Republicans, who are always such righteous Christians, seem to believe that Jesus said to steal from the poor to give to the rich. I suppose there’s a specially-edited version of their Bible:
Child poverty is rising sharply in Texas. But while Texas kids go hungry, Gov. Rick Perry is living a lavish lifestyle on the taxpayers’ dime.
Since 2000 (the year Perry became governor) the number of Texas children living in poverty has climbed 17 percent, even as the state has gutted spending on programs for kids. Currently, an astonishing 1 in 4 Texas children lives in poverty. The infant mortality rate is also up 10 percent since 2000.
Like George W. Bush before him, Perry demands steep sacrifices from ordinary working people—while living a luxurious taxpayer-funded lifestyle.
Take Perry’s mansion, for example. While Texas is facing an eye-popping $27 billion deficit, Perry is spending $9,000 per month in taxpayer’s money to live in one of Austin’s most upscale estates.
When the Texas governor’s mansion was damaged in a 2008 fire, Perry looked around for another place to live. With the state in financial meltdown, one might think Perry would have shown a little restraint in picking his new digs.
But no such luck. In fact, as of May 2010, Perry, according to AP, had already spent nearly $600,000 in tax dollars living in a lavish 5-bedroom, 7-bathroom sprawling rental mansion the previous two years.
As AP noted, Perry’s mansion is 6,386 square feet and sits on more than three acres in the hills overlooking the Texas capitol.
Here’s what Perry has been spending with our tax dollars:
- A 6,386-square-foot rental property that sits on more than three acres and was advertised in 2007 for sale at $1.85 million.
- $18,000 for household supplies and cleaning products.
- $1,001 in window coverings from upscale retailer Neiman Marcus.
- $1,000 for “emergency repair” of the governor’s filtered ice machine
- A $700 clothes rack.
- A $56,000 stipend for food and beverages.
- Maintenance on the heated pool has cost taxpayers at least $8,400.
- The tab for grounds and lawn maintenance has topped $44,000.
Of course, none of this comes out of Perry’s own taxpayer-funded salary, which is $150,000 per year.
While Perry spends our tax dollars generously on himself, the state of Texas is sinking into an ocean of red ink. The state’s deficit is one of the largest of any state and puts it in the same league as California and other states facing fiscal meltdowns.
Even though Perry is living like a king, he still demands extreme sacrifice and fiscal restraint from the rest of us. And, of course, poor people rank at the top of Perry’s list among those who should “sacrifice.”