Thursday, December 6, 2012

Texas Picks Winners and Losers

Rule of thumb: picking winners and losers is bad if Barack Obama's Washington does it. It's good if Rick Perry's Texas does it. That's the kind of contradiction that makes American politics inscrutable to foreigners and infuriating to the ever-shrinking middle of the American electorate in between the party bases.
Under Mr. Perry, Texas gives out more of the incentives than any other state, around $19 billion a year, an examination by The New York Times has found. Texas justifies its largess by pointing out that it is home to half of all the private sector jobs created over the last decade nationwide. As the invitation to the fund-raiser boasted: "Texas leads the nation in job creation."

Yet the raw numbers mask a more complicated reality behind the flood of incentives, the examination shows, and raise questions about who benefits more, the businesses or the people of Texas.
After the jump, a big loser in Texas.

Rick Perry's Texas picks lots of winners as it hands out $19 billion a year in incentives to businesses. If you're a business who didn't win an incentive (perhaps because you do not have the right connections to Rick Perry), you are one of the losers. But you're not the biggest loser. That's reserved for the Texas public schools. While Perry's Texas is handing out $19 billion a year in business incentives to favored winners, it is slashing billions of dollars from public school budgets. That makes public schools the biggest loser in Texas' game of picking winners and losers.

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