Perry. Lawmakers in recent years have relentlessly dialed back support for public education and devised ways to escape court-ordered revenue-sharing for poor districts. Some of the big test-score gains of the '90s turned out to be based on cheating. Still, achievement seems to be headed south. And that was all before this year.

In this year's legislative session, Perry proudly led the call for $5.4 billion in cuts to state support for public education, leaving the state education budget at $29 billion, according to an analysis by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Before these cuts, the nonpartisan Texas Legislative Study Group placed Texas at 47th among the states in support for education, and 50th in the percentage of population 25 and older with high school diplomas.

Perry's supporters argue the cuts were necessary to deal with a two-year state budget deficit projected at $15 billion to $27 billion, depending upon who's doing the projecting. His detractors wonder why a state that's supposed to have the nation's most robust regional economy lumbers under such shortfalls. They also wonder why a supposedly healthy economy produces a poverty rate that's 20 percent higher than the national rate, according to census data released last month.

Regardless, the state's government, like state governments elsewhere, was headed for the poor farm if something didn't get cut. Perry, with strong backing from Tea Party-right majorities in both houses of the legislature, focused on public schools with a vengeance. The state cut support for schools by $500 to $700 per student and completely gutted two areas considered vital for minority-student success: full-day prekindergarten and a series of grant programs for tutoring and other special support.

In championing the cuts, Perry staved off calls to take more from the state's $9 billion "rainy day" fund, which many said was established for just such a purpose. That move lent credence to critics who believe Perry's real purpose was a Tea Party-friendly "starve the beast" strategy to diminish public education as a communal responsibility.

These cuts, all so public and brash, have actually obscured from the headlines another Perry initiative that should worry the Texas business and research communities even more.

In 2008, Perry convened a "higher education summit." At it, he unveiled his ideas to make it easier, cheaper, and faster for students to graduate from the state's top-tier universities. His "seven breakthrough solutions" — actually the handiwork of a former oilman and friend, Jeff Sandefer, who has donated $300,000 to Perry's campaigns since 2000 — would forbid universities from using academic research to decide whether to grant professors tenure.

Under the plan, which is nowhere near adoption, tenure decisions would depend heavily on "customer satisfaction ratings" — grades students give teachers. A professor would have to show that he or she has been teaching at least three classes of 30 or more students every semester for seven years and earning customer satisfaction ratings of at least 4.5 out of 5 possible points.

People who believe they helped bring the Texas economy back from the debacle of 1987, even some who are friendly to Perry otherwise, are horrified by his "seven points."

"To me, it's a disgrace to the tradition of scholarship and discovery," says John Sibley Butler, a professor of entrepreneurship and small business at the University of Texas at Austin and director of an institute that studies and promotes economic growth in Texas.

Weinstein, at SMU, served as a consultant in the late '80s to cities trying to attract high-tech industry. In retrospect, he says, those glad-handing recruitment campaigns probably had less to do with drawing high-tech businesses to Texas than the presence of well-funded and prestigious academic research centers.

"I think more of that has come about as a result of the research that occurs in a place like the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, which is one of the largest medical complexes in the country," he says. "UT Southwestern has probably generated a lot of spinoff activity and attracted a lot of health-care companies to the region."

For all of Perry's Texas swagger, there are ways in which he simply doesn't get Texas, says Texan Terry Sullivan, a political science professor at the University of North Carolina. "The reason we don't have kudzu in Texas is because researchers — not teachers, but researchers at Texas A&M University — know how to stop that stuff," says Sullivan, a national fellow of the Hoover Institution who is executive director of the White House Transition Project and author of The Nerve Center: Lessons in Governing From the White House Chiefs of Staff. "The reason our cattle are more productive in Texas even though they live on really crappy land is because researchers, not teachers, at Texas A&M discovered how to make cattle stronger.

"For somebody to think that major state universities like Texas A&M should focus on teaching and not research is to grossly misunderstand the importance of fundamental research to the economy of the state of Texas.

"So if a governor's only claim to fame is his ability to improve the economy of Texas and he doesn't get that, then there must be a critical difference between how the Texas economy got where it is and that governor's role in it."

If the state's relationship with education and research has appeared a little schizoid — Here, take the money; no, give us back the money — what effect has all of that had on the hardiness of the overall Texas economy? It's hard to draw direct links, but the available studies suggest it's not nearly as robust as Perry depicts.

An October 2005 analysis by economists at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas looked closely at how Texas recovered from the post-9/11 recession. They concluded that the Texas economy was significantly slower to heal and more jobless in its rebound than the national recovery, for a variety of reasons.

