Last year outspoken Republican Texas Governor Rick Perry boasted about his state's conservative approach to economics and its lean budget
. He derided the budget messes faced by other states and blasted Democratic-controlled Washington, telling Tea Party crowds that lawmakers had abandoned the Founding Fathers' vision of limited government. He said President Obama's Washington was strangling Americans with taxing and spending. Tea Partiers waved signs criticizing Obama's $780 billion economic stimulus package. Perry later told reporters that Texans were getting so fed up that they might consider seceding from the Union. Then news came that, hidden under budgetary lipstick and rouge, Texas faced a major $18 billion budget shortfall-- as much as 20 percent of the state's next two-year budget. Today came news from the National Conference of State Legislatures that Perry's Texas took more federal stimulus money than any other state in the country
. In fact, Texas plugged 97 percent of its budget shortfall last year with Obama stimulus cash.