by Peter Stern
How can so many Texans continue to be fooled by The Emperor’s New Clothes? Approximately 5 years ago, Texas Governor Rick Perry placed his 10-gallon Stetson on his famous head of hair, polished his snake skin cowboy boots and galloped around the state pushing for the deregulation of tuition at higher education institutions. Special interests and uninformed Texans gave Perry what he and his appointed UT Regents wanted, carte blanche on increasing tuition costs. Since the approval by voters, UT raised its tuition costs 5 times, making a higher education out of the financial reach of many Texas students. Other colleges and universities soon followed the trail of tears blazed by UT.
Suddenly, now Emperor Perry gives the Board of Regents “the word” that he wants to cut tuition to $10,000 for a Bachelor’s Degree. Is he doing so out of the kindness of his imaginary heart? No, my friends, he is not “simpatico” to the financial plight of college students and their parents. Perry is like a Wiley Coyote cartoon gone badly, running amok at the State Capitol continuing to make ridiculous and incomprehensible decisions and commands of his many appointed Lieutenants, who run to do his bidding. It is not the first time, and it won’t be the last.
Perry wanted the high tuition costs then so that he can play the hero now and cut the costs to ridiculous proportions; however, he knows the legislature will NOT permit this to occur because it is downright foolish. Just as you cannot cut taxes and increase expenditures, as Perry complains Obama is doing in Washington, you cannot cut tuition costs and provide a quality education. Perry is playing both ends with this ploy, but poorly if we really think about it.
While he again puts on his wide-brimmed Stetson, snake skin boots and rides around on his white horse lobbying this time to cut tuition dramatically, when it is not accomplished he will be able to point out that he had wanted to cut the costs of tuition but the legislators would not do it. So then Perry becomes the martyr for college youth and their parents. He becomes The Higher Education Governor.
Fellow Texans, don’t be fooled again by The Emperor’s New Clothes. Don’t be fooled into thinking Perry wants what is best for the community. This is the man who promised that the Trans-Texas Corridor, a.k.a. extravagant toll roads throughout the state, is a dead issue, but then secretly pushes for bills that again open the Pandora’s Box of toll roads throughout Texas. Perry is a liar and Texans need to see it.
Beware, Texans. Perry is NOT the good man he pretends to be. In truth, as the Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen may remind us, Governor Rick Perry actually is “An Enemy of the People.” His actions and inactions continue to hurt the state of Texas and its residents. Rick Perry is an accident waiting to happen and as the Captain of his damaged ship, he will go down with the vessel, but he will drown us all in the process.