Friday, March 13, 2009

Rick Perry's war against the jobless

Predictably, Round 1 goes to Rick:

HOUSTON – Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Thursday rejected $555 million in federal stimulus money that would expand state unemployment benefits, saying the money would have required the state to keep funding the expanded benefits after the stimulus money ran out. Perry, an outspoken critic of President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus bill, did accept most of the roughly $17 billion slated for Texas in the plan.

But he said the requirements attached to the federal stimulus money would require a change in the state's definition of unemployment, expanding coverage to more people and placing more of the state's tax burden on employers.

... Perry's decision comes despite warnings from Texas Workforce Commission Chairman Tom Pauken that the state's unemployment compensation trust fund could be operating at a deficit by October. Pauken told lawmakers recently that insolvency might not be not far behind.

In a perfect world, Perry's insane grandstanding would come back to haunt him. He's intentionally inflicting misery upon thousands of unemployed Texans for mere political points - against the advice of the state's advisors and other elected - some Republican - officials.

But in my very-red home state, Governor Goodhair seems only slightly better than the alternative: President Chuck Norris.

"I may run for president of Texas," Norris wrote Monday in a column posted at WorldNetDaily. "That need may be a reality sooner than we think. If not me, someone someday may again be running for president of the Lone Star state, if the state of the union continues to turn into the enemy of the state."

The actor claimed "thousands of cell groups will be united around the country in solidarity over the concerns for our nation" and said that if states decide to secede from the union, that Texas would lead the way.

"Anyone who has been around Texas for any length of time knows exactly what we'd do if the going got rough in America," Norris wrote.

But Chuck Norris probably won't bother playing president. Playing is for children. And Rick Perry.

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