Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Cato's Rating of Governors

The Cato Institute has a white paper, rating the governors on fiscal responsibility.  Summary here

There are some interesting entries.  It is not surprising, given that it's Cato, that Republicans score better than Democrats on this.  But don't jump to conclusions, because Cato has never been hesitant to go where the numbers lead. This highest-ranking Democrat is NH's John Lynch, tied for fifth with Bobby Jindal. That's ahead of Rick Perry in Texas, for those of you scoring at home.  Not only that, but Deval Patrick of Massachusetts is also well ahead of Perry, garnering one of the few "B's" the Dems earned.  I am surprised, but I tip my hat.

The five "F's" all go to Democrats, but 3 Republicans plus (ahem) Independent Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island got a "D." The scores range from 16 to 69, with Republicans averaging 57 and Democrats 43.

1 comment:

Wyman said...

I think of "fiscal responsibility" more in a sense of using money incorrectly - wasting it on things without return, or unnecessarily swelling government programs. But that doesn't seem to be what this rating grades.

A good chunk of this rating is based on the idea that the way Democrats view taxes is wrong - the people given F's were people who raised the tax rate on people in the highest tax bracket, which is the sort of thing Democrats always push for. Raising taxes on cigarettes or alcohol is also worthy of an F rating. For some people, those are pluses, not minuses.

As a resident of Texas, I can promise you: nothing about Rick Perry is fiscally responsible in any sense. Perry uses an incredible amount of tax dollars to travel the world for "economic research." Last month, he spent a week in northern Italy, watching F1 racing. Why? He's "trying to spread the word about Texas."

His security detail alone costs nearly half a million dollars a month. In how much danger is a state governor on a day-to-day level? During his Presidential run, he billed Texas for the extra security rather than running it from campaign donations.

The state, understandably, pays for this detail no matter where Perry is. But Perry is always on the go - he's on his book tour, he's on vacation in the Bahamas, he's traveling to Amsterdam, to Madrid, etc. He views the trips as a state expense because "I'm going to be promoting Texas wherever I go."