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Tea Party Brew - Cleaning Up Washington's Mess

Op-Ed

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By Representative Rick Perry

Texas Governor Rick Perry on job creation, border security, and Washington's failure to do anything useful about either. Tea Party Brew welcomes the Governor and his participation in our premiere.

Over the past few years, we've seen what happens when our country chooses leaders who emphasize words over deeds.

For all of the president's eloquent speeches, he's done nothing to right America's wayward course. As jobs are lost, so is the hope he once promised. Meanwhile, the federal government has grown bigger and more brazen, willfully neglecting its constitutional duties.

Washington's mess has spilled across the country. Nearly 2.5 million jobs have been lost under this Administration. 45 million Americans are now on food stamps. And the president has added $4 trillion to our debt, costing us the first credit downgrade in American history.

In spite of the widespread misery created by this president, in Texas, we've found ways to clean up Washington's mess.

Most importantly, we've rejected the over-taxing, over-spending, over-regulating philosophy that does nothing but kill jobs.

As Governor, I've signed 65 tax cuts totaling more than $14 billion. I was the first governor to cut state spending since World War II. And we've passed sweeping lawsuit reforms, including a loser pay law, and fought Washington's intrusive job-killing regulations.

It's not a coincidence that my state has gained more than one million new jobs in the past decade, or that Texas is responsible for nearly 40 percent of all net new jobs in America since June 2009. It's proof that the conservative philosophy works -- when it's implemented by leaders who emphasize actions over words.

While it's tough to overstate the economic impact of Washington's failure, nowhere is the federal government's mess more apparent than along our international border.

At least 35,000 people have died in the Mexican drug war that threatens to spill into our country on a daily basis. The border with Mexico is viewed as a prime point of entry by terrorist organizations, criminal gangs and drug traffickers. And because the federal government has abdicated its constitutional responsibility to secure our border, millions of immigrants have been allowed to enter the country illegally.

As a result, state governments across the country are forced to deal with the consequences of Washington's failure. With 60 percent of the total US-Mexico border, no state has been hit harder than Texas.

That's why, as Governor, I have implemented the most aggressive state-led border security initiative in America.

We created a state Border Security Operations Center to coordinate intelligence and assets in an 80,000 square mile region.

I have authorized the use of National Guard personnel, state trooper strike teams, covert surveillance units, canine tracking teams, DPS helicopters, game wardens and the Texas Civil Air Patrol to help border sheriffs and police stop illegal activity.

And I directed nearly $400 million of Texans' tax dollars to pay for these measures -- money we could have used for our schools, roads or a host of other priorities if it weren't for Washington's inaction.

As a result of our state-led initiatives, we've created major disruptions for international smuggling rings, seized millions of pounds of illegal drugs, taken 3,500 illegal weapons off the street, and made our state -- and all of America -- safer.

In Texas, we understand the consequences of Washington's failure to secure the border. And we are proud to do our part, voluntarily paying a price that no other state has paid.

Nobody from Washington had to ask Texas taxpayers to pay for these measures. Nobody from Washington had to ask our border sheriffs and state law enforcement officers to put their lives on the line to do a job that they weren't willing to do themselves. We did it because it was the right thing to do for our state and our nation, and because actions matter far more than words.


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