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Rick Perry: Reading the record

IS RICK PERRY, the governor of Texas, a credible presidential candidate? His opponents plainly think so. As well as grumbling about his loose talk and his Bush-like swagger, they are attacking his economic record. As he has been governor since the end of 2000, there is plenty to consider.Mr Perry will fight on jobs. His campaign flaunts a startling statistic: that 40% of the net new jobs created in America since June 2009 are in Texas. In an August report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas actually put it a bit higher. Texas, said the bank, created 261,700 jobs between June 2009 and June 2011; America’s net jobs gain was 524,000. Those figures give Texas 49.9% of the nation’s net job creation.Critics say that lots of those were simply poached from other states. Others were the result of factors that have nothing to do with Mr Perry, such as high oil prices. Many are service-sector, minimum-wage positions. The focus on job creation may, meanwhile, have led the state to underinvest in education, health care and infrastructure, areas where it badly lags the nation as a whole. Texas has America’s highest rate of…

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