Perry's critics often say he benefits from all of that "oil in the ground," but oil and gas jobs have waned. Meanwhile, a wider shift from manufacturing to government employment — especially all of those education jobs added before Perry helped gut them — required major retraining of laid-off workers. According to the Fed study, that shift left the state's economy more susceptible to the punch it's taking now, and to the roundhouse represented in the recession's potential double-dip. But in the end, the report called Texas's poor performance in overall job creation "a bit of a mystery."

It was less mysterious in a report published two years later, by the conservative Kauffman Foundation. The group's "New Economy Index" measures growth and innovation in information technology. It examines an array of measures — patent applications, initial public stock offerings, immigration of knowledge workers, workforce education, and other indicators — to see where the new technology economy is hot and where it isn't.

Of the 50 states, Texas earned a second-tier overall ranking in the 2007 report — 14th place — but with low marks in the areas of workforce education (34th), high-tech manufacturing (35th), and desirability as a destination for knowledge-industry immigrants (44th). The 2010 version reported that Texas had slipped from an overall national ranking of 14th in 2007 to 18th in 2010. And while Texas received a much better mark as home to high-tech manufacturing, moving up from a national rank of 35th four years ago to tenth place in 2010, Texas's overall rank was dragged down by rankings in the 40s in two key areas: workplace education and the immigration of knowledge workers.

What if Perry's critics are right?What if a strong public school system and prestigious university research programs were keys to Texas's economic success? If those legs of the Texas miracle are being sawed off, what's left?

Another important plank in Perry's Texas miracle platform is his portrayal of Texas as a low-tax state. The way he tells it, low state and local taxes are drawing businesses and people to his state. Like so much in Perry's portrait of Texas, the notion might be more wishful than real.

Weinstein, at SMU, now confines himself to the economics of energy, but for 25 years he was the state's best-known business recruitment and expansion consultant, hired by cities all over Texas. During that time, most tax incentives in Texas amounted to state government allowing local governments to give away their own tax bases to woo companies. It's a practice Weinstein now questions.

"All the research on economic development I'm familiar with over the last 60 years has found that state and local incentives are a fairly minor factor in the business site selection calculus," he says. "And that's understandable, because state and local taxes for a lot of companies are fairly minor costs of doing business."

Plus, he says, "every other state does the same thing."

But, as Weinstein points out, cutting local taxes can hurt the localities that do it.

"[Those businesses are] still going to have kids in school," he says. "They're still going to need the roads and the water. Somebody else has got to pay for the cost of providing services to that business that isn't going to be paying its fair share of the taxes."

Despite the giveaways, small government still doesn't mean scant government in Texas. It means lots and lots of small government and accompanying taxes. Sure, a new Texan might relish the paycheck bump owing to the state's lack of income tax. But a typical Dallas property owner pays property taxes to the county, city, local schools, county hospital district, a county educational services district, and a community college district, along with sales tax to the state, sales tax to the regional transportation agency, and a plethora of local, county, regional, and state fees and excise taxes.

In addition, a host of new tax-related entities, mainly invisible to the public, has been created in the past 25 years, including municipal utility districts, tax increment financing districts, redevelopment zones, municipal management districts, and others, most of which have the power to borrow money, all of which must be repaid by taxes.

So is Texas truly the low-tax state Rick Perry paints it to be compared with the other 49? Judging by the few available comprehensive surveys, the answer is one that should be familiar by now: No.

The Council on State Taxation (COST), which represents large corporations on state tax issues, hires the accounting firm of Ernst & Young every year to study total state and local business taxes. Their 2010 study puts Texas at 19th for states with highest business taxes as a percentage of gross state product.

The Tax Foundation, a conservative think tank, gives Texas good marks for total state and local tax burden per capita — 39th place, with 50th marking the lowest tax burden. But the Tax Foundation ranks Texas fifth-worst for corporate taxes, a ranking that reflects a plethora of excise, licensing, and other costs, taxes, and negative incentives that businesses must deal with in Texas. The state also claims the third-highest effective property tax rate in the nation after New Jersey and New Hampshire, according to the Tax Foundation.

The shifting of public responsibility from state to local government also shows up in the study's rankings for total public debt per capita. If you look only at state government, Texas looks great — the next-to-lowest debt per resident in the country. But when you add local debt to that state debt, Texas falls into 15th place, among the most debt-loaded states in the union.

Taken together, the numbers fail to conform to Perry's portrayal. In job creation and economic hardiness, as a tax haven, even as a place where government is supposed to be scarce, Texas fails to fit the sound bites. Which raises another question about Perry himself: If Texas is not the small-government, low-tax, bottom-up-governed oasis its governor describes, is he even that kind of leader?

