Thursday, July 18, 2013

Former Republican party presidential candidate Governor Rick Perry speaks during a pro-life event called "Treasure Life" at the Tampa Aquarium in Tampa, Florida on August 28, 2012. The Republican National Coalition for Life and FRC Action's event, "Treasure Life," honored the pro-life contributions of the former Republican party presidential candidates Sen. Rick Santorum, Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry for their advocacy for every stage of life, from conception to natural death. AFP PHOTO/MLADEN ANTONOVMLADEN ANTONOV/AFP/GettyImages

Was Rick Perry a good governor of Texas? More narrowly, but more important from the viewpoint of this blog, was Rick Perry a good governor for the retired teachers of Texas?

                                       The negatives

Rick Perry was the governor of Texas from 2000 to 2013. (Actually his term will continue until 2014) During his terms of office Texas' retired teachers have received only one cost of living adjustment and that was in the last session. The result is that Texas retired teachers have lost one third of their buying power since 2001.

During a large part of the governor's term he allowed the state contributions to fall to the minimum of  six per cent. A  plethora of studies have shown that the single biggest factor in the proper funding of retirement funds is the state contribution. Had the state contributed more than the minimum the fund might actually been fully funded now.

A third negative for Governor Perry is the lack of leadership shown by Governor Perry on issues important to retired teachers. I realize there are many issues that compete for the governor's attention but the governor chooses which issues to concentrate on and for whatever reason Governor Perry showed little leadership or even interest in retired teachers.

                                      The Positives

The positives of Governor Perry's terms mainly are related to the powerful performance of the Texas economy. This, at least in my opinion, has to count in the Governor's favor since, in addition to our  being retired educators, we are citizens of the Lone Star state. 

First is the unemployment rate. The unemployment rate in Texas is only 6.5 percent while the unemployment rate nationwide is 7.6 percent. The more people employed the more consumed and the more revenue for the state. Not only is this good for the people who now have a job but also for the TRS fund as the state will now have more funds to pay into the fund.

A second positive for the governor's record is the low cost of living. This means that our cost of living at least remained reasonable, even if we didn't get a cost of living adjustment. 

A final positive for the Governor is that the pay for teachers actually went up faster than inflation during his term. Since contributions to the TRS  fund are based on total teacher payroll, the more pay for teachers, the better for the TRS fund.

                                            The Conclusion

Since this blogger was in the education business I'll give my conclusions about Governor Perry in the form of a grade. In terms of what he did for the Texas retired teachers I would give him a D, In terms of his overall grade as a governor of Texas I would give him a B . 

                                              Your Turn.

So what do you think?

Was Rick Perry a good governor for Texas Retired teachers?

Was he a good governor of Texas?

If he ran again, would you have voted for him?

To leave your comments just scroll to the bottom of this page and click on "comments" and leave your opinion. Thanks in advance 



Anonymous said...

You are being generous in giving him an overall grade of B. In my opinion, his overall performance is closer to a D-. The man is/was a horrible governor. He pandered to the wealthy constituents who funded his reelection campaigns. Thank goodness his reign is coming to an end. Hopefully we will get someone competent to replace him, however with the political climate the way it is today, I doubt it.