Monday, October 8, 2012

On hypocrisy and handouts

Some things just never get old.

There are few things more ironic than politicians who accuse the poor of mooching off the state who have no problem dipping their hands into the taxpayer's pockets to pay for their jet-setting ways.

Gov. Rick Perry doesn't want to spend money on the poor. He doesn't want to expand Medicaid coverage. He doesn't want to increase education funding.

But, when it comes to out-of-state junkets, he is more than happy to bill the taxpayers for his security detail. Since his re-election in November 2010, the Fair-haired One has racked up $2.3 million in security charges for his travels. In the last quarter alone, after he shut down his disastrous presidential campaign, the taxpayers have forked out over $100,000 for his security detail in such places as Aspen, Boston and San Diego.

Of course I'm still waiting to see how any of those trips were necessary to his carrying out his duties as the chief executive of the Lone Star State.

Gov. Goodhair defends the expenses arguing that the world is a dangerous place and he must be under constant surveillance by state troopers. The only problem, Rick, is that most folks outside Texas wouldn't know you from Adam (just take a look at your numbers from the primaries). Furthermore, I doubt many terrorists have Perry in their sights in their quest for world domination.

What the Guv seems to have forgotten is that Texas has a weak governor system dating back to the end of Reconstruction and the desire of Texans to be out from under the thumb of the federal government. The real power broker in Austin is the lieutenant governor. He is the one who appoints committee chairs and breaks tie votes in the senate. The governor is reduced to signing or vetoing legislation and calling special sessions of the state legislature.

Not much to see there. If the terrorists really wanted to disrupt operations in Austin, they'd be better off targeting the lieutenant governor. But, since the legislature only meets for 140 days every other year, there isn't much to disrupt.

So, for the next two years, Gov. Perry will continue to reach into our back pockets to pay for his jaunts across the country while simultaneously collecting both his salary as Governor and his state pension. Quite the gig he's got there, huh?

No comments: