Rick Perry's Compassion and Honesty Deficits

Categories: Get Off My Lawn

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Talk about a disconnect.

On Wednesday night I see Governor Rick Perry on television, with that little cowboy sneer he gets, saying, "The lieutenant governor, the speaker and their colleagues are not going to hire or fire one teacher, as best as I can tell."

Kind of like he's saying something funny or clever.

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A poster making the rounds in advance of tomorrow's rally in Austin
Then Thursday morning I go to Dallas school headquarters and sit through heartrending speeches by parents of DISD students begging the board not to gut their kids' teachers.

What is wrong with that guy? How can he think this situation calls for his brand of smart-aleck macho bird-flipping? Does he thinks parents are all "mo-fos"?

If his commitment is firm and his conscience clear, then why can't Rick Perry afford to express some compassion for the mayhem he is causing in the lives of Texas families? Why does he have to sneer at them?

On March 3 I had a column in the paper reminding us that Perry's responsibility for this catastrophe is not a theory. Five years ago then-Texas Comptroller Carole Keeton Strayhorn, a Republican, analyzed Perry's 2006 tax "reform" and made a stark prediction: Perry and his Banana Republican supporters had slashed property taxes but reneged on a promise to replace them with new business taxes.

Strayhorn said Perry's failure to do what he had promised on business taxes would create an overall state budget deficit of $23 billion in five years.

This is five years. The deficit is $27 billion. Strayhorn undershot it because she, like the rest of the world, failed to foresee the Wall Street meltdown. Otherwise it was right between the eyes.

The deficit in state aid to schools this year will be somewhere between five and 10 billion dollars. For Dallas that means firing between a quarter and a third of the entire teaching staff.

There were catch-in-the-throat blinking-back-tears moments in that board room yesterday at DISD headquarters. For once in my life I even felt empathy for the board and for district staff, struggling to salvage what they can from a torpedoed ship.

I said in my column two weeks ago that the people who are doing this stuff -- Perry, the Tea Party, the Banana Republicans and their Foxzi supporters -- do not mean well for our state, our community or our Republic.

But I talk too much. You don't have to read any of this. Just look at the sneer, man. It's all right there. Every single thing you need to know about all of this is right there in that Rick Perry sneer.

(Here's a report from KVUE in Austin that includes Perry's comment and some reaction to it.)




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Chris Thibodeaux
Chris Thibodeaux

Maybe Ron Paul should think about running for Governor...

reader
reader

Im dumbfounded at why people continue to vote Perry into office. I read the paper pretty regularly, and Rick Perry has continued to cut funds for education, for years. Aren't people that voted for Perry suppose to be educated and informed, what happened? I read a teeny tiny article about the increase of a program for Texas Advertising, when it began, years before Perry was in office, it had an average fund off $6,000 to $10,000. Within four years, of Perry coming into office, not sure which term, that fund increased to the millions of dollars, you tell me. Where is all the money going from the lottery, wasn't it started to help fund education in the state of Texas? Rick Perry and his people need to remember, Texas lost the Civil War, we are not a confederacy anymore, haven't been for over a hundered years, get over it, we are part of a Union, we might be better off if we ran things as such. I guess if doesn't effect Perry and all his supporters, it is someone elses problem. What is happening to our education system, and our teachers in this great state we call Texas, is an absolute disgrace, and shame to this state and country, where is our humanity?

Joshua
Joshua

Frankly...don't know about Perry....but a LOT of folks are listening and looking and seeing and understanding...that spending more money on "education" is not the same as "improving" education...and EVERYONE except the teachers and administrators and textbook salesmen and consultant educational geniuses for money...all just want "MO MONEY"....and well, seems no one BELIEVES in merit pay, or reduction of NON ACADEMICS, or less support staff and stuff....and IF THERE IS NOT ENOUGH MONEY FOR SCHOOL SUPPLIES, AND THE POOR TEACHERS PAY FOR SUPPLIES OUT OF THEIR OWN MONEY....seems just logical that EXPENSE reduction to pay for supplies MIGHT GET SOME TRACTION, IF EVERYONE WERE REALLY REALLY SINCERE ABOUT ALL THIS NOISE.

Hey, kids, puppies, baby rabbits, and easter chicks pull at heartstrings...and parents moaning about their own schools are merely looking after their PERSONAL feelings...and NONE of THIS seems to get to the REAL TOUGH ISSUE.

We are paying a heck of a lot more RIGHT now for "education"...and it AIN"T NO BETTER than it WAS....so, WHY should we PAY MORE instead of cutting back on stuff and pay LESS until we SEE some better results???