The Tea Party has been lighting torches of discontent in recent weeks over Perry's support for in-state tuition for children of illegal immigrants (too compassionate) and his backing of mandatory HPV vaccinations for teenage girls (too progressive). But another chapter, one too nuanced for the 24-hour news cycle, better demonstrates Perry's true style of governance: his failed attempt to create a high-tech transportation corridor across the entire state.

Announced in January 2002, the Trans-Texas Corridor, or TTC, was to be a 1,200-foot-wide, 4,000-mile-long swath carrying high-speed rail, pipelines, and high-tech super toll roads from Mexico to Oklahoma. Like the higher education "seven points" plan, the TTC was the brainchild of a millionaire pal of Perry's, the late Ric Williamson, whom Perry had appointed chairman of the state's transportation commission.

The problem, according to people involved in Texas transportation and trade issues at the time, was that Perry and Williamson dropped the plan on legislators as a fait accompli, without any political preparation. Then they made things worse by stubbornly trying to force it by fiat down the throats of an increasingly recalcitrant citizenry.

The TTC idea is dead now, shot many times over in the head by the legislature. After Perry unveiled the TTC in 2002, farmers, small towns, and two major cities rose up against it in horror, fueled by its threatened use of eminent domain and a backroom deal to turn the road over to a Spanish toll road company — without a bidding process. Even worse, the preordained route would have bypassed, and probably killed, major new shipping centers in Dallas and Fort Worth.

State Sen. Florence Shapiro, a Republican powerhouse, still thinks the basic concept might have had merit. She calls Williamson, who died of a heart attack four years ago, "a very, very bright man." But, she says, "The manner in which it was presented was the problem. They didn't even try to work it out. They just said, 'Here's the plan.'"

The TTC is hardly the only example of Perry's ham-fisted style of governance. After the savage blood-letting of the most recent legislative session, he poured salt in the wounds of local school districts by seeming to blame all of the unpleasantness on them: "The lieutenant governor, the speaker, their colleagues aren't going to hire or fire one teacher, as best I can tell," he told reporters at a news conference. "That is a local decision that will be made at the local districts."

Well, yes, because Perry and the legislature cut off their money.

Perry also vowed publicly that he was not forcing his "seven points" anti-research plan on any of his many appointees to Texas university boards of regents. He said he had presented the plan to them merely to foster discussion.

"I appoint people to the board of regents," Perry said in May 2008. "They are in charge of setting policy... that's their call. It's not the governor's call. It's never been the governor's call, and I don't get confused about what my role is."

But in April 2008, the Houston Chronicle published emails sent to regents and university chancellors by Perry aide Marisha Negovetich in which she repeatedly hectored them to get going on the governor's seven points plan. "The Governor is anxious to put together a cohesive plan of action... and also learn from you what progress you have made to move these reforms forward," she wrote.

In the September 12 GOP presidential debate, Perry said he was "offended" by criticism from Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann that he "could be bought for $5,000" from Merck, maker of Gardasil, the HPV vaccine that Perry mandated by executive order in 2007 for all Texas teenage girls. Two days later, the Houston Chronicle's Austin bureau laid bare a pattern of six-figure contributions by Merck to a middleman fund that has given millions to Perry.

Stanford, the campaign consultant Perry beat in 2006, agrees Perry botched the Gardasil moment, but he says it also illustrates why he might get himself elected president. The same traits that make him tone-deaf in office, Stanford says, can make him pitch-perfect on the campaign trail.

Before Perry unleashed his Gardasil order, Stanford says, "He hadn't done that hard government work that you have to do in building coalitions. He hadn't reached out to the people who already agreed with him and gotten them on board."

Stanford ticks off a roster of state and national women's organizations, concerned over the link between HPV infection and cervical cancer, that had been calling for universal HPV vaccination for years. "He could have, in a government way, reached out and said, 'Here is a bipartisan coalition for this idea. Let's all talk about this idea.' But, no. One day, boom, he announces it. No coalition."

Stanford calls that lousy governing. But he says it can also be "a great way to do a campaign." He says Perry's style — grand gestures, few details — is the right kind of theater for an election.

"You surprise everyone. Everyone's looking at you. You own an idea." That's just how Perry rolls, Stanford suggests. "He likes surprising people with big ideas."

On the campaign trail, Perry still has the gestures and body language of the handsome country bumpkin who was elected a yell leader at Texas A&M in 1970. A&M, newly coed, was still more military academy than college when Perry, a poor ranch boy from a flyspeck town 180 miles west of Dallas, showed up in 1968 wearing shirts, pants, and underwear sewn by his seamstress mother.

Yell leaders then, as now, were more like orchestra conductors than cheerleaders, directing the A&M bleachers at football games in "army yells" communicated by coded hand signals. It's an elective post, a popularity contest that garners twice the voter turnout as the school's election for student body president.

