When It Comes to State Spending, Rick Perry Is Mr. Average


Thank you Perry much.

Cato's Chris Edwards digs into Texas Gov. Rick Perry's spending record

Let's look at the numbers. Rick Perry came into office in December 2000, which was in the middle of Texas fiscal year 2001. Texas general fund spending has risen from $29 billion that first Perry year to $41 billion by fiscal 2011, which works out to an average annual increase of 3.5 percent. (Data from NASBO).

…Here is NASBO data showing increases in state general fund spending between fiscal 2001 and fiscal 2011:

  • Texas, Perry: $29 billion to $41 billion, a 41 percent increase.
  • Total of 50 states: $506 billion to $651 billion, a 29 percent increase.

However, the Texas population has grown faster than the U.S. population, so let's put these figures on a per-capita basis.

  • Texas, Perry: $1,360 per capita to $1,598 per capita, an 18 percent increase.
  • Total of 50 states: $1,774 per capita to $2,091 per capita, an 18 percent increase.

Thus, Mr. Perry has been Mr. Average on state spending. Over the past decade, per capita state general fund spending rose the same amount in Texas as the nation as a whole.

Here's how Perry balanced Texas's budgets. More on Perry's not-so-extreme extremism here.

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  1. After four years of stark raving idiot who bankrupted the country, isn’t “average” pretty damned outstanding? Aren’t we grading on the curve here?

  2. Per capita, is there anything you can’t put into perspective?

  3. Thank you, finally, for doing a per capita analysis.

    I suppose a GDP analysis is in the works?

    And would anybody care to throw in something that takes into account the restructuring of school finance which shifted a lot of the money onto the state budget?

    1. From Wikipedia, between 2005 and 2010 US GDP increased by 15.98%. Texas GDP increased by 17.42%.

      US population increased by 2*4.78% from 2000 to 2010. Texas population increased by 2*10.30% from 2000 to 2010.

      1. So, on a GDP basis, he did a little better than average. Good to know.

        And, an awesome campaign slogan:

        Perry: A Little Better Than Average!

        1. RC,
          Actually, it looks like the opposite. Since Texas’ per capita GDP grew at a slower rate relative to US per capita GDP growth.

          Texas’ per capita GDP grew from $34,710 to $45,940. Over the same period of time US per capita GDP grew from $34,545 to $47,482. So Texas went from being a slightly above average state to a below average one.

          * Note: These numbers are nominal and the 2000 and 2010 numbers came from different sources, though both referenced the BEA.

          1. Math is hard!

  4. Meet the FIAT 500 for the first time… In case you haven’t seen enough Fellini movies.

  5. That looks like the worst movie ever. And I love the blurb; it’s descriptive, but not necessarily praise.

    1. I was not expecting it to be French. I don’t think I’ve seen a cheesy French comedy before and now I kind of want to.

      1. I like to think the guy was cast in the lead, then grew the line-beard. On day one of filming, he showed up and the director was like, “WTF?” And the lead was like “I feel strongly that this character would have a line-beard.” And the director was like “You know what? You’re right. ACTION!”

  6. I have to comment, except that the handjob in the photo resulting in an ejaculating peni– er, Eiffel Tower, is a little too subtle by Hollywood standards.

  7. In other words, Perry’s not all that fiscally conservative, and we should vote for Ron Paul instead.

  8. Having a mediocre president is supposed to scare me? I would KILL to have a mediocre president.

  9. Couldn’t you say that when it comes to X, Rick Perry is Mr. Average?

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