Texas governor Rick Perry does, in some ways, represent his state very well. He is the sort of guy who has rugged good looks and looks right at home in boots and carrying a sidearm. Actually, he does wear boots and carry a sidearm. Once you watch an interview with him on TV, you would conclude that there might not be much upstairs. Well, that is the way that Texans seem to like their governors — handsome and dumb.
Rick actually seems to believe the Republican mantra of less taxes and less government interference. Let’s see how it’s going for him.
Economically, Texas is in pretty good shape right now. The Texas economy depends heavily on oil and there is a high demand. Now, with the low taxes, Perry has been going around to various other US states and trying to entice local industries to move to Texas. He has had some success. Good for Texas, good for Perry.
Hmmm, not so fast. Getting back to the oil boom, the trucks that carry drilling equipment tend to be heavy — very heavy. They are tearing up Texas roads in a major way.
So, what would a state, such as mine (Maryland) do? Well, we’d fix them. Why can we do this? We can do it because the state legislature has kept our tax level at a point such that our infrastructure can be repaired as needed. I would say that they are doing a great job. I want my roads to be nice and am willing to pay my share.
What was the Texas solution? No taxes, hence, no money to pay for torn up roads. So, the Texas government has come up with a very unique solution: remove the pavement and turn the roads back into dirt roads! Right now, they are in the process of turning 80 miles of formerly paved road back into dirt roads. Naturally, these roads — which used to be high speed roads — will now have a 30mph speed limit.
The Democrats have always been complaining that a continually lowering of taxes will turn us into a 3rd world country. After a few years of UN-REPAIRED gravel roads Texans will be forced to get around in oxcarts or their own private planes.
Some Texans are complaining that this reversion to the good old days of the 19th century is shortsighted and a blow to the state’s image. Some Texans even seem to understand they depend on the roads for their economic boom.
Congratulations Rick Perry! You have bought into the discredited Republican economic theories hook, line, and sinker. Sinker, mostly.