Admittedly, I had high hopes for Gov. Rick Perry in this race for the Republican nomination. Don’t misunderstand me, I’m not biased towards him or his campaign. I’ve seen the debates and watched him flounder instead of flourish. I’ve seen the comments Anita Perry made about his poor acceptance being the result of his faith and not the lack of understanding of his message. But I was also hopeful that his history as Governor of Texas has earned him valuable experience with a large and fickle economy as well as immigration. I’ve also seen that he has come forward with his campaign platform and agenda later than the other candidates. Today I want to begin looking at that platform and see how he stands up among the crowd.
Cut, Balance, and Grow. That’s Gov. Perry’s version of 999. His response to the simplified tax reform of the Herman Cain campaign that has launched him into the top tier of candidates while Rick Perry’s numbers drop seemingly more with every poll. And to try and claw his way back from losing this campaign, Rick Perry has proposed a new tax code. Not that he’ll throw out the old one, mind you. Yes, he’ll change it around a bit, but he also wants a second tax code in place so now Americans will actually have to do their taxes twice each year to determine which one works better for them before filing. I have to admit, not a fan of that. Tax time is not something I eagerly anticipate each year, I certainly don’t want to have to go through it twice a year. And while I appreciate the increased deductions I would get for members of my family, is more tax code really the way to start?
In regards to the Federal Regulatory System, his campaign website says he wants to “Institute an immediate moratorium on all pending regulations, audit every regulation passed since 2008, create a public database of all regulations for transparency, and more.” Why is he stopping at 2008? President Bush was not a small government conservative, and surely there are more regulations passed since before President Obama was elected than he has passed since. Is his goal really only going to be to undo what Obama did? What about the damage the Clinton Administration brought to this country? The massive blow the housing market took started there, and it got us to where we are today. Certainly the audit could broaden it’s scope just a tad. And what about this moratorium? How will our country respond to a sudden stop of legislation while he goes back and reviews what’s already been done? Shouldn’t he be more prepared than that?
His campaign website goes on to cover the basics of repealing Obamacare, reforming Social Security, creating jobs, and all of the other standard Republican issues that have been such a heavy focus in this race. Sadly, I saw few answers that appealed to me. Not just from the Perry camp, but from the entire panel of GOP candidates. Needless to say, I am not impressed so far with the candidates as I have covered them. I’ve seen lots of promises, hefty boasts throwing numbers at us like errant baseballs. We spend so much time focusing on the numbers that few are even looking to see if they make any sense. And while Herman Cain is my personal favorite in this regard, (his campaign website claims that, according to former Reagan Treasury official Gary Robbins, of Fiscal Associates, the 9-9-9 Plan will expand GDP by $2 trillion, create 6 million new jobs, increase business investment by one third, and increase wages by 10% but offers no evidence to support it), all of the candidates do their fair share of magic tricks with numbers.
As for the debates, I must admit that Rick Perry has not given an impressive performance. His attempts to attack the other candidates have left him flustered and bewildered, and generally with a loss in the eyes of almost anybody who watched the debates. He brings attention to his own shortcomings as governor by bringing up legislative decisions of others, which leave him open to responses that attack his own legislative decisions that have eroded at his conservative base and alienated him among Republicans while Mitt Romney has walked away with praise from most Republicans, if not a clear victory.
But all roads to the White House (at least for Republicans) start in South Carolina. As the first southern primary, we help each candidate set the pace for their campaigns and future primaries, essentially creating a “win or go home” scenario for many candidates. And we have a true opportunity to see how the candidates plan to make decisions that will affect us in January. On 16 January the debate will be held at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and in Charleston, SC on 19 January. I will be watching these two debates very closely and I will bring my coverage to you as quickly as possible, but I hope you will all watch and take part in this great Democratic system.