Texas governor Rick Perry (R) has publicly decried the use of federal stimulus funds, claiming that they were bad for the economy and bad for the country. This belief did not stop him from using them to balance the Texas state budget. From The Statesman:
But let’s not forget that Texas used $14 billion of that Washington stimulus money in its 2009 and 2010 budgets. There was a lot of talk from Perry and others when the stimulus first came around about using those dollars for one-time-only expenses, such as road construction, but it has been used for much more.
Lawmakers used some of the stimulus money to balance the budget so that they could leave the state’s rainy day fund untapped without making big spending cuts.
Wayne Pulver of the Legislative Budget Board told a House subcommittee this week that as much as $8 billion went toward recurring services in Medicaid and education. Problem is, the disappearance of those dollars will make the budget more difficult to balance next year. After the election.
The Houston Chronicle reported this week that federal stimulus spending has created or saved 47,700 Texas jobs as of July, with each job costing taxpayers more than $96,000. Independent experts told the paper that the stimulus dollars and Texas’ business-friendly climate combined to stabilize the state’s economy.
So, while claiming that the stimulus would kill jobs and was bad for the economy, Perry used stimulus funds to balance his own state budget, saving thousands of jobs.