COMMENTARY | An article in the Daily Caller recounts how Texas Gov. Rick Perry, a Republican, and Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat battled it out on a recent episode of CNN’s Crossfire hosted by Newt Gingrich and former Obama aid Van Jones.
The confrontation encapsulated the red state vs. blue state philosophies of government.
Quinn touted how his state, with the help of Obamacare, is allegedly bringing health care to its citizens and questioned why Texas has not embraced the health care reform law as well. He also boasted of Illinois’ record in education and energy efficiency.
Perry, for his part, touted Texas’ record of job creation and economic growth, noting that the record of Illinois is poor by comparison. He also noted that roughly 1,000 are migrating to Texas a day, mostly from blue states such as Illinois.
The confrontation occurred in the wake of a new ad by Americans For Economic Freedom, an independent 501(c)4 group that is running on national cable and in Illinois media that features Perry touting the business friendly conservative government of Texas. Perry has been quite aggressively campaigning for businesses and people in blue states like Illinois to move to his state. Quinn seemed to have no answer to counter that statistic.
The states are often cited as living laboratories for various government approaches. Those that work can be adopted nationwide while those that do not can be cast aside. Texas and Illinois have adopted opposite approaches, with the former following a laissez faire approach and the latter a more socialistic model of high taxes, robust regulations, and generous spending programs.
Which model works depends largely on where ones values are. Texas values opportunity and individual liberty. Illinois seems to value a generous social welfare state, but with a tradeoff of less liberty and opportunity. People, as Perry pointed out, seem to be voting with their feet in preference for freedom over security, the latter of which is likely unsustainable in the long run.