The Corner

The Trouble with Texas

Catching up on my reading en route to Maryville this AM, I read Rich’s column on the Texas model. It’s a good column and contains this amazing statistic:

Texas already looms large in its own imagination. Its elevated self-image didn’t need this: More than half of the net new jobs in the U.S. during the past 12 months were created in the Lone Star State.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 net new jobs were created in the United States from August 2009 to August 2010. Texas created 119,000 jobs during the same period. If every state in the country had performed as well, we’d have created about 1.5 million jobs nationally during the past year, and maybe “stimulus” wouldn’t be such a dirty word.

I agree with everything Rich says about why Texas should be a national exemplar. But I was surprised that he left out what I think is the most salient political lesson of Texas’s success. If Obama’s policies are creating jobs, why on earth are they so disproportionately popping up in Texas?

Obama and his surrogates are constantly insisting that he’s “created” scads of jobs, it’s just that we’re in such a deep hole we can’t appreciate all of the fantastic job creation going on thanks to his policies. As Veronique noted (and debunked) here recently, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz even claims that Obama has created more jobs in one year than Bush did in eight.

Putting aside the generic lunacy of how we wildly over-credit presidents with “creating” jobs in the first place, I would love to hear how defenders of Obama’s economic policies have unintentionally benefited Texas so much. I mean, if Obama’s policies are responsible for job creation, shouldn’t we be seeing some more uniform job growth across the whole country? Why is the job-creator-in-chief so playing favorites in Texas?

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, will be released on April 24.

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