Texas Jobs Trip May Find Obama Grudgingly Embracing Governor Rick Perry’s Free Market Success Story


Even with the selective editing afforded the White House by major news outlets, President Barack Obama hasn’t fared well of late in the public eye.

A cavalcade of Constitutional assaults on firearm ownership, privacy and State sovereignty, coupled with a series of elitist, out-of-touch endorsements of regressive social reform proposals before Congress, have distanced the President from leading the public’s attention back to the talking point central to the agenda that led him to two election-year victories: the economy.

So this week, Obama will launch a refocusing effort, embarking on a campaign he’s dubbed the “Middle Class Jobs & Opportunity Tour.” The jobs tour is supposed to take the President to States and cities across the country whose employment and economic successes (and, presumably, failures) illustrate something germane about freeing Americans to innovate, work and prosper.

Except for his first stop, scheduled for Thursday, the full itinerary hasn’t been revealed. But to kick off the campaign, the President’s first stop will find him speaking in Austin, Texas, where the local economy’s on fire.

What he’ll say there is anybody’s guess, but don’t be surprised if Obama attempts to co-opt the success of Governor Rick Perry’s low-regulation approach to business in a strange obfuscation of what has worked in Texas and what the President thinks will work going forward. Taking pro-growth success stories and attributing them to untested or discredited policies he’d like to implement wouldn’t break character for a President who has a serial habit of confusing outcomes with approaches.

You can see it already in Obama’s PR statements, which displace to the Legislative branch his recent policy defeats and pat the Administration on the back for what success America’s relatively Obama-free zones — like Texas — have enjoyed.

“Even though some in Congress are determined to create more self-inflicted economic wounds, there are things Washington could be doing right now to help American businesses, schools and workers,” said Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest. “We need to build on the progress we’ve made over the last four years, and that means investing in things that are already creating good-paying, stable jobs that can support a middle class family.”

Press Secretary Jay Carney, who was unable to fully conceal the Administration’s provincial take on the lands west of the Capital, said: “Out in the country, there are positive things happening, and that only reinforces the need for Washington to do some very simple things to help facilitate economic growth and job creation.”

The Perry approach to fueling the Texas economy involves getting out of the way of people who have good ideas and want to profit from them. Low taxes, a relaxed regulatory environment, a State budget that doesn’t bloat and, most importantly, an underlying philosophy of governing that understands jobs come not from government innovations but from the free market: That’s the essence of Texas’ economic success that, if Obama is honest with himself, he’ll have to acknowledge when he sets foot in the Lone Star State tomorrow.

Perry’s office greeted news of Obama’s Austin visit with a Texas-friendly “duh!”

“If President Obama is serious about getting our nation’s economy working again, then he’s come to the right place,” Lucy Nashed, the Governor’s Press Secretary, told National Review Monday. “Texas’ success didn’t happen by accident — it’s a result of policies put in place under Governor Perry’s leadership with a laser focus on making Texas a beacon of economic freedom.”

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

Join the Discussion

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

  • Kinetic1

    Ah yes, the famous Texas self regulating business climate.

    “If you want to drive a truck down the interstate, you’ve got to have $750,000 in coverage, even if you’re just carrying eggs,” attorney Randy C.Roberts continued. “But if you want to put this ammonium nitrate into this town next to that school and that nursing home and those houses, you’re not required to carry insurance.”

    Regulations regarding storage of explosive materials near homes, schools and hospitals? The facility, which stored fertilizer for retail sale told officials there was no risk of fire or explosion in a regulatory filing. Good enough for Texas! Bring on them jobs, no matter what!!

    • Doc Sarvis

      You beat me to it Kinetic1. I hope that Gov. Perry addresses that fertilizer plant explosion and the lack of inspections/regulations that caused it. He might also address all the pollution spewed into the Gulf of Mexico (waters and air) from the refineries along the TX coast.

      • Vigilant

        Leave it to Sarvis and Kinetic to focus on one isolated incident to attempt to sway the conversation away from the facts. Saul Alinsky honors you both.

