[Dated June 22, 2009; italics, bold facing, and ellipses are original]
A few weeks ago, I found myself at the center of a national firestorm, and the subject of withering attacks from the left, because I had the nerve to defend the U.S. Constitution.
I don’t know when the Bill of Rights became like a cafeteria plan, where we can pick and choose the amendments we like, but clearly there are folks in Washington who do not appreciate my stand for the 10th Amendment, which says, “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.”
When I placed my hand on the Bible and swore a solemn oath to uphold and defend the Constitutions of the United States and the State of Texas, I swore to defend the entirety of those founding documents – not just those parts that are convenient. It is a duty that I take very seriously.
I am fighting for the very Constitution that our Founding Fathers crafted to limit the reach of the federal government in our lives. But I need your immediate help. Your gift of $50 or $25 to my campaign today will help me compete against my well-funded Washington-connected opposition that thinks power and freedom emanates from government.
The fact is, the Constitution was created to limit the powers of the federal government, not unleash them.
In the coming gubernatorial campaign, I will ask you to honor me with another term as Governor for Texas. But understand, this campaign is not about personalities but principles. It as about two models of governing: the Washington model that talks the talk about limited government while delivering record earmarks and increasing bureaucratic control, and the Texas model of balanced budgets and fiscal restraint that recognizes growth and prosperity are not granted by government but created in the private sector.
Washington has given us jaw-dropping bailouts, record debt and deficits, and a stimulus package that grows government. They have also tried to force states to raise taxes in order to receive unemploy,ment dollars, and have made reforming expensive programs like Medicaid dependent upon their willingness to grant waivers.
They over-tax us, over-regulate us, and make billions of dollars in federal funding dependent upon our acquiescence to the strings they attach. They have over-stepped their authority, and they are racing us toward fiscal ruin.
When the colonists rebelled against the British Crown, they fought a distant regime that sought to impose its will on the lives of citizens through onerous regulations and taxes. Sound familiar?
If there is any question whether limited government and fiscal conservatism works, look no further than Texas. A part-time Legislature … a Constitutionally mandated balanced budget … no income tax … a predictable regulatory climate and a fair legal system … and the most hardworking people in the world. It’s no wonder that Texas leads the nation in exports, job creation, and Fortune 500 companies.
Limited government works. We just wrapped up the legislative session, in which we responded to the economic crisis by reducing spending of general revenue dollars – the second time we have done that in six years – setting aside money for a rainy day, cutting taxes for small business, and strengthening protections for private property owners from the use of eminent domain.
While our families face lean times and are cutting corners to make ends meet, the Pelosi Congress increased the federal debt by one-third in just the first 100 days of the Obama Administration. Worse still, the Administration’s own numbers balloon this year’s deficit from $1.7 trillion, or $5,500 for every person in America, to almost $7 trillion ten years from now. That is almost $23,000 for every man, woman, and child in America today!
At a time when small businesses – our greatest engine of prosperity – are struggling to survive and provide jobs for hard working Texans, the federal government is handing out trillion-dollar checks to big corporations, even taking them over. Our system of capitalism is at risk!
And as the soft economy shrinks the tax coffers of the states, the Federal government has tried to bully governors and state legislatures into taking federal money by forcing them to increase taxes, expand bureaucracies, and change long-standing state laws. When it came to an expansion of unemployment benefits,. I told them that they can keep their money and we will keep our state sovereignty.
I will stand strong against anyone – Democrat or Republican, federal or state – who would lead us further down that misguided path. But to get my message out to the voters of Texas so they know exactly what is at stake, I need your immediate gift. Please join my team today. Together, we can win this most important battle for Texas and America.
PS – The eight months until the March 2 primary election (fittingly held on Texas Independence Day) will pass quickly. Today is the first day I can raise campaign funds under Texas law. But as a Federal official, unrestrained by Texas law, my Washington-connected opponent has a six-month head start. Please send your contribution today, and stand with me as we work to preserve our vision of limited government for Texas. Thank you.
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This is a very effective document. It reminds readers of his April remarks that hinted at secession without using the “s” word; it embraces the Tenth Amendment; it reinforces the message of the Tea Parties by referring to the American Revolution and puts himself in the tradition of the colonists. This is an Horatio-at-the-bridge message. It speaks to conservatives who believe that the country is in deep trouble. And it differentiates Texas (“limited government”) from Washington (“jaw-dropping bailouts,” “the Pelosi Congress). Perry has had almost three months, starting with the Tea Parties on April 15 to drill this message into the consciousness of Republican primary voters, much of it through free media. This letter can serve not only as the basis of a reelection campaign, but also of a national campaign. Meanwhile, Kay Bailey Hutchison has had nothing to say. Remember the Claytie Williams campaign of 1990. Primary races can be won in October. Or July.
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