Perry: Texas Last Bastion of American Opportunity

Tuesday, 04 Dec 2012 12:16 PM

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Texas Gov. Rick Perry called his state a “land of opportunity” on CNBC’s “Squawkbox” Tuesday, spotlighting the low tax and regulatory burden as a major reason that companies, and new residents, have flocked there in recent years.

He said the stability and predictability of these things in Texas, as opposed to the federal government and most of the nation, has allowed the state to grow at a rate that is faster than most of the rest of the country.

“You must send the message to those that are going to create the jobs and create the wealth in the future, and that’s businessmen and women, that there’s stability and predictability on all of these issues, on taxes, on the regulatory policy, and they don’t see that,” Perry said.

Texas has been responsible for roughly half of the private sector jobs created in the country during the last several years, with a current jobless rate that stands at 6.8 percent, about a point lower than the nation as a whole, reported Investor’s Business Daily.

“There is still a land of opportunity in America,” Perry said. “It’s called Texas.”

One way the state has managed to attract so many new jobs over the last decade, according to the New York Times, is by offering about $19 billion a year in tax incentives — more than any other state in the country.

On Nov. 21, Perry announced that Visa would be opening a new global IT center, bringing about 800 new jobs to the state and promising to invest in growth there.

One of the benefits to Visa of moving to the Lone Star State is $7.9 million it will receive from the Texas Enterprise Fund, reported Bloomberg. Since the creation of TEF in 2003, the state has invested about $472 million to help create 64,000 new jobs and $22.6 billion in capital investment there.

“Here in Texas, our commitment to low taxes, reasonable regulations, fair courts and equipping a skilled workforce have kept our state at the forefront of job creation,” Perry said in a press release announcing the Visa IT center. “Texas is competing nationally and internationally for jobs and we want companies who are looking to expand or relocate to consider the Lone Star State first and all we have to offer.”

On CNBC, Perry pointed to about $2 trillion in private capital that is not being spent because businesses are unsure about what type of government intrusion they’ll have to deal with.

The “pocket of freedom” that continues to exist in Texas, however, should be a model for how states and the federal government push the economy, he said.

“Until we free up the entrepreneurs in this country, we are going to struggle economically as a nation,” Perry said. “They are scared to death about what Washington’s going to do next. And the reason Texas is as stable, the reason people are moving to Texas in record numbers, is because we have created that stability.”

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