The Associated Press’ Will Weissert reminds us that for all his bellyaching about the growing size of the federal government and commitment to uprooting this or that or some other federal agency, Rick Perry has made a career out of pumping federal dollars into Texas:
Perry sought and received $24.2 billion in stimulus funding for Texas while saying the program was bad federal policy. He helped secure more than $100 million to protect against drug violence and illegal immigration on the Mexican border. The governor also endorsed his state’s request for money under President Barack Obama’s new health care law, though he now promises to help repeal the measure should he win the White House. [...]
Perry opposes the Obama administration health care overhaul, though Texas state agencies have received $56.9 million in Health and Human Services Department grants alone as part of it. The governor wrote a letter to Washington in August 2010 supporting a $1 million federal grant proposal that Texas wanted to explore setting up a related statewide health care exchange.
In 2009 and then again in 2010, Perry publicly complained about the “strings attached” to the federal dollars associated with increasing Washington’s contribution to the Medicaid program, but ultimately took — even requested — the money. Earlier this year, Texas asked for a federal waiver to reroute “federal funds the state would otherwise lose — an undesired consequence of expanding managed care — to subsidize hospitals’ uncompensated care costs” and finance “projects to help the uninsured.” The initiative received a warm reception by Democrats and consumer advocates, but could obviously add up to a political liability for Perry. His 2010 book, Fed Up!, rejects any whiff of federal money — and the rules that come with it.”