Open Letter to President Obama from AFP-TX

July 10, 2014

AFP-Texas State Director Mike Hasson and AFP Policy Director Peggy Venable released the following open message to President Obama prior to his remarks in the state today:

Welcome To The Texas Economy, Mr. President
Please Look Around, But Don’t Touch Anything

Today, President Obama is giving a speech in Texas on the economy. If his remarks of late are any indication, the President will talk about the recent job growth, the recovery of select industries, the United States’ recent achievement of becoming a net oil exporter, and his willingness to circumvent Congress by using his “pen and phone” to take executive action.

With all due respect, we would recommend that, while he is in Texas, the President should use his pen to simply take notes and perhaps write a thank-you note to our state. Texas has outperformed the rest of the country by nearly every measure of economic success since before the recession began in late 2007.

More importantly, most of the economic achievements that President Obama has lauded in recent remarks are not the outcome of policies he has implemented, but are the result of policies in the state of Texas that encourage economic growth and prosperity for all.

Recently, the President has spoken about the level of job growth in the country has seen already in 2014. However, this job growth isn’t the result of sweeping federal policies handed down from Washington. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 19 percent of the nation’s job growth this year has taken place in the state of Texas.

By November 2011, Texas had recovered all of the jobs it lost during the 2007 recession.. Overall, the United States did not recover all of the jobs it lost during the recession until May 2014. Texas is now nearly 900,000 jobs above its pre-recession levels. Without Texas and its policies that spur, not stifle, job growth, the country would still be nearly 500,000 jobs below its pre-recession employment levels.

The President has also spoken at length about how the U.S. is producing more oil at home than what we buy abroad for the first time in nearly 20 years. Texas and North Dakota say, “you’re welcome,” because our two states collectively account for nearly half of all the oil production in the country

The President has spoken about the resurgence of the construction and housing industries. Texas never participated in the housing bubble, thanks in large part to a better economic climate that allows construction companies to build single-family homes in less than a third of the time it takes to get through the process in heavily-regulated states like California. As of May 2014, 16 percent of all building permits for new single-family homes in the country were being granted in the State of Texas.

Texas benefits from the same interest rates as the rest of the country. Texas benefits from the same stock market as the rest of the country. Yet, Texas is outperforming the country by a wide margin. We would encourage President Obama to ask why that is the case, take notes, then put the regulatory pen away.

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