The Hutchison campaign’s Joe Pounder criticized Perry yesterday for getting his facts mixed up over how much Texas gets from the feds from the federal gasoline tax money it sends to Washington. Here’s what Pounder wrote: Rick Perry and his campaign are confused. They are so eager to launch negative attacks that they will say just about anything. Yesterday, Rick Perry said that Texas gets 94 cents back for every transportation dollar it sends to Washington. Today, his campaign says its only 78 cents. Candidate-campaign communication problem? Bottom line: The Perry campaign will never let facts get in their way of going negative. YESTERDAY: Rick Perry Said That Texas Gets 94 CENTS Back For Every Transportation Dollar It Sends To Washington. PERRY: “For every dollar we send to Washington D.C., we only get 94 cents back. So we’re a major donor to all the other states.” First, let me hasten to say that I don’t regard this as anything more than a tempest in a teapot. Second, here’s what I think the number is: 92 cents. Here’s why: When he was still in power, Tom DeLay held up a federal highway bill with the demand that Texas’s share be raised from 86 cents out of every dollar to 92.5 cents. He won. I just looked it up on the TM archives in the 2006 story I wrote about DeLay’s decision to leave elective office. It may have changed since then, but in 06, the story was fact-checked. UPDATE: Thanks to TxDOT chair Deirdre Delisi for this report: The 92.5% guarantee [Texas] has under the current surface transportation bill only applies to the highway funding formula, which doesn’t equate to 100% of federal gas tax dollars Texas sends to DC. Here’s how the math breaks down. For ever $1 we send, 85% goes to highways and 15% goes to transit. Of the 85% that goes to highways, only 85% goes towards the funding formula; the other 15% goes to discretionary spending. So the 92.5% only applies to 85% of 85% of 100%, which roughly equals 67-68 cents. It all means very little when, in the end, DC passes a bill it 1) can’t fund and 2) takes the funding it does have for other purposes, resulting in almost $2 billion in recissions for Texas. All together, adding up the formula dollars, discretionary spending and transit, Texas gets about 78 cents back on the dollar, a far cry from 92 cents on the dollar. * * * * I assume, perhaps without foundation, that other states are in the same boat. In any event, it is pretty clear that the federal mice are nibbling at the state’s cheese.
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