Watch Perry's appearance on The Daily Show last November, and you'll see him wrest the audience away from host Jon Stewart at key moments, with sly grins sidelong to the peanut gallery and, yes, even a hand signal or two. The man does know crowds.

"What he has more than anything else is street smarts," says Colbert, the education consultant and former legislator. "What he has is an ability to be able to judge people for what it is that's important to them. How can I make them my friend? In all sorts of ways, that's a very, very important skill to have, and if you happen to be in politics, it's one of the most vital skills you can have."

He's particularly adept at picking up on and hooking into important underlying themes in public sentiment long before other politicians get a clue, Colbert says.

"He sees it. He runs in front of it, and regardless of whatever his underlying stuff may be, he will do what he needs to do to stay on top of that wave rather than have the wave roll over him and crush him," Colbert says. "He's a good surfer."

That's exactly what Stanford says he saw Perry do to Kay Bailey Hutchison when he beat her in the 2010 Republican primary. In April of that year, when country club Bush Republicans were still looking down their noses at the Tea Party, Perry spotted what Stanford calls "the simple campaign algebra" and ran with it.

"He's down by a couple dozen points against this really popular lady," Stanford remembers. "He figures his only chance really is to say she's Washington. And then suddenly the pitchfork crowd comes up and says, 'We hate Washington.'"

Stanford says Perry's quick response was, "'Oh, cool, here's my army. I shall lead them.'

"Before any politician in the country was willing to talk to the Tea Party," Stanford says, "he spoke to three of their rallies in one day. He was the only guy in the country. He saw the train coming down the tracks that he knew he'd have to take."

To these personal gifts another important asset must be added: a campaign staff so brilliant it's already being studied by political scientists across the country. In his book excerpt, "Rick Perry and His Eggheads," journalist Sasha Issenberg explains how the Perry gubernatorial campaign in 2010 allied with a team of political scientists from Yale, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of Maryland.

And then there's the pure weirdness of Texas, and Perry's ability to exploit it. Stanford says Perry has whipped a succession of candidates who might have been smarter than he was about the world because Perry was smarter than they were about Texas.

"Rick Perry always knew that to be Texas governor, first in the voters' eyes you had to be Texas," Stanford says. "He did an ad campaign, 'I'm proud of Texas, how about you?' If you're attacking Rick Perry, you're attacking Texas. He always sets it up that way."

Perhaps the last question, then, is whether being proud of Texas can get Perry elected president.

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59 comments
Max
Max

How can someone like Rick Perry who claimed that Texas needed to get off from the union now wants to be the president of the United States?

Truthful
Truthful

Leticia; This article is about Gov. Perry, what President Lula De Silva has to do with it? Despite your hateful comment about him, we saw him as a very productive president that put Brazil on the world stage as an economic power house. We wish that next election in this great country would bring us a president of Lula De Silva caliber.

Leticia Martelle Maynard
Leticia Martelle Maynard

Parce que vous rendre hommage à un ami français des dictateurs corrompus?

Lula da Silva, a man of morbid vanity.Awards for a hypocrite who always sided with dictators!In Brazil, everyone knows that the former president Lula da Silva is a mansick of vanity whose personal goal, pass to the world a false image of self. Why false image?Because Lula claims to be a person, but in practice is another.So many say that in Brazil the only difference between Lula and his friends dictators of Iran, Venezuela and Cuba, is these Lula's friends have the courage to show their true colors.Look why Lulas is contradictory and fake:

He praises democracy but in practice attempts with the bench of his party in Brazil, approves laws that control (censorship) to local media.And because, deep inside, have always loved dictators style.Do You from Europe remember when he said that the global crisis and discrimination to the least-favored countries were blue eyes’ Europeans fault?Remember?

Do you know that Lula always criticized Europe and the USA, but not let go the fortune of traveling to these places? Whether strolling or is self promoting.Because Lula, for the Brazilians, is and always will be the man who has the dilemma: Do what I say, BUT DO NOT DO WHAT I DO.Lula has always blamed the United States and Europe because of incompetence and failure of development of third world countries.He says that human rights must be respected, but when he was president, Human rights was ignored in the case of the Cuban prisoners and worse, he turned his back not manifesting support for the cause of Cuban prisoners on hunger strike in protest. He criticized the cause and supported his friend the dictator Fidel by condemning political prisoners.This is the real Lula!