        • Doc Sarvis
        • Chester

          Seems they kind of brought the conversation back to the facts as they stand. Oh, for Lazy J, look at what the Oklahoma City bomber used to blow up the Murrow center. It for sure wasn’t five thousand pounds of dynamite. Seem ammonium nitrate makes a great explosive, as witnessed by a lot of surface miners, and a LOT of highway construction crews. Not knocking it as a fertilizer, although the bs spread around the Texas capitol is another good source for the necessary nitrogen, but in large quantities it can become highly unstable and apt to go boom with only a little provocation.

          • Vigilant

            Yes, people kill other people with cars; baseball bats, pressure cookers and knives. You going to outlaw all of them?

            As for regulating nitrate fertilizers, “One week after the blast, investigators were still not sure how much ammonium nitrate was stored there, whether it had been stored properly and which agencies had been informed about it — even though a host of federal, state and local officials were responsible for regulating and monitoring the plant’s operations and products.”

            Those are “the facts as they stand,” Chester. It’s not a lack of regulation, it’s a failure of government to provide the oversight they are required to apply.

            Are you reading this, Sarvis and Kinetic?

          • Kinetic1

            Did you miss the part where the plant owners claimed there was ” no risk of fire or explosion in a regulatory filing”? Or the report in the Dallas News where they said;

            “Among officials’ assessments and revelations: Cities are not required to have local standards on how potentially dangerous chemicals are kept, the state has no such requirements, and some state agencies are only repositories of information.”

            So the cities are “not required” to have standards, the State has “no such requirements”, and no one in the State oversaw the plant enough to catch them lying about the potential hazards. The Office of the State Chemist, who handles permits for anyone who sells, stores or distributes ammonium nitrate says “Our role is to facilitate commerce.” The Texas Insurance Commissioner said that the plant had insurance, but that’s as far as they go. “Inspection was probably part of the underwriting process.” Sure, leave it up to the insurance company. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality say they handle some permits, but they only look at the dangers chemicals pose during normal business operations. The plant was closed, so it’s not their problem either. How is this not a lack of regulation?


          • JimH

            Hi Kinetic1, Because of a industrial accident, does that mean the once good Texas economy is now bad?
            It’s too bad one incident can wreck it for the whole state.

          • Kinetic1

            Obviously the state economy is fine, but do the ends justify the means? The West plant fire is simply an example of what lax regulation can lead to. Not unlike the collapse of the garment factory in Bangladesh. When you allow businesses to virtually self regulate you run the risk of disaster. Of course we here in the U.S. would go nuts if a factory were illegally built, improperly outfitted and the owner ignored signs of stress as was the case in Bangladesh, but parts of Texas are known for being very lax about enforcement of their building codes. It appears that several states don’t even have state codes, so maybe it’s just a matter of time?

          • JimH

            K1,Since the point of this article is about finding what works economically, why are you going off on this sidetrack?
            Unless you believe that all of Texas’s success is because of poor regulation, all across the state.
            You can always find at least one negative thing, but you can’t through the baby out with the bath water because of it.
            Comparing Texas to Bangladesh is reaching pretty far, also.

          • Kinetic1


            Ok, what is it about Texas that is drawing business in. How about;
            1) Low taxes. Businesses like the outcome to their bottom line, but the state has some of the worst poverty in the nation, as well as a some of the highest uninsured levels.

            2) Low housing costs. No argument here. Of course the price of housing usually reflect the demand, so maybe …

            3) Small Government/limited regulation. As noted, encouraging business with the promise of limited oversight, you run the risk of inviting companies that may take advantage of this.

            And so my comment on Bangladesh. Agreed, the likely hood of an American business person so flagrantly ignoring the safety of their employees on American soil is pretty low, but they often turn a blind eye to issues in foreign factories. We have come a long way since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, but were the nation to adopt the Texas model of low taxes / reduced regulations / reduced services, how soon might we return to the condition that lead to that tragic fire, or the recent factory collapse in Bangladesh?

