In a new report, conservative anti-tax organization Club for Growth gives Gov. Rick Perry high marks for his pro-growth policies but warns that the Texas leader has exhibited an "interventionist streak" during his tenure in the governor's mansion.
The research document points out that Perry has generally advocated for spending cuts and low taxes, although it points to several "blemishes" on his record of advocacy for free-market principles.
The club, for example, takes issue with Perry's use of the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, development programs that offer capital for entrepreneurs with the goal of luring job-rich businesses to the state.
"These gimmicky subsidies are a form of corporate welfare, and they’re similar in effect to the tax credits decried by Perry in his 2010 book," the report reads. "This suggests that Governor Perry is more pro-business than he is pro-free markets."
The group also writes that Perry's positions on alternative energy subsidies are contradictory. While the governor has previously instituted production mandates on the wind energy industry in Texas, he opposes any such requirements for ethanol production.
The Club for Growth report does laud Perry's championing of tort reform and a favorable tax climate in his home state, but it concludes by warning that Perry's "semi-apology" for the "big government interventions of President Bush" could indicate that - in a more hostile national political and economic climate - his record might not be so pristine.
"Almost any movement in the direction of the Texas approach would be welcomed. However, given some actions in his record, it is questionable whether Perry will maintain his steadfast fiscal approach when faced with a less favorably inclined legislature than he is accustomed to."