There’s an inconvenient political truth for Texas Governor Rick Perry: he was his state’s 1988 campaign chairman for then U.S. Senator Al Gore’s first run at the presidency.
The way their partnership has dissolved and their paths diverged in the past three decades speaks eloquently to the way American politics has been reshaped. Gore has sailed left, while Perry’s political odyssey has seen him tack in the other direction — and to the opposing party.
That ’88 election helped shape Perry:
A decade later, Perry said the 1988 presidential primary election helped push him to his party switch. In the fall of 1988, he voted for Bush over his party’s nominee, Dukakis. “I came to my senses,” he told the Austin American-Statesman in 1998.
Just like most businesses and families, states have a limited amount of money on hand with which to build their balanced budgets, and when times are hard states have to prioritize, make sacrifices and figure out how to best provide essential services to residents.
Washington’s ability to continuously vote itself more fiscal breathing room may help Congress — at least in the short term — avoid making the kinds of tough decisions made by states, businesses and families. But ignoring economic realities will lead to even more painful choices down the road and increases the potential for a financial collapse that could permanently cost America its role as the world’s leading economic power.
Unfortunately, the system in Washington makes it easier for elected officials to bury their heads in the sand, avoid responsibility and make the easiest choice of all: borrow more, plunge our nation deeper into debt and allow this generation to punt the tough decisions to our children and grandchildren.
Oh my. He makes this so easy. Real leaders make tough decisions rather than vote present. Exit question: Perry/Haley?