Republicans won’t know for months how seriously voters in Iowa and New Hampshire will take the presidential candidacy of Gov. Rick Perry (R–TX), but right now the Washington Post takes him very seriously indeed.
The front page of Sunday’s Post marked the beginning of the official media Stop Perry Campaign.
You may recall last week’s column discussing a new rating system for media bias (Left Turn: How Liberal Media Bias Distorts the American Mind) but the Post story is so obvious one doesn’t need a climatologist to tell you it stinks.
It’s headlined; “Going to the heart of the ‘Texas miracle’ — Even as public sector jobs surge, Perry dismisses government’s impact.” Followed by: “Government jobs fuel much of Perry’s ‘Texas Miracle.’”
The theme is Rick ‘10th Amendment’ Perry is another Tea Party ignoramus criticizing the benevolent government that’s doing its best to make him look good.
If Perry’s job–creation is simply cashing ‘stimulus’ checks and counting the new feds arriving daily, then he’s a hypocrite at best and a liar at worst. And since he’s a Republican, probably both.
A graph that accompanies the story shows government jobs from December 2000 to June 2011 grew 19 percent, while the private sector — filled with sweatshops, oppression and corporate overseers — only grew a feeble 9 percent. And most of that growth was serfs hired to detail government worker’s cars made dusty by the long drive from DC to Austin.
A reader is left with the impression one can’t turn around in Texas without bumping into a bureaucrat.
But the use of percentages, instead of absolute numbers, proves the truth of Disraeli’s observation: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.”
The first problem with the ‘Rick Perry: Government Jobs Parasite’ attack is the facts don’t support it. Perry talks specifically of the growth in private sector jobs and, according to the US Dept. of Labor, from June 2001 until June 2010 Texas added more private sector jobs than the other 49 states combined. Which is miraculous without the inclusion of a single paper–pusher added to Leviathan.
Will Franklin writes New York was the only blue state to add jobs over the past five years and that Texas added 100 times the number of private sector jobs created in the home of The New York Times.
The Post then emphasizes the implied Perry ‘hypocrisy’ by declaring; “The disparity has grown sharper since the national recession hit. Between December 2007 and last June, private-sector employment in Texas declined by 0.6 percent while public-sector jobs increased by 6.4 percent…”
What those percentages conceal is the number of private sector jobs greatly exceeds that of government jobs, consequently a smaller number of government jobs will move the percentages more than the same increase in private sector jobs. When you consider employment in the private sector increased a total of 756,600 jobs, which is triple the number of new government jobs, the Post’s fantasy of government–driven prosperity disappears.
The December 2007 to June 2011 is an interesting use of dates, because taking the numbers from JULY 2007 to JULY 2011, which is both symmetrical and current, we find that total government employment in Texas increased by 120,000, while private sector employment also increased by 81,300 jobs.
But if you break the government increase into federal, state and local jobs over that four–year period, then the picture changes again.
Federal jobs increased during that period of time by 12,400, much of that no doubt due to a temporary increase in census workers. State workers increased by 17,200 and local government workers grew by 90,400. As governor, Perry only influences the state and local portion of that increase and, once again, he does not include those government jobs as part of his job–creation success story.
However, during that same four–year period the total population of Texas grew by 1,979,619, an increase of 8 percent, yet local government employee growth was only 7 percent and state employees grew by only 4 percent. Both figures only serve to buttress Perry’s small–government credentials.
What’s more, if you look at total government employment in just the last year (July 2010 – July 2011), total government employment has declined by 14,500, while private sector jobs have increased by 284,000.
The real story is that Perry is protecting the taxpayer and attempting to hold the line on government job growth at the state and local level, while at the same time working to continue the government policies that encourage and contribute to the explosive growth of private sector jobs during the Obamacession.