Rick Perry's Marie Antoinette Moment!
On Thursday, March 12, Governor Rick Perry said he would reject about $555 million from the federal government for expanded aid to unemployed Texans.
Perry has been all over the map about whether or not he will accept federal dollars as part of the economic stimulus plan.
The money in question would extend benefits for Texans who have been laid off during the economic downturn.
Perry did agree to accept $17 billion from the proposed plan he says will go to other purposes. You might read that as "toll roads!" ...To be operated by private companies, a really lousy idea!
By rejecting the $555 million targeted for unemployed workers Perry said he is protecting employers from higher taxes.
"Employers who have to pay more taxes have less money to make their payroll" said Perry. He said this would cause higher taxes and businesses would have to raise prices on their products, Perry told a news conference. "The calls to take the (stimulus) money and sort out the consequences later are quite troubling to me."
That's vintage Perry, all his concern is for employers, mainly big time corporate employers, and zero concern for those who have lost their jobs.
This is a heck of a legacy to carry into his reelection campaign. It seems likely Perry wont get much support from the workers who have lost their jobs and whose unemployment runs out!
Just to make matters worse Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken has warned that the state's unemployment compensation trust fund could be operating at a deficit by October and could fall into insolvency in the future. In light of this Perry still wants to turn down the money.
Perry, expecting a strong challenge from Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison for the gubernatorial nomination in the
Republican Party, is attempting to move to the right of Hutchison and to reinforce his conservative creds.
It will be interesting to see how it all works out but in the mean time Perry is using working and recently laid off Texans as pawns in his political game.