Letter: Perry might be worth following



John Laird’s Aug. 14 column, “Gov. Goodhair throws hat in ring,” was incredibly shallow and misleading. There isn’t room in one letter to address all its problems, but here are a few regarding his comments:

“Texas ranks last in the nation in state spending per capita,” Laird wrote. Only an oblivious, die-hard liberal would consider this an insult. Given our current fiscal situation, this sounds like just what we need in our next president.

Texas is “last in the nation in percentage of residents over 25 with high school diplomas.” This ranking is primarily due to immigration of adults without diplomas; see http://goo.gl/uAu8T. Texas is in the middle of the pack for most other education-related statistics.

Laird comments these rankings are “despite ranking 11th in property taxes.” Texas, like many states, requires a balanced budget, so what comes in roughly matches what goes out. Unsurprisingly, then, given its ranking in state spending, Texas also has the lowest overall tax burden (see http://goo.gl/bNo5J). It seems likely that the ranking for property taxes is relatively high because Texas has no personal income tax.

I don’t know much about Texas Gov. Rick Perry, but if Laird is this desperate to make him look bad, I expect he’s worth consideration.

Steve Reinhardt