Category Archives: Governor Rick Perry

The Tax Debate Our Country Needs

With Chairman Mao, or uh, Obama in charge on the nation, we can expect little in the way of positive tax reform that would relieve the burden on the American population.

Enter the Republican Presidential candidates.  There are many good ideas on the table, and most of them reform the current system.  If we continue to just tinker with the current system, we will continue to get nowhere.  Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, even Jon Huntsman, and now Rick Perry have offered attempts to change the tax system.

The Wall Street Journal has written this piece called The Flat-Tax Sweepstakes.  The column is a good read, but here are three paragraphs that make the case:

Rick Perry joined the GOP’s tax reform sweepstakes on Tuesday, proposing an optional flat income tax of 20%, among other fiscal and economic reforms. We’ll get to the details, but the larger story is how the drive for a flatter, simpler, more pro-growth tax code is taking center stage in the Republican Presidential contest.

Mr. Perry joins Newt Gingrich, who has proposed a 15% optional flat tax; Jon Huntsman, whose reform proposal would cut the top individual rate to 23%; and Herman Cain and his now famous 9-9-9 plan. House Republicans included a reform with a 25% top rate in their budget earlier this year. All of this ferment shows that whatever one thinks of the candidates as potential Presidents, most of them are trying to meet the political moment with reforms to address our major economic challenges.

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The good news is that Mr. Perry and most of his competitors are thinking big, with proposals that will reverse the U.S. slide to high-debt, slow-growth stagnation. President Obama wants to portray the economic debate as pro-growth government spenders vs. the austerity of budget cutting. But the real debate is over whether government or the private economy is the main engine of prosperity. The flat tax puts Republicans on the side of private growth and government reform, a potent combination. Perhaps Mr. Perry and his comrades can even coax Mitt Romney to join the party.

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Filed under fair tax, flat tax, Governor Rick Perry, herman cain, newt gingrich, tax reform

The U.S. Must Support Israel At the U.N.

This column appeared in the Wall Street Journal on September 16, 2011

By Rick Perry

The historic friendship between the United States and Israel stretches from the founding of the Jewish state in 1948 to the present day. Our nations have developed vital economic and security relationships in an alliance based on shared democratic principles, deep cultural ties, and common strategic interests. Historian T.R. Fehrenbach once observed that my home state of Texas and Israel share the experience of “civilized men and women thrown into new and harsh conditions, beset by enemies.”

Surrounded by unfriendly neighbors and terror organizations that aim to destroy her, the Jewish state has never had an easy life. Today, the challenges are mounting. Israel faces growing hostility from Turkey. Its three-decades-old peace with Egypt hangs by a thread. Iran pursues nuclear weapons its leaders vow to use to annihilate Israel. Terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians from Hezbollah and Hamas continue. And now, the Palestinian leadership is intent on destroying the possibility of a negotiated settlement of the conflict with Israel in favor of unilateral recognition of a Palestinian state by the United Nations.

The Palestinian plan to win that one-sided endorsement from the U.N. this month in New York threatens Israel and insults the United States. The U.S. and the U.N. have long supported the idea that Israel and its neighbors should make peace through direct negotiations. The Palestinian leadership has dealt directly with Israel since 1993 but has refused to do so since March 2010. They seem to prefer theatrics in New York to the hard work of negotiation and compromise that peace will require.

Errors by the Obama administration have encouraged the Palestinians to take backward steps away from peace. It was a mistake to call for an Israeli construction freeze, including in Jerusalem, as an unprecedented precondition for talks. Indeed, the Palestinian leadership had been negotiating with Israel for years, notwithstanding settlement activity. When the Obama administration demanded a settlement freeze, it led to a freeze in Palestinian negotiations. It was a mistake to agree to the Palestinians’ demand for indirect negotiations conducted through the U.S., and it was an even greater mistake for President Obama to distance himself from Israel and seek engagement with the hostile regimes in Syria and Iran.

