Americans for Tax Reform, today, announced strong support for Gov. Rick Perry’s decision to reject $555 million in federal dollars that Texas would have received as part of the $787 billion stimulus bill signed into law by President Barack Obama last month.

The $555 million that Perry declined to accept was earmarked for purposes of expanding unemployment benefits in Texas. Accepting the $555 million would force the state to alter the current methodology by which employment insurance eligibility is granted. Eligibility would even extend to part-time workers under the strings attached to the federal stimulus funds.
“Gov. Perry has, in rejecting these federal dollars, demonstrated tremendous leadership in defending Lone Star State taxpayers,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “As one example of the ill-advised conditions attached to these funds – someone who voluntarily quits a job in another state, in order to follow a spouse to TX, would be eligible for unemployment benefits in TX. Even worse, Texas families, employers, and all taxpayers would be charged with footing the bill. Americans for Tax Reform praises Gov. Perry’s move to prevent this from happening.”
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, as well, has rejected federal stimulus dollars for precisely the same reasons as Gov. Perry. It is estimated that that federal funds would cover expanded unemployment spending for seven years. Once this one-time injection of federal funds runs out, the state would be on the hook for paying for these ramped up benefits.
“President Obama is trying to export the failed policies of Michigan, California, and New Jersey, which have left those state fiscally and economically devastated, to states that have governed responsibly and lived within their means like Texas.” continued Norquist. “Lone Star State Taxpayers owe a debt of gratitude to Gov. Perry for standing up to this and saying ‘no, thank you’ to this assault on their hard earned dollars.