What does marching and protesting and wringing hands and saying "poor babies" and the "kids are the future of our world" have to do with anything getting FIXED???? Frankly, IF THESE KIDS ARE OUR FUTURE, EDUCATION OR NO...WE ARE SCREWED!

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

The next school year will be here much sooner than the next election for governor. We can't get rid of Perry until then.

But 150,000 kids will show up at DISD campuses ready for the 2011-2012 school year.

So the question becomes: how are we going to spend the money left after the cuts until we can elect a new governor and new representatives?

Currently, DISD is proposing 1300 campus-level cuts (teachers) and a mere 290 administrative cuts. Booker T will lose HALF its faculty, but I guess Hinojosa will keep BOTH of his secretaries.Claudia Rodriguez, who just got a $32,000 raise in December is supposedly getting a 3rd promotion and a 3rd raise, to be Hinojosa's "Chief of Staff".

Isn't he supposed to be the "Chief of Staff"?

If the cuts persist, if Perry gets his way, I truly hope the public will scrutinize how the DISD School Board decides to spend the remaining money.

We don't need more administrators. We don't need a $200,000 Chief of Staff. We don't need ANY administrator other than the superintendent making over $100K. We don't need million-dollar consultants.

I don't want my child in a class with 34 other kids at middle school. Poor parents will have to put up with it, while the more affluent will get to escape it.

Meanwhile, taxpayers will be paying for "Institute for Learning" consultants to fly back and forth from Pittsburgh. We'll be paying Ivonne Durant over $150K to be in charge of "Curriculum" even though the state gives every teach a list of what to teach called the TEKS.

Bettyculbreath
Bettyculbreath

The people of Texas wanted this Jerk,I hope they see what all this,Cut and Burn government is good for.How can anyone learn in a classroom of 40 to 50 people.Its crazy.DISD will need to cut all those special programs and get back to basic,reading,writing and arithmetic.

Joshua
Joshua

THE KIDS AREN'T LEARNING IN CLASSES WITH ONLY 23 PER CLASS....SO WHAT DOES IT MATTER...THE BRIGHT ONES AND THE DEDICATED ONES WILL LEARN NO MATTER WHAT SIZE...THE OTHERS WILL DO THE SAME AS THEY WOULD ANYWAY.

Robert in LH
Robert in LH

Jim: I really do enjoy reading your work; just like with others, I do not always agree but I enjoy the different perspectives and your great passion. I have never had respect for Perry and cannot understand how we keep electing him. As a moderate Republican I feel bad but I do share the blame with my fellow Texan Democrats. Why, you might ask? Because I am truly disappointed that the Dems have not run a serious gubernatorial candidate out there for my more conservative Repubs to vote for. And I seriously know and believe that a Dem could defeat Perry with help from Republican voters. In my business world I do not know a Republican who actually likes the guy. But Bill White? Seriously? The tea party is not the majority of the party, they just are very visible for the news. They do have some stupid ideas, along with a few good ones. Just like mainstream Repubs and Dems. We are all at fault. And a lot of it goes back to a really insightful comment written by one of my favorite newspaper men. "But I don't know how to give people any more democracy than we have in this country. If we waste it and vote the wrong way, shame on us." We all need to vote better and be more active and watch over our governments at all levels, no matter our party affiliation or beliefs. Thank you for your writings; I truly enjoy your perspectives and passion and opinions.

Bill Lumbergh
Bill Lumbergh

Blaming Bill White is myopic. Just look at the number of straight ticket votes to the Republican party and then tell me that Perry was re-elected because the competition wasn't strong enough.

Bullshit. He rode the anti-Democrat tide like many other incumbent and/or newly elected Republicans.

Robert in LH
Robert in LH

Bill: I was not blaming Bill White for anything. I was blaming the Democratic Party for not coming up with a more viable candidate who would appeal to crossover voters. White was not a candidate that a potential crossover voter (and there are a LOT of Republicans who are not thrilled with Governor GoodHair) would be enticed by; that is pretty obvious. I am not a straight ticket voter and believe that less would be if the alternatives were not quite so liberal or conservative, as the case may be. In other words, more moderates from both parties.

cp
cp

Tell me again what was so wrong with Carole Keeton Strayhorn? And why does the crossover have to come only from the left?

Joshua
Joshua

THAT IS EXACTLY WHAT HAPPENED IN DALLAS COUNTY IN THE DEMOCRATS RIDING THE ANTI-BUSH SENTIMENT, AND KICKING OUT ALL THE GOOD JUDGES AND REPLACING THEM WITH INEXPERIENCED PATHETIC LEGAL HACKS THAT RAN ON THE DEMOCRAT TICKET.

