The Washington Post

Perry hits back

Earlier I reported on a super PAC ad run on behalf of the Bachmann presidential effort. The Perry team is not taking this sitting down. It has put out a statement that reads in part:

FALSE CLAIM: “Rick Perry doubled spending in a decade.”

TRUTH: State spending – the non-federal dollars state lawmakers can control – is six percent lower under Gov. Perry than it was under the two-year budget in effect when he took office, adjusting for population growth and inflation. In unadjusted amounts, state spending is $80.5 billion for the 2012-13 biennium compared to $55.7 billion for the 2000-01 biennium. Texas’ population growth plus inflation since 2001 is 54 percent. The current Texas budget funds the state’s vital needs by operating within available revenues and providing tax cuts for small businesses. Gov. Perry is the only Texas governor since World War II to cut state (general revenue) spending.

FALSE CLAIM: “This year, Rick Perry is spending more money than the state takes in.”

TRUTH: Texas’ budget has been certified as balanced by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, with an estimated $6.5 billion remaining unspent in the state’s Rainy Day Fund. Every budget Gov. Perry has signed has been balanced.

FALSE CLAIM: “Covering his deficits with record borrowing.”

TRUTH: Texas does not have a deficit. The state’s recent sale of Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs) is cash-flow management tool that dates back to 1987. These notes are sold every fiscal year to manage cash flow and to provide up-front payments to public schools. They are repaid within the fiscal year with tax revenue that comes in after the upfront school payments are made. Texas earned the highest possible ratings in anticipation of this offering, receiving a rating of SP-1+ by Standard & Poor’s, MIG 1 by Moody’s Investors Service and F1+ by Fitch Inc. Texas’ net interest rate of .27 percent is down from last year’s rate of .34 percent, representing the state’s lowest net rate ever for these notes.

Frankly, it’s well done but a little tardy (news of the ad broke yesterday). Perry has an excellent story to tell but, I would suggest, has been cruising on generalities. If there are impressive facts, he should put them out there. If there are clunkers, he should get them out of the way. But most important, when does he start explaining what he’d do in the Oval Office? Hopefully, he’ll spell out some details in next week’s debate.

Jennifer Rubin writes the Right Turn blog for The Post, offering reported opinion from a conservative perspective.


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