Rick Perry Rails Against Stimulus Despite Texas Reaping Federal Funds

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Perry and the Stimulus: It's Complicated

  • As Gov. Rick Perry has launched his presidential campaign, he’s turned to a talking point familiar to anyone who has heard him rail against the federal government over the last two years: the perfidy of the roughly $800 billion stimulus plan orchestrated by the Obama administration in 2009.

    “Washington’s insatiable desire to spend our children’s inheritance on failed ‘stimulus’ plans and other misguided economic theories have given us record debt and left us with far too many unemployed,” Perry said in his announcement speech in South Carolina on Saturday.

    In his 2010 book, Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington, Perry wrote this: "We are fed up with bailout after bailout and stimulus plan after stimulus plan, each one of which tosses principle out the window along with taxpayer money."

    But the reality of Perry's relationship with fed-stim is complicated. Through the second quarter of this year, Texas has used $17.4 billion in federal stimulus money — including $8 billion of the one-time dollars to fund state expenses that recur over and over. In fact, Texas used the federal stimulus to balance its last two budgets.

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