Texas Gov. Rick Perry tells Newsmax that he attributes the “Texas Miracle” — the Lone Star State’s relatively robust economy during the economic downturn — to a “light” tax burden and a favorable regulatory climate.
The 2012 Republican presidential candidate also says he is turning down federal money for Medicaid expansion in Texas because he doesn’t “trust” the federal government and is certain the states will be left holding the bill.
Perry took office in 2000 and is the longest-serving governor in Texas history. He sat down with Newsmax TV for an exclusive interview at the International Economic Forum of the Americas in West Palm Beach, Fla., on Monday.
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Discussing the so-called Texas Miracle, Perry states: “We’ve been up and down. You can’t be the number one exporting state in the nation as we are for the last 11 years and not be impacted by a global economy. From the end of 2008 through 2010 was a very difficult period of time for Texas. We just didn’t have as difficult a time as other economies.
“The men and women in Texas know something now after a decade-plus of our governorship and our policies being implemented by a Republican House, Senate, lieutenant governor and speaker. We’ve kept our tax burden as light as we could and still delivered the services that the people of Texas desire, and we have a regulatory climate that is fair and predictable.I cannot tell you how important is predictability and stability in the regulatory climate.
“And then we passed some of the most sweeping tort reform in the nation in 2003.
“We’re sending the message that this is a state where you can risk your capital and know that you can have a chance to have a return on investments. It’s a reason that we’re leading the nation in job creation. People are fleeing high tax, high regulatory states to come and be a part of what some people refer to as the Texas Miracle. It’s not a miracle, as a matter of a fact, it’s just common sense.”
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott has told Newsmax that since the federal government is paying for 100 percent of the Medicaid expansion, he can’t “in good conscience” turn down those federal funds. Texas is turning down the funds.
Gov. Perry explains: “I could in good conscience turn the money down because this is a bait and switch. I don’t trust the federal government. This is the federal government that doesn’t have the money to [detain] illegal immigrants who have come into this country. They’re not even keeping them in jail because they don’t have the money, so somehow or another they’re going to have trillions of dollars to pay for Medicaid expansion? I don’t think so.
“The other side of it is that Medicaid is broken. No less a person than the president of the United States in 2009 said Medicaid is broken. I agree with him. So why would you put billions of dollars of your money, and trillions over a 10-year period, into a system that’s broken?
“Our point is not only it makes very good economic sense not to get into this, but also the federal government needs to be forced to recognize they have put a broken system into place and let the states, the innovators of healthcare, the innovators of transportation, infrastructure, the innovators of education, let them come up with the best ways to deliver healthcare to their citizens, and you do it with a block grant program.
“I suggest to you that will quickly be a solution to the issue, not dumping billions and trillions of dollars into a system that even the president of the United States admits is broken. "
Asked if he thinks Texas and other states will ultimately be left holding the bill for Medicaid expansion, Perry responds: “I don’t think that, I know that.
“This federal government does not have the money to do what it’s talking about doing. If they did, we wouldn’t be going through the sequester right now, we wouldn’t be shutting down control towers in airports where there are medical flight going in and out, and all of those things that are being impacted because this federal government is spending more money than what we’re bringing in.”
Perry on Sunday gave a speech at the First Baptist Church in Dallas and said, "We cannot condemn certain lifestyles while turning a blind eye to sins that, in God's eye, are just as grievous.
He elaborates: “It’s pretty clear that the big raging debate that’s going on in America today is about same-sex marriage and the church cannot just criticize those that want to have same-sex marriage and turn a blind eye to the other sins.
“We’re all sinners and there’s a long list of what God considers to be sins. My message there in a broader sense, I talked about we’ve got to love people. We’ve got to love people regardless of what their sin might be.”
He adds that his message is “directed to all of us, whether you’re a Democrat, Republican or don’t want to be associated with either political party.
“From my perspective, one of the reasons that the states should be the arbiter of these issues is our country will be substantially happier. We will find our comfort zones, if you will, with a lot of these issues whether they’re social issues or whether they’re issues dealing with fiscal matters, if the states are allowed to be able to make those decisions.”
A recent photo released by North Korea showed missile trajectories targeting several American cities, including Austin, the Texas capital.
Perry comments: “We do take [the threat] seriously. It’s not because he has access to a missile that can reach Austin from North Korea but because this is an unstable regime and any time you show up on the radar screen so to speak of someone who has nuclear capabilities you need to pay attention.
“I don’t think it’s wise to downplay this. I don’t think it’s wise for some of our diplomats to call this buffoonery. Anyone who has access to nuclear capability, we have to treat them appropriately with seriousness.”
In his Newsmax interview, Gov. Perry also says the solution to the immigration issue is somewhere “in the middle” between deportation and amnesty for those who are in the country illegally.
And he declares that the “knee-jerk” reaction of gun control advocates to recent shootings won’t have an impact on future tragedies.
Editor's Note: See excerpts of the Newsmax interview with Rick Perry
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