Cato Institute ranks Governor second in nation
Today the Cato Institute released its 2010 Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, and awarded Governor Bobby Jindal one of only four A grades. Each governor received a score for his past two year’s fiscal performance, from a limited government perspective, and Jindal’s 71 out of 100 had him second only to Mark Sanford (R) of South Carolina.
Cato’s 2010 report card is the tenth in a biennial series which looks at data from almost every state and objectively awards a grade based on two spending and five revenue and tax considerations. The report’s author, Chris Edwards, included per capita spending and taxation burdens, their relative rise or decline during the two years, and marginal tax rates on personal and corporate income, general sales, and cigarettes.
A high score tends towards cuts in taxes and spending, and the next two governors to receive A grades, tied for third place, were Tim Pawlenty (R) of Minnesota and Joe Manchin (D) of West Virginia. On the other hand, tax and spending hikes lower a governor’s score, and seven received F grades. Connecticut, New York, and Oregon, with a lowly 19, rounded out the bottom three. (The report did not include five governors – Kansas, New Jersey, Virginia, and Utah, and Alaska – either because they have not been in office long enough or, in the case of Alaska, because of “peculiarities in the state’s budget that make comparisons difficult.”)
Edwards profiled each state executive and described Jindal as a “top performing governor with regard to both his tax and his spending policies.”
“In 2008, Jindal repealed previous income tax increases to save Louisiana residents more than $350 million a year. He has also provided some modest business tax cuts and opposed efforts to raise taxes. Jindal has consistently proposed reductions in the state budget, with the result that proposed spending in fiscal year 2011 is expected to be 17 percent lower than spending his first year in office, FY08.”
However, Edwards’ assessment of Jindal was not rosy on all accounts.