Lula claims that you can not harass and discriminate, but didn’t gave a chance, whatsoever, to the Cuban boxers who have requested political asylum in the government, and aside that Lula immediately obeyed orders from his boss, Fidel, deported the boxers with no chance defense.This is Lula, hypocrite who says one thing, but his ideology and philosophy makes him do other thing.Lula when he was opposition, criticizing both his predecessor president because he traveled a lot, but when Lula became president, traveled more than 658 times than Cardoso (the former president).He is a hypocrite who talks about justice, democracy, human rights, dignity and character, but proved quite the opposite of all this when he decided to personally provide his government to work in defense of the the criminal and terrorist Cesare Battisti by making him staying here in Brazil, even though millions of Brazilians were opposed to defend and hold this criminal.Lula is that and more, which leaves us perplexed, is to observe that Europe keeps rewarding a demagogue vanity-sick hypocrite who preaches one image, but is another.Lula da Silva, the two –faced man.

You should look into the European press about the opinion of millions of Brazilians for Lula da Silva.Because for us, and you should know that we are not a lot, Lula da Silva is just a hypocrite, a demagogue and a liar who pays dearly for a team of professionals working in the outside world in search of bodies, institutions, companies, which finally has been able to Lula getting awards to highlight in the outside world as if it were what is not.

The worst is that his team has been success.We have observed that Lula and his team has deceived straight these institutions in Europe where Lula gets what he wants to enrich his boundless vanity diseased.Lula da Silva, the former president who has made his government the most corrupt ever in Brazil.This is true, the rest is blah, blah, blah, from people who have no principles, dignity, honesty, integrity and ethics.I am a student, a federal employee who always praised Lula when he was opposition, who believed when he spoke when he was the union leader Lula, but when he became president, that was when I saw that I was wrong about who actually is Lula.Lula, two-faced man s that made his government the most corrupt in Brazil, and left us a Cursed Inheritance (domestic debt) beyond absurd to have passed to his successor, his fellow party members who continue looting and carrying out the corruption that is now widespread. I hope that Europe chord, and not giving out prizes to anyone, much less who actually has no character to do so.Again, the only difference Lula to your friends dictators of Venezuela, Iran and Cuba, is that Lula's friends without pre had the courage to show the true face.One more thing: Do you know why Lula is not going to Italy?I think the Italians should attend Mass that he receive this award in France.It is high time that Lula was unmasked in public.

Best Regards,

Leticia Marttele

28 years-oldFederal employee

Jim
Jim

Certainly none of the Presidential hopefuls can claim that they are going to be elected based on performance ? Even the incumbent can't be re-elected based upon his track record. Whoever comes in after Obama, all they have to do is get unemployment back to 7 or 8 % and that's better than where Obama has it. And they'll probably declare the recession over again, too.

jrplana
jrplana

Just in from the GOP Camp at Perry's ranch.They have new Candidate for The GOP nomination. My bet is on him. The Nominee is " Donald Duck". Here is why: The duck is the only one that can walk on mud without getting his toes dirty. Secondly, he has " Palin serving tea at the tea party mixer, and is said to be the Ducks running mate, but don't tell Bacchman. Third, he is the only one that can understand the tea party quackery! Go Donald! Go Donald! The Duck he is our man, if he can't do it no one can.....

yokolee
yokolee

Thank you Mr Weinstein, thank you.

Saul
Saul

Comparing Perry to Obama? Ouch!! Jim, you could do better then that.

doomsday
doomsday

I have no Idea ,but the funny thing is Obama putting Shakira as Counselor for Education for Hispanics,which make me wonder the dream team for Obama:Secretary of Education: Lady GagaSecretary of Veteran Affairs Sylvester Stallone a.k.a RamboSecretary of Homeland Security Matt Damon a.k.a Jason BourneSecretary Of Energy Chris Hemsworth a.k.a Thor Secretary of Transportation Jason Statham a.k.a The TransporterSecretary of Housing and Urban Development Jay z (no references)just another boy from the 'hood, another Obama's money giver Secretary of Health and Human Services Snoop Dog (heavy pot smoker)Secretary of Labor EMINEM boy he works!(Lawn mower )Acting Secretary of Commerce 50 cents( boy he can teach how to deal )Secretary of Agriculture Jamie Waylett (Harry Potter actor growing pot at home)Secretary of the Interior Lindsay Lohan (you dont need to know what you are doing act you do something)Attorney General The Lawyer of Casey AnthonySecretary of Defense Jackie Chang or Jet LiSecretary of the Treasury Johnny Depp a.k.a Captain sparrowSecretary of State Darth Vaderany one I forgot sorry there are not many secretaries for everybody

Billy Ray Sumbich
Billy Ray Sumbich

Ba rack Ob ama- Good reader of the teleprompter, even better at making excusesLousy at execution of economic recovery. Unable to keep campaign promises.

I will choose an unknown over the incompetent.