          • JimH

            K1, The high poverty and uninsured levels may have to do with sharing a border with Mexico.
            With the small government they have now there was ONE fire. A fire that is SPECULATION was caused by not having enough regulation.
            So what would be the result of lower taxes/ reduced regulations/reduced services?

            More growth in business. With more business the services wouldn’t need to be reduced. If we are talking fire dept, hospital and like services.

            I’m not sure what services are being REDUCED in Texas.
            It wouldn’t be the disaster that you think it would be.

          • speedle

            Oh yes, the ends justify the means. Poverty kills people. It creates criminals who rob and murder. It creates despair, malaise and cultural decay. So yes, the ends justify the means. Next question?

          • Vigilant

            Kinetic says, “Did you miss the part where the plant owners claimed there was ” no risk of fire or explosion in a regulatory filing”? [sic]

            Not at all. That’s why we have laws. Kinetic. Criminal behavior, whether by govt officials or by private industry, is and always has been punishable. If you think passing more regulations is going to stop this behavior then you’re delusional.

            And if you think Perry or the state of Texas is solely responsible for this you are also delusional. Did you miss the part of the NY Times article I referenced which said, “The whole thing may have fallen through a number of regulatory cracks,” said a federal official whose agency helped regulate the plant.” Sounds like the feds have a share of blame as well. I’ll not wait for your tirade against Obama.

          • Kinetic1

            Yes, I did read the article and I am not suggesting that the Feds go blameless in this, but it’s funny to hear you passing the blame to the Feds when you want them to stay out of everything else. Also, in the same article I noted that the “Texas Feed and Fertilizer Control Service,”..” had made at least 35 visits to the plant since 2006, including one on April 5, 12 days before the blast.”
            But as a devision of the The Office of the State Chemist, they were not there to ensure safety.
            “Our role is to facilitate commerce.”

            Gov. Perry has made it clear that one good reason to move a business to Texas is limited regulation. No regulations stopping schools and homes from being built near a facility that stores explosive chemicals. No regulations requiring insurance. Limited oversight by regulators and agents concerned more with how you sell it than how safely it’s stored. Can you Honestly say that you don’t see an issue here?

          • speedle

            Yeah, Ammonium Nitrate is a highly explosive chemical. What’s your point Chestah? Gasoline, stored in large tanks all over the country, is very volatile as well. So are natural gas lines that are underground everywhere. Multi ton vehicles roar down freeways at 70 MPH separated by only a few feet. Sometimes things go wrong, and accidents happen. You, and liberal ghouls like you, never miss a chance to take political advantage of these things by trying to further your Statist agendas.

          • Kinetic1

            No one is arguing about the relative safety of chemicals. The only reason the Ammonium Nitrate was mentioned is that Perry, in his and others drive to bring more business to Texas has purposely allowed a dangerous lack of regulation and oversight of said businesses. There appear to be NO state regulations preventing such explosives to be stored in the same neighborhood as schools, homes and hospitals. The business estimated that they had roughly 300 times as much Ammonium Nitrate on site as was used in the Oklahoma bombing. I don’t care if its fertilizer, gasoline or TNT, the state should not allow those levels of explosive materials to be stored near the public. Add to that the fact that the presence and danger of these materials was not made known to the volunteer fireman and you have, IMHO criminal negligence on the part of the company, the city and the state.

        • Kinetic1

          Please, excuse me for focusing on one relevant event in recent history. I was certainly not trying to hide Perry’s (or Bush’s) dismal record in favor of one event. Texas’ record on “self regulating” as Bush used to put it is no secret. After all, it’s in a company’s own self interest not to harm their consumers, right? Here then, in the spirit of fair disclosure is more on the results of pro business / low regulation policies.
          Among the states, Texas ranks,

          50th in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel combustion, (over 670 million metric tons of CO2 a single year.)

          50th for the EPA’s toxic exposure score,

          47th for total toxic chemicals released into waterways,

          46th for cancer-causing chemicals released,

          45th for developmental toxins released,

          49th for reproductive toxins released.

