Wednesday, October 7, 2020

Cato Institute scores Governor Bill Lee a dismal "D" for fiscal policy.

Gov. Bill Lee  
 by Rod Williams - The Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington D.C., produces an annual report ranking the nations governors on fiscal policies from a limited government perspective. This year Tennessee's Governor Bill Lee scored a "D," missing an "F" by just one point.  The numeric score was 40, almost as bad as New York's Governor Andrew Cuomo who scored a 39.

I find this hard to believe but Cato is a source I trust.  Tennessee is often touted as one of the most fiscally responsible states in the union. We have low taxes and low debt. Looking back over previous years reports, I find that Cato has often given our governors a low score.  In 2018, 2014 and 2012 Governor Bill Haslam also scored a D.  In 2016, however, Governor Haslam earned a B.  In 2010, Phil Bredesen scored a C and in 2008 he scored a B.

The Cato score is based on seven tax and spend variables. These include growth in government spending, tax increases, and dipping into rainy day fund reserves which all negatively impact a score. Revenue-neutral tax reforms that include reductions in top income and sales tax rates are scored favorably as is repealing collective bargaining in the public sector.  To see the full report follow this link

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