Palestinian leaders have perceived this as a weakening of relations between Israel and the U.S, and they are trying to exploit it. In taking this destabilizing action in the U.N., the Palestinians are signaling that they have no interest in a two-state solution. The Palestinian leadership’s insistence on the so-called “right of return” of descendants of Palestinian refugees to Israel’s sovereign territory, thereby making Jews an ethnic minority in their own state, is a disturbing sign that the ultimate Palestinian “solution” remains the destruction of the Jewish state.

The U.S.—and the U.N—should do everything possible to discourage the Palestinian leadership from pursuing its current course.

The U.S. should oppose the statehood measure by using our veto in the Security Council, as President Obama has pledged to do, and by doing everything we can to weaken support for the unilateral declaration of Palestinian statehood in the General Assembly. The U.S. must affirm that the precondition for any properly negotiated future settlement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority is the formal recognition of the right of Israel to exist as a Jewish state behind secure borders.

Since the Oslo accords were signed in 1993, the U.S. has provided more than $4 billion in aid to the Palestinian Authority. This year alone, the Obama administration is seeking to secure $550 million in funding for Palestinians. The U.S. has an interest in the development of Palestinian civil society and institutions. We should encourage Palestinians who are more interested in building a prosperous future than in fueling the grievances of the past.

Our aid is, and must remain, predicated on the commitment of the Palestinian leadership to engage honestly and directly with the Israelis in negotiating a peace settlement. Their threatened unilateral action in the U.N. signals a failure to abide by this commitment.

We must not condone and legitimize through our assistance a regime whose actions are in direct opposition to a peace agreement and to our vital interests. The Palestinian people should understand that their leaders are now putting this much-needed support in jeopardy and act in their own best interests—which are also the interests of peace.

Mr. Perry, the Republican governor of Texas, is running for president of the United States.

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Filed under Governor Rick Perry, israel, jerusalem, oslo accords, president rick perry, united nations

The Starbucks Presidential Primary

This column was originally published by the US Daily Review.

The Republican nomination process so far this season has been pretty intriguing to me, and it’s also been pretty comical in some respects.

This past weekend we witnessed something pretty unique in my opinion. On Saturday afternoon Governor Rick Perry officially declared his candidacy, less than 6 hours later the Iowa Straw Poll results were known, and on Sunday morning Tim Pawlenty dropped out of the race. Enter stage right, exit stage left.

Now, this week we’re hearing that Congressman Paul Ryan and Governor Chris Christie are both taking steps, talking to people and focus grouping their candidacies. I am a big Paul Ryan fan. I typically refer to him as Jack Kemp Jr. I was a huge Jack Kemp fan as well. Ryan learned at the feet of the master and it shows in his policies and his approach. Governor Christie has taken it right to the unions of New Jersey. Christie has been outspoken, he’s been a soundbite machine and he’s avoided much controversy. He has also managed to rein in an out of control state during the awful conditions of the Obama Economy.

So with people here and there advocating for Ryan and Christie to get into the race, I’ve started to realize that we’re really witnessing The Starbucks Presidential Primary. So many people want so many things in a candidate, and until they find their perfect blend, I think they’re going to keep throwing names out there. I’m actually amazed that with as many candidates as we have, and had with Pawlenty’s departure, that people still can’t find what they want in a candidate.

I equate this to Starbucks in the following way: We’ve got people accustomed to walking into a Starbucks, looking at the menu for 3 minutes and then saying “I’d like a tall…no a venti, vanilla mochachino, light on the whip, non-fat, with a sprinkle of cinnamon and then two splendas added after it’s mixed, oh, and yes on the caramel syrup on top”. These same people are now choosing our nominee and even the candidates. They don’t realize you can’t order Paul Ryan’s looks, Romney’s wallet, Bachmann’s accent, Cain’s “voice of Othello” (as Jack Kemp called him once), light on the Paul, Newt’s mind and Perry’s bravado, and put together a Starbucks drink that leaves me looking at the menu wondering where that is on there, or if the customer just made it up.