Craigley
Craigley

Texans (not their Gov.) should get the credit. The free market is alive and well in Texas. Houston in particular is the last city in the USA where you can come and work hard and find the American dream. And no state taxes either.

Try that in Chicago, LA or NYC and you meet mountains of paperwork, bureaucrats and union thugs.

Is it perfect? Not if you are looking for freebies or handouts. This is a state where you come to work and be successful.

But that is the only formula that will save America: Hard work; not handouts.

dcella
dcella

LMAO!! Jim schutze< the author of this article should stop writing these articles, unless he educates and informs himself enough to prevent traveling his one way street on Perry. Mr. Schutze, a fair question to base an article from yourself, would be to write something that people wont dismiss as MORONIC like this article. Something such as, a comparison of Mr. OBAMAS disastrous Presidential experience to what Perry has done in his carrier in Texas. No, no, no, that wouldn't be fair because Obama hasn't held any position in Government, before this incompetent Presidential career as a self proclaimed "THE MOST INTELLIGENT" President. Disregard, keep writing your propagandist articles. They are definitely good entertainment. NOT!!!No matter how much anyone, in this Liberal, Progressive, and Socialist YAHOO web browser, continue to push for a negative perception of Conservative values, A conservative GOP will win 2012.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Cala60554
Cala60554

LOL ... libs and dems fester fester fester ... I guess you are all just scared of Rick Perry..?

Amber
Amber

Rick Perry: Awful politician, genius campaigner...@redears:disqus my best friend's mom makes $77 an hour on the computer. She has been out of job for 9 months but last month her check was $7487 just working on the computer for a few hours. Read about it here, CashHuge. com

Robert
Robert

HE IS A MORON ....... LIKE ALL THE REPUBLICAN CANDIDATES .........

JANENE
JANENE

Can't you see the sphincter rings on Perry's forehead from his head being up his own arse?

Fernie B
Fernie B

you have no idea what socialism is. Obama has done more for wallstreet than any other president. And Herman Cain is a bloody idiot. 9-9-9 the country is not a bloody pizza or steak dinner joint dude!... Dumbassery like that only works when you market shit to dumbasses...oh wait..... this is a republican primary!...so, I get it...i see what he is doing....yeah Cain is great..don't vote for the only guy that can actually beat Obama..9-9-9 baby....how much for extra cheese?

nestor viera
nestor viera

what can you expect a megalomaniac like this sack of shit say,the real truth.he is not getting elected so what me worry?

Billy Ray Sumbich
Billy Ray Sumbich

this economy is so bad, I would welcome another 4 years if Bush in office, The economy is going nowhere under the policy of this commander and chief.

When Bush ran the country,,,

Gas was half what it is now.Unemployment was around 5.5%The dollar bought more.Health Insurance could be purchased.it has skyrocketed since Obamacare.My home was worth more.

Obama and his policy is a disaster.

Dram Catchers
Dram Catchers

WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! WE DON’T NEED YOU ANYMORE !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...ORhttp://www.youtube.com/user/Bo... <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE(OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE in 2009 and is pointing out undisputed facts of genocide against whites - visit website bellow for all details including original documentation).

Make sure to play one from beginning as youtube is censoring proofs of genocide against whites by either playing video in the middle or blocking one entirely from play

Just in case or if not functioning, use http://www.dailymotion.com/vid...

VISIT ALL NEW “OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION”http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c...

MULTYCULTURALISM = TERRORISM !! OBAMA = OSAMA !!!http://stateofterror.blogspot....

John
John

Who is this clown of Jim Schutze? His diatribe is so partisan and biased that it is totally comic. Shame on you for having published such a medicre, deceiving nonsense.

Drake Mallard
Drake Mallard

People are sick of the Bush family brand and the world is moving away from them.

This is the kind of republican that makes the party undesirable

Rick Perry= Bush 3.0

Stone Dome
Stone Dome

"When we see him govern, he's awful," says Jason Stanford, a consultant who ran former Democratic state Congressman Chris Bell campaign. Gee, isn't that what you jornolist enviromarxists voted for when you chose obama?...nothing like this is being said about him even now! total hypocrisy!! we see you and won't be brainwashed by your ilk anymore

Fernie B
Fernie B

Just like all the tea partiers that say federal government is the problem but run for federal office instead of state office....hypocrites but the dumbassery of the republican base buys it... so be it

Fernie B
Fernie B

you have a magic wand we all arent aware of it? dude, not even harry potter can fix this mess. republicans will only make it worse.. historically periods like these take forever to get resolved. Add globalization and technology to the mix, more jobs will go away. Soon there wont be a post office or cashiers or dvd stores

