Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
Former Contentions blog star Jen Rubin, now at The Washington Post, was party to a cadre of bloggers who spoke to Texas Gov. Rick Perry on Friday at the Republican Governors Association meeting in Washington, DC. (FYI: Heartland’s Ben Domenech landed a sit-down interview with Perry back in September. It’s worth watching. Along with policy, Perry talks about shootin’ guns. Not to be missed.)
Anyway, from Rubin’s blog post we learn that Perry — the head of the Republican Governors Association — has been tweeting support for Gov. Scott Walker’s stand against public-sector unions in Wisconsin. Rubin reports:
[Perry] calls the state senators who’ve walked off the job “juvenile” and “immature.” He says, “You have fourteen senators who have walked away from their responsibilities. Listen, I understand in fighting for what you believe in, but in the end we vote.”
Rubin and the other bloggers engaged Perry in a wide-ranging conversation — and Perry was most passionate about the concept of federalism. Rubin writes:
I ask him what accounts for the difference in economic performance between Texas and California, both large Sunbelt states and both with large illegal immigration problems.
He responds, “It’s about taxation. It’s about regulation. It’s about a legal system. It’s funding an accountable school system.” He adds that Texas doesn’t have a personal income tax while California has “an onerous one.” He notes that Illinois just raised its income tax 66 percent. “So we will be reaching out” to lure Illinois businesses, he says, just as he did with Washington state businesses.
Yes. We residents of Illinois have noticed that hike in the income tax — which was instituted retroactively, by the way, meaning a bigger sock on the paycheck a few weeks ago.
Perry’s adherence to the 10th Amendment is pure. He even kinda congratulated Maryland Gov. O’Malley for raising taxes and fees. If your principles say that’s the way to go, and your voters agree, that’s fine. The subtext: Just have my back when I do the opposite.
Perry says he’s never going to run for president. Why? Because of those federalist principles he holds dear:
“I am a true believer that the Tenth Amendment is being disregarded,” Perry said. “I’m impassioned about states competing against each other.” He wants the federal government to be “as inconsequential as possible.”
He says with admiration that when he met New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, she said, “I’m going to steal your jobs!” Perry exclaims, “Now, you’re talking.” He thinks states are where the action is and says he wants to keep Texas as the “most successful state.” He says he therefore is “going to work on making the federal government as innocuous as possible.” [Emphasis mine.]
As Perry said: Now you’re talkin’!