Our party right now is a great example of the free market system working. Candidates enter the market place, they make a profit or they don’t, and they leave gracefully when they are no longer sustainable. And don’t misunderstand me, I’m not being critical of anyone here. Eventually, unlike the typical market place where the customer can walk away without ever making a choice, a choice will have to be made in 2012. Some will walk away without making a choice, but most will stick around and find the candidate they agree with the most, or the candidate that gets closest to their ideals.

I remember as a kid, every now and then I would go spend the weekend at my grandparents. On Sunday morning my grandfather would grab the Sunday paper and he and I would venture to a local diner where he would order coffee. The choices back then were regular or decaf, and decaf was understood to be nasty, burned, and not very desirable. We’ve come a long way in coffee choices now, thanks to Starbucks. Choice has now extended to the Republican presidential field, more so than ever before.

Maybe one day we will have a Twitter Presidential Primary, one where the candidates don’t even make personal appearances, they can either communicate to the nation via 140 characters at a time, or they can’t. Those that can not, they will be gone. Those that can, might just tweet the words:

From @PresidentElect: ”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of theUnited States, and will to the best of my…” 

From @PresidentElect: ”…ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States. So help me God.”

Until that time, we’re working and living in the here and now. I’m headed to Starbucks…to buy a newspaper.

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Filed under chris christie, congressman paul ryan, Governor Rick Perry, new, newt gingrich, paul ryan, starbucks

A Great Video By Students For Rick Perry

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Filed under 2012, 2012 election, Governor Rick Perry

Higher Education: Another Sacred Cow?

Guest Column By Holly Hansen (@hollyshansen)
(this column originally appeared at Williamson County Conservative)

One positive result of our nation’s economic difficulties is the renewed impetus to hold taxpayer-funded- entities accountable, and to implement reforms where applicable. Unfortunately, when Governor Perry attempted to apply those standards to Texas Institutions of Higher Learning, we discovered a whole new herd of sacred cows.

Governor Perry has been a proponent of State Higher Education reforms for quite some time, but he renewed his push this session in light of our current economic difficulties. In his inaugural address, Perry challenged universities to establish a $10,000 four-year degree. Most university personnel ridiculed the proposal and claimed it was impossible. But is it?

According to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, per-student operating costs at universities in Texas have grown dramatically; in 1991 statewide average per-student was $10,665, but by 2008 it had increased to $18,571, a 74.1% increase. This explosion in costs is largely due to administration and faculty trends. Administration costs have increased by 52% over the last decade, and nationally non-teaching staff now make up for 79% of personnel. (Sound familiar? Like our tax-payer funded public school system on steroids?)

Not only has higher ed seen an unhealthy growth in non-instructional personnel, it seems universities are not making the most of the instructional staff they have. According to a Texas Performance Review, faculty at research universities only teach 1.9 courses each semester, and nationally nearly 22% do not teach at all. Many of these tenured professors enjoy six-figure salaries, and while certainly a few are contributing valuable research, most are publishing obscure articles in obscure journals read only by an obscure few.

These factors, along with a general lack of accountability, are driving up the cost of a college degree in Texas. But instead of facing economic realities, many folks in Texas’ higher education bureaucracy prefer to blame the State, blame the Governor, blame the Republicans; blame anyone rather than enact common sense reforms. They have sought not only to demonize Governor Perry, but to ‘kill’ messengers who dare to suggest reforms like having professors actually teach classes; hence the outcry against University of Texas advisor Rick O’Donnell. Such has been the hue and cry that Lt. Governor Dewhurst and TX House Speaker Joe Straus have been pressured to create a new Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency. It appears that the committee’s purpose is not to seek efficiencies and reforms for higher ed, but to police the reformers.

As with the debate over reforms for public education, we again seem to be up against educrats who insist there is not one iota of waste anywhere in the system, and threaten that any reform attempts will destroy higher education forever and ever, amen. Never mind that Texas’ higher education system is always demanding more funds from taxpayers at the same time tuition rates are skyrocketing and students are graduating with ever more debt. Unfortunately for both taxpayers and students, Higher Ed is looking like yet another sacred cow.

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Filed under Governor Rick Perry, Higher Education Texas, Holly Hansen, Joint Oversight Committee on Higher Education Governance, tppf