Tag Archives: rick perry

Tim Carney on Rick Perry

Washington Examiner columnist (and former CEI Warren Brookes Fellow) Tim Carney has a must-read column today on Texas Governor and presidential candidate Rick Perry’s economic policies. They appear suspiciously similar to Bush and Obama’s policies:

“I’m a pro-business governor — I don’t make any apologies about it,” Rick Perry told the crowds in Iowa this week. He’s right, but we can get more specific. Perry is pro-Merck, pro-Boeing, pro-Mesa Wind, pro-Texas Instruments, pro-Convergen, and pro-dozens of businesses that donate to his campaigns and hire his aides as lobbyists.

Perry promises to “get Americans back to work,” but his policies — from backroom drug company giveaways to green energy subsidies — eerily mirror the unseemly big business-big government collusion that has characterized President Obama’s presidency. Judging by his record in Texas, Perrynomics might just be low-tax Obamanomics.

Pro-business politicians like Perry and Obama are a dime a dozen. What the economy needs to recover are more pro-market politicians. Instead of putting their thumbs on the competitive scales to favor one business or another, Congress and the president should allow an open, competitive market process.

That means the rules of the game would be both clear and few; they would also be consistently enforced. Unlike Perry and Obama, markets respect no special interest. If they did, no company would bother with a Washington office.

Consumers do a much better job of picking winners and losers than politicians with campaigning and fundraising on the brain. They should be allowed to try it sometime.

What a shame that no presidential aspirant is likely to admit that; such is the curse of “do-something” bias.

Regulation of the Day 174: Lying about the Size of the Fish You Caught

If you live in Texas, look over your shoulder before you tell a tall tale about your last fishing trip. The state legislature there just voted to make lying about the size of your catches in fishing tournaments a class A misdemeanor. And if the prize money is over $10,000, you could spend up to ten years in jail as a convicted felon.

In 2009, an especially devious fisherman in the Bud Light Trails Big Bass Ray Hubbard tournament “put a one-pound lead weight inside the stomach of the 10.49-pound bass he had entered to win the grand prize, a $55,000 fishing boat,” according to the New York Times.

Fishing tournaments, just like other competitive sports, have their own rules. Violators are punished. The NFL reserves the right to fine and suspend players for misconduct. Major League Baseball hands out 50 and 100-game suspensions for players caught using steroids. Pete Rose was banned from baseball for life for betting on his team.

The tournament organizers foolishly couldn’t punish their own cheater because they didn’t have a rule for it. But submitting a leaden fish is a kind of fraud, especially when the prize is $55,000. And in fact, the man was charged with felony theft. He served 15 days in jail, was hit with a $3,000 fine, plus five years of probation. His fishing license was also taken away for five years.

That’s precisely why the bill on Governor Rick Perry’s desk is unnecessary. One, theft is already illegal. Two, if the Bud Light Trail tournaments are competently run, they now have specific rules and punishments for cheaters. Seems like a classic “do something” bill that doesn’t do much at all.