IT CUTS BOTH WAYS.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

@ Phleps I think "we" would all be happier if .....

If you got the frog out of your pocket ....

Kidding with you there Nudge Nudge Wink Wink..

I have to tip my hat to you because you are correct .

This is a Conservative state and as we are now seeing is what they were elected to do. But Brenda is also correct Republicans Are as shocked by what is happening .As any one on the so called Left in Texas .

For years they The GOP have enjoyed the look what they tried but the Democrats stopped them. Better luck next time ...

To now actually being able ? FORCED Because the Tea folks are watching Into Making those hard funding cuts and changing the laws to make TEXAS the TEXAS they say they want .

Well at the End of this session they will have made a lot of advances .

With the Budget cuts facing the schools next year I guess it nice to know 2012 will be interesting to see if that's where Texans want to be.

Phelps
Phelps

I'm with you on 2012. Legislators on both sides of the aisle at the Federal level and in pretty much all these united states have been very lax on responding to the will expressed by the people in elections.

observist
observist

Like you any anyone else knows what "the will expressed by the people in elections" is. You don't know if the will was "shrink government at any cost", "git that ni**er outta the White House" or "I'm for the Red team! Go Red Go! Go Red Go!".

Phelps
Phelps

Right, the same people who voted for Obama the first time are now voting against Democrats because they hate black people.

I'm really tired of the "everyone who disagrees with me is a racist" shit. As a matter of fact, it looks like The People in general are as well from looking at the last election.

Montemalone
Montemalone

Peryy can't stand the thought of being out-schmucked by Scott Walker, so he's doublin'down, goin' all in, and spittin in the wind.

JimS
JimS

Montemalone: I bet you're dead on. I can see him shouting out the door at his staff: "Sheeit! Scott's on Fox agin! Dang! Git me some babies or some dang grammas or some shit I can come out against. What about kids with polio? Do kids still get polio? Hurry up!"

guest
guest

This is just one more step towards getting rid of public education, which has been the GOP agenda all along. Third world country...here we come!

Phelps
Phelps

Shorter version: How dare Rick Perry not act like a liberal!!!

zobzerto
zobzerto

Yeah, because Carole Keeton Strayhorn is such a liberal.

It's not about Perry not acting like a liberal, it's about him being arrogant enough to actually say, "The lieutenant governor, the speaker and their colleagues are not going to hire or fire one teacher, as best as I can tell," and trying to pass the blame, as if his terrible decisions had nothing to do with it. It's ridiculous, and you know it.

Duality of Man
Duality of Man

He may not hire or fire one teacher but I bet if Texas education was rated high compared to other states, old " HAIR " would be taking credit.

Joshua
Joshua

LIKE TEXAS IS EVER GOING TO IMPROVE EDUCATION WITH THE PATHETIC STUDENT ATTITUDES OF THE ILLEGALS AND "AFRICAN-WHATEVERS" FILLING UP SEATS AND WASTING OUR RESOURCES. THE STATE REFLECTS THE GROWING DEMOGRAPHIC MORES, VALUES, AND PRIORITIES.

WE WILL LEAD IN FLAT SCREEN TV SALES, DISH ANTENNAS, AND BASEBALL CAPS RETAIL THOUGH....AND A LOT OF ATVS AND FISHIN RIGS TOO.

Robert in LH
Robert in LH

Jim: Your heart is absolutely in the right place and I totally agree with you about Guvner GoodHair. He is heartless, an egomaniac and really not that smart. But he made this problem, NOT "the Tea Party, the Banana Republicans and their Foxzi supporters". I do not always agree with those groups either but they did not lower taxes and then forget about making up the revenue because someone took them for a new pair of boots. This can only be laid at the smelly feel of the Guvner whom we keep electing. I am a moderate Republican on almost all issues and am proud to say that I have still never voted for Guvner GoodHair!

JimS
JimS

Robert: You make a very good point. I apologize, sincerely, for blaming people who were not at fault. This should be laid at the feet of the mainstream Repuboicans who did this to us in 2006.

RS1963
RS1963

I believe the CURRENT problem IS a problem caused by the Tea Party, because the solution - which is to increase taxes to a reasonable rate - is now completely off the table because of the pressure from the Tea Party.

Yes, Perry and his cronies set the whole thing up, but the Tea Party is playing right along with their plan.