          50th in the amount of hazardous waste, generating 13,461,911 tons in one year.

          Most of this is attributable to industry. It’s pretty dismal, but hey, business is booming!

    • Lazy J

      That ammonium nitrate you have such disdain for feeds your sorry behind and makes the cotton you wear. Our farmers have the most productive system in the world, invented and perfected by Americans. Liberal college grads who think they know more than anyone believe they could do it cheaper, better, with less energy and safer. You can see the sarcasm drip from their pens when they write. Ammonium Nitrate is fertilizer you ass.
      The 750,000 insurance is for liability in case you cause an accident. An 18 wheeler weighing 80,000 lbs is not the same as a 4 wheeler weighing 4,000 lbs. The damage it can do is far greater.

      • Kinetic1

        I’m fully aware of what Ammonium Nitrate is and have no disdain for it. My disdain is for the State government that fails to regulate such large quantities of this potentially explosive fertilizer, allowing it to be stored so close to homes, schools and hospitals. My disdain is for a company that is so focused on the bottom line that it ignores the danger of it’s holdings to it’s workers and the neighboring area.

        As to your brilliant assessment of insurance costs, how much liability insurance do you think the plant should have had? If the government requires $750,000 of liability insurance to cover the potential damage caused by a 18 wheeler, how much would one need for a fertilizer plant housing the same materials as used by the Oklahoma City bomber? That is the point here. We’re not comparing a semi to a 1/2 ton pick up. McVeigh had about 2000 pounds of ammonium Nitrate in his truck. How much do you think was being stored in the plant?

        Perhaps that dripping your hear isn’t sarcasm, but instead is the blood of all those volunteer fireman who were unprepared for what awaited them in that plant. The blame rests squarely on the greed of the plant owners and the government that failed to oversee them.

    • janmaus

      I think the particular regulations to which you refer are federal, not state–it was a federal agency that failed to keep up with things.

    • freonpsandoz

      Not much point in posting a rational analysis on this site. Most everyone reading this rag is [expletive deleted] crazy.

    • Michael Shreve

      To a GREAT extent, the city knowingly grew around the plant. The plant WAS however over storing fertilizer.

      • Kinetic1

        Agreed, however fed law restricts information to the public regarding the storage of Ammonium Nitrate, so how many of the neighbors were aware of just how dangerous it was?

        • Pete Wallace

          Well if you are too stupid to know that ammonium nitrate is dangerous then ……

  • bob570

    If I know Obama, and I think I do, he’s going down there to pretend he actually endorses what Perry, and Bush before him, have done for the State economically wise. Thereby in the minds of the peasants who voted for him, and in his mind as well, taking full credit for Texas’s success. Just as he has for the success of Oil, and Natural Gas drilling which started well before he went to Washington.

  • Toy Pupanbai

    “If President Obama is serious about getting our nation’s economy working again, then he’s come to the right place,” Lucy Nashed, the Governor’s Press Secretary, told National Review Monday.

    Time for song: “I’m a dreamer, aren’t we all?………..

  • right wing nut

    When Obama goes to those successful states he will somehow take credit for their success. Examples of what it takes to succeed will never convince this narcissistic egalitarian otherwise. He will take those mental illnesses to his grave with him.

    • Liberty Lover

      BREAKING NEWS: “Obama admits he’s been wrong from the start. Says he has come to realize that freedom actually leads to economic growth and job creation. Harry Reid overheard grumbling about being open to impeachment proceedings.”

  • jdn

    Obama will go to Texas and declare VICTORY for HIS economic policies .
    Then he will proceed to lecture these points . The need to redistribute the wealth of his successful policies . The need to close down coal fired power plants and refineries because energy , jobs and profit that pollute are bad and Texas has to grow up and start bending to the will of the EPA . Then as the crowd starts to get uneasy he will change the subject to how we need to reform the 2nd amendment for the children’s sake . Then as the boo’s and cat calls erupt he will exclaim Gay Marriage everyone , love you take care and I have to be in California , goodbye .
    As he was leaving the podium he was heard to say to his SS guards , get me out of here and away from these filthy americans .

