Economy

 Caleb Bryant Miller

Read My Lapse

"You have to do a few things when you run for office in Texas," says one of Rick Perry's allies. "You have to debate. You have to release your tax returns. And you have to say you won't raise taxes." Bill White will surely debate the governor before November's general election, but at the moment he hasn't done the other two. The former probably won't sink him, but the latter could — by declining to drink the no-new-taxes potion, he's handing his opponent a weapon to use against him. Unless, of course, he's successful at changing the way the argument goes.

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 U.S. Census Bureau

Let the Counting Begin

Census Bureau questionnaires arrive at 8.4 million Texas homes this week. "Fill that sucker out," the bureau's regional director says, "so we don't have to come and knock on your door."

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Bamboozled by the Establishment

The big-government crowd in Washington and elsewhere are bankrupting our country. And Republicans are just as culpable as Democrats in treating our taxpayer dollars as “other people’s money” to be spent as they and the special interests decide.

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 Caleb Bryant Miller

2010: White Starts the Argument [Updated]

Democrat Bill White said he won't rely on "Soviet-style budgeting" and "hot air politics" if he's elected governor, and said the state should make education its first priority and would be better off with a governor who's got business experience when it comes to economic development.

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"Big Government Conservatism"

Sound economic policy was sacrificed on the altar of short-term political gain in the George W. Bush administration. This buying of political support with taxpayers’ money brings to mind the words of Alexis de Tocqueville in Democracy in America: “The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.”

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Data App: Homeland $ecurity

Loving County, in far West Texas, spent about $1,100 per resident in U.S. Department of Homeland Security grant funds from 2003 to 2008. Compare that with Harris County, which spent less than $6 per resident. Contemplate the disparity — and search for individual purchases with DHS grant money — using our latest data application.

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George W. Bush Was No Ronald Reagan

When the George W. Bush administration turned out to be a failure, “conservatism” got the blame — even though Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney (like so many others who served alongside them) had been part of the anti-Reagan wing of the Republican Party.

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TribBlog: Texas Unemployment Rises

More than 1 million Texans were unemployed in January, according to new numbers from the Texas Workforce Commission. Unemployment in the state hit 8.6 percent in January, up from 8 percent the month before and 6.8 percent in January 2009. The comparable national rate was 10.6 percent.

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 Jacob Villanueva

The Numbers Game

More than 373,000 Texans went uncounted by the 2000 census, resulting in a loss of $1 billion in federal funds. With eight of the nation's 50 hardest-to-count counties right here in our state, the coming 2010 census is a cause for concern — and an apparent lack of attention by elected officials is making matters worse.

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 KERA

The Brief: February 15, 2010

If editorial boards had the last say, next month’s primaries would be a moot point and gubernatorial candidates could have spent Valentine’s Day eating stale candy like the rest of us. Some of Texas’ largest newspapers weighed in last weekend on their choice for governor and U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison and former Houston Mayor Bill White grabbed the lion’s share.

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 Jacob Villanueva

Survey Says...

Texans are more worried about the economy and the direction of the country than anything else, according to the new University of Texas/Texas Tribune poll. Other notable findings: Nearly two-thirds support either gay marriage or civil unions, nearly half prefer private health insurance to a government-run plan, and more than a third think the Legislature meets every year.

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TribWeek: In Case You Missed It

Hu, Philpott, and Ramsey on the Democratic gubernatorial debate, the pre-game, the post-game, and the highlight reel. Thevenot on the push for accountability in persistently low-performing schools. M. Smith on the Republican assault on sitting Republican appellate judge. Hamilton on a county with more than one Tea Party trying to claim conservative voters. With lawmakers staring down a growing budget crunch, Aguilar looks back at the last one for instruction. Grissom finds that U.S. Border Patrol has quietly stopped a program to deport illegal immigrants through Presidio. Ramshaw reports on a West Texas nurse who got into and out of criminal trouble for complaining about a doctor she worked with. The second University of Texas/Texas Tribune Poll finds Rick Perry and Bill White with big leads in their respective party primaries. Rapoport found herself in the eye of the storm, traveling with Debra Medina on the day the candidate unexpectedly and disastrously made national news when Glenn Beck asked her on his radio shows about the attacks on the World Trade Center on 9/11. The best of our best from February 8 to 12, 2010.

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