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Author Topic: CATO Governor report - How our states did  (Read 4950 times)

TedApelt

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CATO Governor report - How our states did
« on: January 17, 2003, 12:48:18 pm »

Against the backdrop of the worst state budget crunch in years, this report presents the findings of Cato Institute’s sixth biennial fiscal policy report card on the nation’s governors. The report card’s grading is based on 17 objective measures of each governor’s fiscal performance. Governors who have cut taxes and spending the most receive the highest grades. Those who have increased spending and taxes the most receive the lowest grades.

This year, two governors receive the highest grade of A: Bill Owens of Colorado and Jeb Bush of Florida. Four governors receive the lowest grade of F: Gray Davis of California, Don Sundquist of Tennessee, Bob Taft of Ohio, and John Kitzhaber of Oregon.

The governors of some of America’s most populous states and their grades are George Pataki of New York, B; George Ryan of Illinois, D; and John Engler of Michigan, B.

State governments faced a combined budget gap of more than $40 billion in 2002, largely as a result of an overspending binge in the 1990s. Most governors will confront more tough budget choices in 2003. We hope that governors do not make the mistake of raising taxes to try to balance budgets, as many did in the economic slowdown of the early 1990s. Instead, by reducing spending and cutting tax rates, governors can return their states to fiscal and economic health. If they do, we will have many high grades to reward on the next Cato fiscal report card.




Governor  Party  State  Score  Grade  

Janklow  (R)  South Dakota  60  B  
Martz  (R)  Montana  58  B  
Minner  (D)  Delaware  54  C  
Kempthorne  (R)  Idaho  53  C  
Geringer  (R)  Wyoming  52  C  
Shaheen  (D)  New Hampshire  48  D  
King  (I)  Maine  47  D  
Dean  (D)  Vermont  46  D  
Hoeven  (R)  North Dakota  45  D  

I knocked out all the states not on our list.  Alaska was not in the original report.

source:  cse.org
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Zxcv

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2003, 09:10:57 pm »

Ted, can you give us the link for this?

Not surprised to see Oregon at the bottom of this pile...
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TedApelt

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2003, 12:49:40 am »

Ted, can you give us the link for this?

Front page story on cse.org.
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Zxcv

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2003, 01:07:11 am »

Well, there must be 50 links on that page. I'm not going to investigate every one to find the story you're mentioning here. Is it so hard to give us the link? Come on, Ted, as a courtesy for your readers?
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TedApelt

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2003, 04:29:15 pm »

Well, there must be 50 links on that page. I'm not going to investigate every one to find the story you're mentioning here. Is it so hard to give us the link? Come on, Ted, as a courtesy for your readers?

http://www.cse.org/informed/issues_template.php/1124.htm

Sorry about that!  Last time I was there, *boom* there it was on the front page.  Now, they have something else on that spot.
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Otosan

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2003, 07:38:25 pm »

Why am I not suprised to see my Governor (Don Sunquist) get an F?
The only reason he got an F is cause there aint a lower grade!!!!!

He should have got a Z!!!

Stupid Governor, stupid government.
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William Bryan

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2003, 08:03:29 pm »

Anybody know why all states are not included?
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Racer X

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2003, 11:15:21 pm »

I'm not surprised Vermont scored low with Gov. Dean.  However, it's important to note that the Democrats were booted out of the Governor's office and a Republican was elected.


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bakedchip

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #8 on: January 29, 2003, 03:19:45 pm »

Anybody know why all states are not included?

From Cato's report:

Govs. Bob Holden of Missouri, James McGreevey of New Jersey, Mike Easley of North Carolina, Mark Schweiker of Pennsylvania, Rick Perry of Texas, Mark Warner of Virginia, and Scott McCallum of Wisconsin all assumed office too recently for their records to be fully assessed.  Tony Knowles of Alaska is excluded because of peculiarities in Alaska's budget that make interstate tax comparisons problematic.
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Zxcv

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Re:CATO Governor report - How our states did
« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2003, 08:22:58 pm »

This report has an interesting table showing state spending increases in the 90's. That's yet another indicator of recent statist tendencies in the state, I think:

Quote
Table 2
Real per Capita Spending Increase, 1991–2000
Rank - State - Increase
10. New Hampshire 47%
20. Maine 38%
21. Idaho 38%
22. Montana 36%
25. North Dakota 34%
27. South Dakota 33%
30. Vermont 32%
31. Delaware 30%
49. Wyoming 11%
Source: Authors' calculations based on Bureau of Census data.
Note: Alaska is excluded.

Wyoming in last place in the nation!  :)  The bad news is that even the best state had an 11% spending increase over the decade.   >:(

I highly recommend reading the appendices in the back of this report, where they go over the recent government shenanigans for each state except Alaska. Go check out the comments for our candidate states! Here is the example of New Hampshire:

Quote
New Hampshire has long been the one
small-government foothold in the Northeast,
but that competitive edge has been under
assault as state lawmakers, with the encouragement
of the state supreme court, have
tried to enact a state income tax. New
Hampshire is the only state in the nation that
has neither a personal income tax nor a sales
tax. But the supreme court has ruled that
New Hampshire’s property tax system is constitutionally
flawed. Into this high-voltage
debate over school financing and taxes
arrived the first Democratic governor in
decades, Jeanne Shaheen. First elected in
1996, Shaheen easily won two reelections. In
2000, she refused to take the anti-income tax
pledge, which almost all successful candidates
have taken in the past, and which she
had signed in her first two runs. She won
reelection narrowly anyway. Shaheen has
been described as "Governor Betty Crocker"
for her penchant for moderation and compromise.
But the reality is that Shaheen has
dramatically increased the size of state government.
In fact, her first three budgets
allowed expenditures to rise substantially
faster than personal income growth. Her
Advancing Better Classrooms plan increased
kindergarten aid by 50 percent. She often
speaks of improving schools but is opposed
to real reforms. She vetoed a teacher tenure
reform bill and a limited voucher pilot program.
The Wall Street Journal has described
New Hampshire residents as "taxaphobic,"
but Shaheen isn’t. She signed a statewide
property tax measure, proposed to raise the
corporate income tax, and hiked the cigarette
tax. She has tried several times to contrive a
taxing scheme that would meet the court’s
approval and gain acceptance from the
Republicans in the legislature. That hasn’t
happened. She appointed a commission to
study New Hampshire taxes, which recommended
new taxes, including an income tax.
She proposed a 2.5 percent state sales tax, but
that was also rejected by the legislature. The
funding problem was finally resolved by
enacting a statewide property tax, and no
income or sales tax. That solution - probably
the best possible outcome under the circumstances
 - was arrived at in spite of Shaheen,
not as a result of her leadership. Shaheen has
a reputation, cultivated by the press, as a fiscal
conservative. But it is hard to reconcile
that with her actual big-budget and high-tax
policies during her three terms in office.

It is troubling that Cato could not include Alaska due to difficulties in characterizing their budget. This means we have the same problem in our spreadsheet, and our Alaska budget variables are suspect.  :(
« Last Edit: January 29, 2003, 08:26:54 pm by Zxcv »
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