4:22 PM EDT, June 14, 2013
Say this for Texas Gov. Rick Perry: At least he's trying to stab us in the front.
Mr. Perry begins a widely publicized poaching tour on Sunday, attempting to lure businesses in New York and Connecticut to the Lone Star State. He has endeared himself to California and Illinois with a similar mission.
One might be struck at the ingratitude. Moses Austin, pioneer and father of Stephen F. Austin — the father of Texas — was born in Durham, Connecticut. The Bush family is old Connecticut stock as well. Now you want our businesses?
One might be drawn into comparisons. Yes, as Mr. Perry will doubtless boast, Texas has no income tax and less regulation, but it also has, as a March 2013 legislative report titled "Texas on the Brink" reports, "the highest percentage of uninsured adults in the nation." It is also "dead last in percentage of high school graduates," and it "genherates more hazardous waste and carbon dioxide emissions than any other state in our nation."
If the Texas economy is humming along, as reports indicate, one might wonder why Mr. Perry is out on the prowl. Is he running for president again, as Gov. Dannel P. Malloy suggests? Perhaps Mr. Perry is secretly meeting with a debate coach in New York?
In truth, with a doghouse economy, Connecticut has no reason to look down on Texas until we get our own house in better order. The business of poaching businesses is often wasteful; there is research indicating homegrown businesses are a better bet than transplanted ones. But beggaring thy neighbor is the game, as Mr. Perry is making abundantly clear.
To play it, Connecticut must reform its tax system and improve its business climate. Then we will be positioned to fend off rustlers.
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