CNBC "THE KUDLOW REPORT" INTERVIEW WITH GOVERNOR RICK PERRY (R-TX)
INTERVIEWER: LARRY KUDLOW
SUBJECT: PLANNED TAX-DAY TEA PARTIES
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MR. KUDLOW: All right. We welcome Texas Republican Governor Rick Perry back to the show. He's planning to attend two Texas tea parties on tax day.
Governor Perry, it's wonderful to see you again.
GOV. PERRY: Good to be with you, Larry. Make that three Texas tea parties.
MR. KUDLOW: All right, three Texas tea parties. You've got 10 rallies being planned just in the Metroplex area itself. I just want to ask you, Texas is one of the best state economies in the country, you've got relatively low unemployment rate, why are they doing this tax revolt thing in Texas? Are they sending you some kind of message?
GOV. PERRY: We want to keep it that way. And the message is for Washington, D.C. that here in Texas we keep our taxes low, our regulatory climate fair, a legal system that doesn't oversue and a good accountable public school system. And we believe in getting out of the way and letting the private sector do what it does, which is create jobs. Somewhere between 70 and 80 percent of all the jobs created last year in America were created in Texas.
MR. KUDLOW: So why are these people dissatisfied? What are they yelling at?
GOV. PERRY: Well, I think they're sending Washington the message. I mean, we're still part of the union down here in Texas, and our folks would like to keep it that way. But we see some things going on that are peculiar, they're frustrating. And Texans, you know, we're an independent lot, and we'd just as soon Washington not be mortgaging our kid's futures and ours, for that matter.
MR. KUDLOW: Governor, what's your message to the tea parties? What are you going to say to them?
GOV. PERRY: Well, part of my message is going to be, be loud and be consistent and keep sending the message to Washington, D.C. For instance, I didn't take some of this unemployment insurance money that they were trying to send down here, with long strings attached, that were going to cost our business men and women more money over the long run. We want to see our economy grow, but we understand that you can't tax and spend your way to prosperity. Washington needs to quit spending money. Let the private sector have the freedom to grow, and we'll grow our way out of this recession. But you can't spend your way out of it, spending money out of Washington, D.C.
MR. KUDLOW: All right. You've got one of the few states left in the union -- you have no personal income tax, you have no corporate income tax, so far as I know, you do have a 6.25 percent sales tax. Has that gone up?
GOV. PERRY: No, it hasn't. And I don't think you'll see people talking about raising the sales tax. We believe that if you will be thoughtful in your spending, you'll keep your taxes low which we've done, a regulatory climate, again, that's fair. We've passed the most sweeping tort reform in the nation. We exported trial lawyers out of the state of Texas along with a lot of other manufacturing goods.
MR. KUDLOW: (Laughs.)
GOV. PERRY: So the key is here we have created a real business climate. You mentioned Art Laffer in your section before. Art did a comparable between California and Texas, and he said, look, it's not even close.
MR. KUDLOW: All right. On the full screen -- Texas has 6.25 percent unemployment rate -- it says the national rate is 8.1 (percent) in February. Actually, the national rate is 8.5 percent in the month of March. We missed that. Governor Perry, what about property taxes? Is there any hint of a tax revolt on property taxes in the great state of Texas?
GOV. PERRY: Well, one of the things that we tried to do two years ago was put some caps on our property taxes to keep pressure on them downward, and that didn't happen. The local property taxes are too high. And you hear Texans rightfully raising Cain about that. We cut those property taxes by one-third two years ago. But we said, if you don't keep some pressure on the appraisals, it will eat up that tax cut, and that's exactly what we're seeing. So Texans are rightfully watching those appraisals very closely.
MR. KUDLOW: All right. Governor Rick Perry, it's a pretty good story down there, sir. I just hope Washington listens to this tax revolt. I think it's a spending and deficit and debt revolt. Governor Perry, it's great to see you.
GOV. PERRY: Good to see you, Larry. Thank you, sir.