UMSL political scientists discuss Gov. Perry’s Texas touting in Missouri

Texas Gov. Rick Perry by Ed Schipul

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will make a visit to Missouri this week to tout tax cuts in the Lone Star State. (Photo by Ed Schipul via Flickr)

Texas Gov. Rick Perry will tout the Lone Star State’s tax cuts in a trip to Missouri this week. St. Louis Post-Dispatch business columnist David Nicklaus wrote about the governor’s controversial visit, calling it a “job-recruiting campaign.” When discussing economic competition among states, Nicklaus turned to Kenneth Thomas, professor of political science at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, to weigh in as an expert on the topic.

“(Texas) is definitely one of the most aggressive, and because of Perry the most publicity-seeking in its efforts,” Thomas told Nicklaus. 

The Post-Dispatch pointed out that Perry had an “unusual ally” in the Missouri Chamber of Commerce. The chamber has invited Perry to speak at its lunch this week at the St. Louis Club.

Thomas told Nicklaus that the move by the chamber isn’t surprising because its member companies benefit from such competition. For example, a Missouri company could benefit from lower taxes by moving to another state or Missouri could lower its taxes to keep the company, the political scientist said.

“They want to use Perry to increase their profits without having to move,” he said. “It serves their purposes, and it serves Perry’s at the same time.”

Thomas is an expert on economic development, tax increment financing, subsidies to business, international political economy and multinational corporations. He is the author of “Investment Incentives and the Global Competition for Capital.”

Dave Robertson, Curators’ Teaching Professor of Political Science, also discussed Perry’s visit, as well as his TV and radio ads he’s airing in Missouri, during an interview with KSDK (Channel 5). He pointed out that Perry, a Republican, bought similar ads in 13 states, all of which have Democrat governors.

“His interests are not just votes, but campaign contributions,” Robertson explained on KSDK.

He also talked about the issue with the St. Louis Beacon.

Visit KSDK to view the video of the news segment featuring Robertson. Visit STLtoday.com to read Nicklaus’ full column featuring Thomas. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch also published an editorial about the issue, which referenced and linked to a Public Policy Research Center paper on three decades of Missouri’s historic tax burden.


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