Which Is More Important - Fighting Cancer or Creating Wealth?


ust when you think Texas Governor Rick Perry has sunk to new lows, he opens up his mouth again. This time, in an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Perry said that a chief purpose of the Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas isn't just to cure cancer - but to create wealth. 

From the Houston Chronicle, "Perry calls creating wealth an intent of cancer agency" -

Texas legislators used the noblest of language to tout the 2007 bill that created the state's taxpayer-funded, $3 billion assault on cancer, but Gov. Rick Perry now says creating wealth is a key mission of the cancer agency. In an interview with the Houston Chronicle this week, Perry said the embattled Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas must regain public trust so it can carry out its dual mission of cure discovery and commercialization.

"The way that the Legislature intended it was to get cures into the public's arena as soon as possible and at the same time create economic avenues (from) which wealth can be created," said Perry. "Basic research takes a long time and may or may not ever create wealth."

Rick Perry really believes that government should only be used to make money for his donors. As the Chronicle's business columnist, Loren Steffy, wrote:

What voters thought they were approving, according to the wording on the ballot in 2007, was a fund for “research in Texas to find the causes of and cures for cancer.” Commericalization of drugs wasn’t mentioned.

Yet Perry has long favored funneling taxpayer money to private companies through vehicles like the Texas Enterprise Fund and the Emerging Technology Fund. CPRIT, it seems, is just another money grab endorsed by a governor who purports to believe in free markets yet never misses and opportunity to hand out public money to private businesses.

CPRIT may have been conceived with the best of intentions, and voters may have believed they were funding a noble cause, but it has morphed into something far less noble. It’s become just another expansion of the corporate candy store that Perry has been running out of the Capitol for years.

Couldn't have said it any better myself.