Sunday, November 23rd, 2014

The Best of Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes the crowd before a Republican presidential debate Oct. 18 in Las Vegas.
Republican presidential candidates Texas Gov. Rick Perry salutes the crowd before a Republican presidential debate Oct. 18 in Las Vegas.

Editor’s note: With the Iowa caucuses only two months away, PolitiFact Georgia will dedicate this week to summaries of key fact-checks on the leading GOP candidates as well as President Barack Obama’s performance on his 500 campaign promises. Today we look at Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

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"We cut property taxes by one-third in the state of Texas while I’ve been governor."

On the campaign trail in New Hampshire Oct. 1, Perry repeated this common battle cry in his campaign for the Republican nomination.

He’s referring to House Bill 1, which he signed into law in 2006. It’s intended to reduce property taxes paid to local school districts.

The overhaul effectively lowered the maintenance and operation segment of the school tax, from $1.50 to $1.00 per $100 of assessed property value, or about one-third. But it didn’t translate to 33 percent lower bills for taxpayers.

If you look at total property tax revenue, Texans paid about the same amount in 2010 as they did in 2005. If you adjust for inflation, he's closer (it's about 9 percent less), but it's still far short of one-third. We find his claim Mostly False.

"My home state since June of 2009 created 40 percent of the new jobs in America."

Perry made this statement during a swing through the Atlanta area Sept. 30 to talk about what his state has done to help businesses flourish.

June 2009 is when economists believe the Great Recession ended.

From June 2009 through August, the most recent federal data available, the number of people working in Texas grew by about 323,000 jobs.
   
Nationally, the number of additional Americans working increased by nearly 837,000 during that same time span. If you do the math, Texas accounts for 38.6 percent of that increase.

Some of the growth may be attributable to Texas’ regulations, but there are other factors, such as the state’s major population growth and the large number of minimum-wage workers. We rate his claim Mostly True.

Says only four Texas legislators voted against a law giving in-state tuition rates to certain illegal immigrants.

Under fire for his stance on a law that gives in-state college tuition rates to illegal immigrants in Texas, Perry said Sept. 28 in an interview with Newsmax TV that only four Texas legislators voted against the measure.

According to the journals for the 2001 session kept by the Texas House and Senate, Perry is darned close.

Our count: Five of the 181 legislators referred to by Perry (31 state senators, 150 House members) voted against the tuition legislation. That's close enough for us to rate his claim True.


Scientists are "questioning the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change. … [It is] more and more being put into question."

Perry has made it clear he doesn't believe that human beings are contributing to global warming, and he expounded on the issue in Bedford, N.H., on Aug. 17.

We considered the work of the best credentialed people who have questioned the conclusions of the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the leading international organization on climate science. The IPCC concluded humans are contributing to climate change.

Generally, even these scientists do not claim that humans are making no contribution to rising temperatures. Rather, they tend to make more nuanced points. They question whether carbon emissions alone are driving up temperatures, or whether other human activities also contribute.

There is solid consensus among the major scientific organizations. Skeptics seem to be a small minority that is not growing. We rate his statement False.