Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Bill White stepping in it on ...

Jason Embry features Bill White's attack on Rick today on his First Reading blog (link). Excerpt follows...
• Democratic gubernatorial nominee Bill White today will lay out three ideas for preventing further increases in unemployment taxes, which have increased sharply in recent months. In particular, he criticizes the practice of diverting unemployment taxes to the Texas Enterprise Fund. In a post on his Web site yesterday, White wrote, “Before the Perry Administration, all payroll taxes were used to fund the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and workforce development activities. The Trust Fund is now empty. More than $52 million was diverted from payroll taxes last year alone, when demands on the Trust Fund were rising. Almost every month, these tax dollars are given to various favored companies, including some associated with Perry’s campaign contributors. Meanwhile, the Perry borrowed $2.1 billion from the federal government to plug its holes, without a plan for paying it back.”
I am just going to reblog some of what I blogged on May 1 (link). Excerpt follows...
Rick was down by a lot of points to Kay early on. A lot of points. 2o or 30 or more depending on what poll you looked at.

What started his come back?

I think you can pinpoint several moments that had a big impact, including tea parties, but Rick's rejection of unemployment insurance stimulus dollars, which would have required the state of Texas to change its UI program... something the state had rejected many many times in the past...

Rick consulted with all the major business groups in Texas... the Texas Association of Business... the NFIB... basically all of them not affiliated with partisan Democrats... and they all supported him rejecting the mandates on Texas employers.

Because it was not even close to "free" money, and in fact would have forced Texas businesses to pay far more over time due to the federal mandates, Rick made the right choice. Obviously.

Kay criticized Rick for it. She lost ground. Rick gained. It was a good story for Rick, and not just with primary voters... polls showed strong majorities of Texans... more than 2/3 (link) of all political backgrounds in support of the rejection (link). Correspondence to Rick's office on the subject favored Rick's decision 2-to-1 according to an open records request (link).

The Wall Street Journal sez it best (link). Excerpt follows...
A few governors, such as Mitch Daniels of Indiana and Rick Perry of Texas, had the foresight to turn down their share of the $7 billion for unemployment insurance, realizing that once the federal funds run out, benefits would be unpayable. "One of the smartest decisions we made," says Mr. Daniels. Many governors now probably wish they had done the same.
So when Bill White dredges this same attack up, does he think it will actually work?

Bill White is running a terrible campaign so far. All the same mistakes that Kay made, without her popularity and deep connections backing him up.
Bill White is truly an idiot if he thinks this tactic will work. Did he not see Kay run the same attacks against Rick?

The NFIB, Texas Association of Business, and just about every other pro business advocacy group supported Rick's decision... for a reason... it is the lower tax option while Kay and Bill White were for the higher tax option.

As for the Texas Enterprise Fund, Bill White is also walking on thin ice there by attacking a job creation tool in a time of economic turmoil...

Bill White in attacking on the unemployment insurance issue is really arguing for the worst kind of fiscal irresponsibility... passing the buck and leaving future peeps on the hook like he did when he was mayor of Houston.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.