Texas Gov. Rick Perry (R) on Monday dismissed income inequality as both a non-issue for Texans and, paradoxically, an inevitable problem.
In an interview with the Washington Post, which was the latest in a series of pieces chronicling Perry’s attempt to redeem himself as a presidential contender after a failed 2012 campaign, the governor was asked about an increasing gap between rich and poor Texans.
“We don’t grapple with that here,” he told the Post.
The governor also invoked the Bible, telling the newspaper that “the poor are always going to be with us in some form or fashion.”
The Post reported that Perry did acknowledge the state’s richest residents have enjoyed the greatest amount of earnings growth. But he also argued that wages have increased among all household income quartiles since he took office in 2000.
A U.S. Census Bureau report released in September found that Texas, along with 14 other states, saw a significant rise in income inequality in 2013. Texas also ranks fifth in income inequality among all states, according to research by economist Mark Frank.