Just as I suspected -- Vice President Al Gore's complaining about
Gov. George W. Bush's "sorry" record in Texas is about as genuine as
Gore, the multi-personality candidate who -- in eight years of the
Clinton administration -- seems to have spent more time reinventing
himself rather than government.
In the third presidential debate in St. Louis last week, Gore rattled
off a litany of problems that were supposedly exacerbated by Bush's
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Such policy and leadership failures are ostensibly documented in a
10-minute video produced by the Democratic National Committee (naturally on Gore's behalf).
In the video, "ordinary" Texans "detail the problems" in the state "and argue that as governor, Bush has done little to fix them," said The Associated Press.
Included in the "complaints" are the usual focus group, poll-driven, liberal ideological predictables: health care, the environment, crime, and taxes. The production also features a "Texas Truth Squad," supposedly filled with a group of Texans who "travel the country to assail the Bush record."
Does Bush and the state of Texas really have that bad a record? No; not according
to the White House's own state-by-state
list of accomplishments.
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The Clinton-Gore administration, as a matter of fact, kind of like what Texas has done over the past several years. According to the AP, "some of the headlines for Texas sound like a campaign ad that could be run by Gov. Bush ... and not at all like the Texas that Gore is describing in his Democratic campaign."
Here are some of the accomplishments listed by the White House:
- 11 toxic waste sites cleaned up since 1993 -- The EPA has completed 11 Superfund toxic waste clean-ups in Texas, which is nearly twice the number of sites cleaned up during the previous two administrations combined (my emphasis).
- $58.8 million in safe drinking water funding -- The administration and Congress passed legislation providing nearly $60 million in funding for the Drinking Water State Revolving Funds program to build, improve and prevent pollution of drinking water systems (have a glass, Mr. Vice President, on the governor).
- Nearly 51,000 more children have health insurance in Texas than before, including 706,000 needy Texas women and children who have received health and food assistance -- 103,300 more than in 1994 (my emphasis).
- The federal tobacco plan, implemented by Gov. Bush and other states, will cut youth smoking and reduce premature deaths by 40 percent by 2004.
- Regarding Mr. Gore's vaunted "Patients' Bill of Rights," even if it were enacted, over 8 million Texas residents "cannot be assured they have the comprehensive patient protections recommended by the President's Advisory Commission ... because the Employee Retirement Income Security Act may preempt state-enacted protections."
- The Texas rate of unemployment has fallen from 7.6 percent in 1993 to just 4.4 percent today.
- Over 1.7 million new private sector jobs have been created in Texas since 1993 -- or 241,555 per year -- compared to just 113,000 private sector jobs per year during the previous (Gov. Ann Richards) administration (my emphasis).
- Homeownership is up in Texas, and homebuilding is up nearly 11 percent since 1993.
- The state has more "high-quality teachers with smaller classes."
- Serious crime is down 15 percent in Texas since 1992. Also since then, violent crime and property crime have fallen 18 percent and 14 percent respectively -- and has "dropped sharply in major cities" like Dallas, Ft. Worth, San Antonio and El Paso.
- There are nearly 497,000 fewer people on welfare -- a 63 percent decrease -- since 1993, while child support collections are up 178 percent since FY92.
Little did we know that the "Texas Truth Squad" would, in reality, be the Clinton-Gore administration.
Thanks for helping the governor make his points that life in Texas under his leadership has been made better, Mr. Vice President. You're a prince of a guy.