Fernie B
Fernie B

nothing racist about that post right?? You do know Shakira is super smart and knows like 15 languages right? Yeah keep on talking dude...you just make people turn away from the republican brand....moron...digging your own graves and dont even know it

Fernie B
Fernie B

and you are fox news A+ pupil same talking points over and over.. What? you dont want to use the muslim crap again? trust me, anything you can say about him has been said about him already. This guy will keep on grinning and smiling and shaking hands.. and the day after the election you will know why the guy is brilliant

Fernie B
Fernie B

Right... have you looked at the "JOBS" he created? all crap jobs... any state with a booming population could create those

Laura Regina Alonso
Laura Regina Alonso

I don't know if you read the article, but Obama wasn't mentioned at all. This is an article about Rick Perry and how he manages his campaign. From an economical point of view, Schutze's point of view is completely valid, Perry is taking credit for what he hasn't done.

Fernie B
Fernie B

yeah as long as it's not an actual person..Maybe you can run the Ghost of Ronald Reagan. not a single republican can relate to the american public..none.. They keep vomiting the same talking points they have been vomiting for the last 12 years. Feel Sorry for you

Fernie B
Fernie B

Dude, even though I think most republicans are dense...I still think they wont shoot themselves on the foot and nominate Perry. Republicans always have pretended they wanted somebody else before settling for the most "mainstream" (thats a nice way of saying "not batshit insane") candidate. Trust me, the way he fumbles on the debates this guy makes Bush look good. I want Perry to win the nomination. Or the 9.99 pizza dude. He makes horrible freaking pizza... the easiest thing to make.... yeah, im sure he can run a country

Fernie B
Fernie B

you have a point. However, you missed the entire picture. Like the face that the market collapsed on his (bush's) way out. If you set your apartment on fire the day you move out, and somebody moves in at the same time you do this, technically, the apartment was in better shape when you had it and the new renters might look like the retards that set the place on fire. But the world, at least the rational world, doesnt think like that. We try to analyze things and go, Oh, got ya, there are other factors at play. We are electing a president not a wizard. you want a wizard vote for harry potter

Fernie B
Fernie B

relax dude, even the republicans hate rick perry. they're dumping him for the 9.99 pizza guy. Perry is done. Not even November and the parade of losers is getting smaller and smaller

Dram Catchers
Dram Catchers

WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! WE DON’T NEED YOU ANYMORE !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...ORhttp://www.youtube.com/user/Bo... <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE(OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE in 2009 and is pointing out undisputed facts of genocide against whites - visit website bellow for all details including original documentation).

Make sure to play one from beginning as youtube is censoring proofs of genocide against whites by either playing video in the middle or blocking one entirely from play

Just in case or if not functioning, use http://www.dailymotion.com/vid...

VISIT ALL NEW “OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION”http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c...

MULTYCULTURALISM = TERRORISM !! OBAMA = OSAMA !!!http://stateofterror.blogspot....

Fernie B
Fernie B

hey ree-ree you do know we live in a republic right? and that nothing gets to the president without passing both chambers right? Republicans in the house basically say no to everything so no compromise is ever reached. Their only solution is "kick the president out". Meanwhile nothing gets done, obama will be reelected not because he is great but because republicans are so damn awful and getting worse. People hate congress more than the president check out the polls... All the president has to say, is what i just said. The congress that you elected in 2010 is even worse than the one we had before, I cant do anything.

Here They Come!
Here They Come!

Shakira is white, get your facts straight Racist! I would take Pee Wee Herman over Obama.

Laura Regina Alonso
Laura Regina Alonso

LOL, it's actually 5 languages, but still, yeah, she's a real smart person with a 100+ IQ, just saying...

dcella
dcella

Unfortunately for me, I read the entire biased article. My point, if you will, was that Mr, Schutze has no valid point in todays political arena, by discrediting a senior politician like Mr. Perry, during a presidential campaign against Obama. It was not coincidental that Mr. Obama was left out of the comparison, and or article. Mr. Schutze wrote enough to fit Mr. Obama in the article. This was calculated, and purposely done. And you wanna know why?, because if he had researched his so called points mentioned in this long inaccurate article, he would had found himself struggling to defend this catastrophic presidential affair in which we are in today. Every American, who has eyes and ears opened, could figure out that Mr. Obama has been the most incompetent leader we have had in the last 50 years. Mr. Perry has had the experience to make the difficult decisions, has been in office for some time and has been down that road of campaigning. Who, is Mr. Schutze using as references for his one way street article, you guessed it, DEMOCRATS. Lets stop sugar coating, and lets put cards on the table.

