Hutchison makes argument for accepting stimulus funds

Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison:

...

... I would have sought a way to cut the excessive federal strings. If that didn't work, I would have urged the Legislature to accept the funding and reduce the blow to Texas employers now. Then I would have had the political courage to make certain that unnecessary benefits were reversed once the current economic crisis has passed.

In fact, by engaging legislative leaders, a strong governor likely could have obtained commitments to make those future changes before accepting Texas' allotment.

Instead, Perry made a political statement carrying a $550 million price tag for Texas taxpayers. The governor's refusal to accept federal dollars to aid Texas employers was neither conservative nor responsible. It was instead the triumph of political gamesmanship over effective leadership.

It is an interesting argument, but may be too complicated to be effective. It also carries with it another question about why she was not able to cut the excessive federal strings from her office in Washington.

Perry clearly intends to make control freak federal policies an issue in the race. Hutchison is arguing that she is better equipped to deal with the them rather than rejecting aid with strings. I suspect Perry will argue that her solution would fall into the Democrats trap.

She is right about the political gamesmanship, but she needs to at least point out that the gamesmanship started with the Democrats in Washington. Otherwise she risks being tied to them.

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