by Peter Stern
After 10 years in office, Texas Gov. Rick Perry has done little to help hard-working Texans. In fact, he has done a lot to hurt them.
• Perry promised to help homeowners get relief from high taxes. During the past decade property taxes have sky-rocketed more than 800 percent for home owners in some districts.
• Perry promised to help Texas homeowners with high insurance costs. Five years ago, home insurance premiums doubled overnight due to lax legislation and officials looking the other way. As a result, currently Texans pay the 2nd highest premiums in the nation.
• Approximately 5 years ago, the governor pushed legislation to eliminate what he termed “frivolous” medical malpractice lawsuits with the promise that doing so would lower medical and health care costs. After voters took him for his word and voted for the legislation, costs are still high and are continuing to rise.
• During his first few years as governor, Perry resolutely proclaimed that public education was not in crisis. Two years later, under severe public pressure, he admitted there was a financing problem and called for two special sessions on public education that went nowhere in resolving it and instead allowed it to become a current urgent issue.
• Perry promised Texans that deregulating the electric industry would translate into less costly monthly electric bills from a more competitive industry. In reality, current monthly electric costs for Texans have evolved to become the highest ever in the state’s history.
• Perry promised that all businesses would pay a fair business tax that would replace the antiquated, unfair and loop-holed business franchise tax. In truth, many small businesses are being targeted unfairly and are overburdened by the new business tax and still these taxes do not provide a fair share of revenue to finance public education.
• Five years ago, after forcing teachers to accept pay cuts and the loss many of their health and retirement benefits, Perry and officials returned a small share of that money and falsely claimed they had increased teacher pay an average of $2,000 per teacher.
• Perry lobbied for deregulating higher education with the promise that it would lower tuition costs. After the legislation was passed by voters, the University of Texas increased tuition at least four times and is considering another increase. Other colleges and universities followed, suit and tuition continues to increase. Higher education is unaffordable for the children of many Texas families
Overall, 10 years of Gov. Perry have not been good for most Texans and their families. The Governor continues to manage the state's business using "smoke and mirrors." Why would anyone now believe that another 4-year term would change anything? It's time to vote-in a REAL candidate to do the job right.