GOD BLESS AMERICA

Cala60554
Cala60554

Fernie...I am a girl ..not a dude LOL

Billy Ray Sumbich
Billy Ray Sumbich

The republicans are compromising just like the democrats did in the passage if Obamacare. Funny how the libtards need compromise, when they do not have total power.

Caeser_Palache
Caeser_Palache

Just curious, how do you explain nothing getting done when the Dems controlled Congress? And, as far as nothing getting to the President without going through Congress, is not entirely true - Executive Order! The Messiah has done some shady deals on his own and behind many backs - and, yes, just like prior Presidents as well as future ones.

Fernie B
Fernie B

i would too.. he would actually be a progressive. What you morons dont realize is that Obama is not a liberal

Fernie B
Fernie B

might as well be 15.. The average American (running for for office anyway) cant even speak their native tongue properly. I dont Know who is more aggravating Palin,Bachman, or Perry. You people say Obama is an intellectual and blah blah blah. The reason he seems that way is that you people have the most retarded candidates running against him. He will destroy any of these fools in a debate. Keep calling him Mr. Teleprompter .. to which I say...At least the bastard can read one

dcella
dcella

Regina, before you make a comment in reference to research, I believe, by making a comment on the rest of the country not having resources is probably the most off the hip comment you have made yet. If you research, just OIL reserves around the country, you will find that just the state of Alaska, by it self, has more oil than the country of Venezuela. If you conduct a little more research, you will educate yourself with the combined states of Utah, Wyoming, Montana, and Colorado, along with Alaska have more oil and natural gas than Saudi Arabia. But thats not my point, my point is that the Author of the article is bias and has no substance. And if you want to vote for Obama thats fine, I guess your part of the dismal 39 % approval rating that Mr. Obama currently has. My guess is that if he wins, is because Ms. Palin, will run against him. Otherwise GOP is taking this election by a large margin, no matter who runs against him.

Laura Regina Alonso
Laura Regina Alonso

have you done research yourself? Rick Perry should not take credit for Texas economy, it's called supply and demand. America runs on gas, and Texas supplies it. He's running a campaign based on the idea that he can replicate what "he did" in Texas, which is not possible, because the rest of the country simply doesn't have the same resources. And I do not attribute all the economy growth to oil but still.Texas unemployment rate might be lower than the national media but it doesnt mean that it hasn't been increasing in the last couple years, and the employment rate might be higher than last year but since january 2011 it has just decreased by thousands a month. Also, Perry wants no federal involvement in business regulation, but Texas was one of the states receiving a lot of money from Federal funds, making his "local government works better" argument, invalid.To me, he's just a lot of talk. And Schutze's point biased or not, is still good.And in case you're wondering I got my facts from the Bureau of Labor and the Census Bureau.The GOP is not offering anything worth my vote, so it seems like Obama for 2012. I rather the known for the next 4 years than the unknown for maybe the next 8.

Cala60554
Cala60554

heheheheh

________________________________

Fernie B
Fernie B

oops, if it makes any diff...I like fat girls... they tend to like skinny guys and it's cool with them when my idea of a date night is to drive an hour to go to sonics

Fernie B
Fernie B

hey moron, newsflash, liberals hate Obamacare more than you....we wanted the pubic option... this was the compromise....

Dram Catchers
Dram Catchers

WHITES AREN’T WELCOME IN AMERICA ANY LONGER !!! WE DON’T NEED YOU ANYMORE !!! OUT OF AMERICA WITH WHITES !!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...ORhttp://www.youtube.com/user/Bo... <== OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE(OBAMA'S HEALTH CARE RECORDED LIVE in 2009 and is pointing out undisputed facts of genocide against whites - visit website bellow for all details including original documentation).

Make sure to play one from beginning as youtube is censoring proofs of genocide against whites by either playing video in the middle or blocking one entirely from play

Just in case or if not functioning, use http://www.dailymotion.com/vid...

VISIT ALL NEW “OBAMA = STALIN = BUSH or USA = SOVIET UNION”http://avsecbostjan.blogspot.c...

MULTYCULTURALISM = TERRORISM !! OBAMA = OSAMA !!!http://stateofterror.blogspot....

Fernie B
Fernie B

Easy. Filibuster. See, if you know civics you can explain everything. Need me to explain the filibuster to you? Next point. A president cannot just throw executive orders left and right. First of all, some, if not all, would be blocked by the supreme court and secondly, he shouldnt have to. Those people in congress are there to do a job. It's time for them to do it. If they think not doing anything will assure them the presidency, they are even more retarded than I thought. Yeah im gonna sit on my ass, earn 180K a year and just wait til 2012 to get our president in office. Most presidencies have divided governments that's the whole point of a republic. These losers need to realize that. They need to give and take

 
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