  • Vigilant

    Jay Carney says, “Out in the country, there are positive things happening, and that only reinforces the need for Washington to do some very simple things to help facilitate economic growth and job creation.”

    Now THAT’S a true Joseph Goebbels big lie! An amended statement would speak the truth: “Out in the country, there are positive things happening, and that only reinforces the need for Washington to get out of the way to help facilitate economic growth and job creation.””

  • Chester

    Wonder how much credit Rick Perry is going to give Obama for all the government money he has spent to grow his economy? Seems there are more GOVERNMENT jobs in Texas than private sector, yet Mr. Perry cries foul when someone asks him to pay for a medical center.

    • speedle

      Chester, where did you get this information? There are sure as hell no where near as many government jobs as private sector jobs in Texas. Do you just throw something on the wall to see if it sticks or are you really that stupid?

    • farm country lady

      Texas has recieved less than any other state if you look at the per nunber of people . there is one great rule to go by DO NOT MESS WITH TEXAS .
      (just ask any out law =they do not like the state there because they really do put you away when they get you one way or another .)

    • texastwin827

      Chester, are you always prone to posting “half facts”, or just when it comes to Texas?

      The fact is that State law prohibits money being paid to abortion services and that excludes Planned Parenthood, however, PP provide less than 2% of the women, in Texas, that qualify for the Women’s Health Program (about 100,000 women). To that, our illustrious President denied the waiver which means NONE of the program will be covered by federal funds…..

      Now, WHO is it that cries foul?

  • dskancer19

    He is going to the successful areas ONLY to find a way to destroy them – no other reason.

  • me

    perry wasn’t too bright in the presidentia prinary campaign but he probly would have done better than romney or owebunhole. texas has one of the best economys in the country. whats your excuse owebunhole. i think he’ll make himself look like his usual dumbass self.

  • Johnny Boggs


    • Liberty Lover

      Being blessed with abundant natural resources is not the key to prosperity, as many countries around the world could attest. Having the freedom to extract and use those resources productively is the key to prosperity. The greatest natural resource in any state or country is the unfettered minds of free men, and Obama will never acknowledge that. It is my understanding that energy is no longer even the leading industry in Texas.

  • janmaus

    It actually baffles me that local politicians turn out to welcome Obama–nothing says that Perry and other leaders can’t call in sick when O shows up.

    • texastwin827

      Janmaus…it’s called “manners”. Regardless of whether you dislike the person, or not, it’s not acceptable to be rude, when they visit your “house”

      • CYNICALZ

        827-except for when obama shows up to take credit for your success. This is in his DNA!

      • Nadzieja Batki

        Why not be rude?Would you care to tell us where is says you have to have manners when a predator wants to come into your house?

  • freonpsandoz

    In Texas, the economy is “on fire” alright: unregulated fertilizer plants are exploding. Its pretty easy for Texas to outperform the rest of the nation economically when it gets others to pay for the downside of lax regulations with Federal disaster funds instead of having to cover those costs itself.

    • Nadzieja Batki

      You started your comment with a lie and ended with a lie.

  • Michael Shreve

    I would anticipate Obama claiming that Texas is a PERFECT example of the principles he has bee championing all along.

  • ChuckS123

    I wish I knew for sure, but I heard that Franklin Roosevelt had tons of regulation of business, making the depression worse, but took a lot of them off during WWII so businesses could put out a lot of war equipment.

  • joshuasweet

    Obama went there to gloat at the destruction he has released on the southern states, the equivalent of a population the size of Los angels suddenly becoming voters and receive both state and federal assistance there in Texas, New Mexico Arizona and Colorado, for the most part States doing well because of the work ethic. And now how many more just allowed the privilege to live here with no required background check, no minimum requirements applied like in the older days through Ellis Island. no checks to hold back contagious diseases. or terrorist groups. it was all done with the intent to destroy the nation to the point that the USA is one of the many parts of the one world. Spread the wealth Marxist-Communistic efforts that Obama is seemingly so fond of.