What gets me is the continued silence by suburban Republicans on everything their party is doing, or their "shock" at what is happening both with education and women's rights. Exactly who did you think you were voting for over the past 10 or so years? The right wing hasn't been shy about saying what they are after: elimination of a woman's right to choose, and ALSO the elimination of all support systems (sex education, birth control, pre/post natal care, etc.); decimating of the state's PUBLIC education system; and turning over basically everything the state is responsible for to the private sector.

And we've seen what the private sector will do to our country by looking at Wall Street.

Anonymous
Anonymous

Actually, you are incorrect. So much as a whisper about raising taxes to cover a shortfall that was long-expected, and the Teabaggers would have denounced him and any other candidate who were looking to preserve the already sorry state of Texas public education. So yes, they ARE responsible.

Lolotehe
Lolotehe

I don't know how anyone could be shocked by this. The man has never been a friend to learning; just look at who's on the board of education.

But if y'all were good Christians, you would not be worried because you'd have already taken yer kids out of that heathen public school system that won't allow prayers in class. Hooo-eee!

Montemalone
Montemalone

Prazebee to babee jeebus, he'll save the skoolz.

zobzerto
zobzerto

Republicans are always saying to the federal government, "[insert item] should be up to the states! It's the states' responsibility! States' rights!"

Then they fuck up something they wanted to have responsibility for, and, suddenly, it's not the state government's fault, it's the local districts' problem?! No, Rick, neither you, nor the lieutenant governor, nor the Speaker will be the ones going around actually firing teachers. But your bad decisions are the reason they'll be fired. And somehow I doubt you'lll lose any sleep over it.

Fuck you, Rick Perry.

scottindallas
scottindallas

haven't you heard, Obama did all of it

RandyE
RandyE

Yeah, but it was all Bush's fault.

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Rick Perry has no heart, so he could care less if our local schools self-destruct under enormous budget deficits that will hurt our kids not just this year but for years to come. It's that simple. If he cared he'd show some leadership and propose a fix for the business margins tax and demand that his Legislative lackies pass it.

I don't understand why parents are shocked, angered and in tears. If they paid any attention whatsoever in the last election cycle, they would have known this was coming. Perry lied about the economic shape of the state budget and lied about what would happen after Susan Combs, one of the most cowardly Comptrollers in the state's history, finally had to (by statute) fess up. I have no kids, so I don't have an actual dog in this hunt, but told everyone who would listen who did have kids that this train wreck was coming. A large number of them ignored my warnings and voted for Gov. Goodhair. (Yes, I do have lots of Republican friends). Now they are shocked and betrayed. Wow. Who could have missed that?

This is bad for Texas, and the number one rule of being a responsible Governor, responsible Legislator or responsible citizen is you mess with Texas. Rick, et al. are violating that rule all over the place this session -- whether its education, women's health care, immigration, elections, you name it. This session has been nothing but BAD for Texas.

I can't make the trip to Austin for tomorrow's March on the Capitol because I will be eagerly tromping around in muck for Reverchon Roundup. I urge everyone who doesn't have a conflict ESPECIALLY if they have kids in public schools at any grade level, to get in a car, get on a bus, get on a plane and go to Austin. And if they go again, I'll be going with them. Jim, I'm with you. Enough already.

Phelps
Phelps

I think we would all be happier if you got on a plane and moved to Massachusetts or Illinois, instead. Seriously, your list (ducation, women's health care, immigration, elections) reads like the Moveon wish list. You're in a conservative state. What did you expect the conservatives elected in a conservative state to do?

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

Phelps -- actually, I was referencing what lilttle has been passed or actually voted out of committee this session, dumb shit. And I'm 6th generation. I'm not going anywhere, although I do enjoy visiting my brother and his family in Boston, MA, where the economy is stronger, education is valued and emphasized both personally and by the state, and the divorce and teen pregnancy rates are much lower than Texas.

cynical old bastard
cynical old bastard

"The lieutenant governor, the speaker and their colleagues are not going to hire or fire one teacher, as best as I can tell."

He is correct. It is the local school districts that will be doing the firing. Thus, Austin has nothing to do with it. The man is zeroing in a a D.C. job in 2013.

scottindallas
scottindallas

I don't support tapping the rainy day fund without a tax increase. There's $9 B in the fund and they want to use half of it for this half budget cycle. We have to draft another budget next year, and that one will likely need to tap the rainy day fund as well. Without a fix (tax increase) it would be irresponsible to paper over the problem. That's where Perry and I agree. It's easy to agree with Perry, like a broken clock, even he is right occasionally.

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