Mike Klein Online

CATO Says Perdue Earned “B” For Limited Government Policies

Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue increased his total evaluation score one point from two years ago and received an overall “B” grade in the CATO Institute’s 2010 Fiscal Policy Report on America’s Governors, released this past Thursday.   The tenth biennial report awards the highest ratings to governors who cut taxes and reduce spending.  Governors who increase taxes and spending receive lowest scores.

The CATO report recognizes state government revenue and budget landscapes changed greatly since 2008.  Financial markets collapsed, which destroyed large portions of corporate and personal wealth.  The federal government intervened and sometimes took ownership in major U.S. industries and it wrote massive volumes of new regulations.  The U.S. health care debate overwhelmed the political landscape.  And by the millions, Americans lost jobs and could not find new ones.

What this meant to fifty governors was they saw state government revenues collapse and their ability to provide services also collapse even as more citizens required more services, especially in health care, but also in education where out-of-work adults wanted back into the classroom to learn new skills.

Perdue was among 15 governors who earned a “B” and his overall scored total of 60 placed him seventh among southern states governors and 12th nationally.  South Carolina’s Mark Sanford, Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty and West Virginia’s Joe Manchin are the only governors graded “A.”  Outgoing Florida Charlie Crist plunged from “A” two years ago to “D” in the new report.

The CATO segment on Governor Perdue states:

“Governor Perdue is a sometimes tax hiker and a sometimes tax cutter.  He began his tenure by supporting substantial tax increases, but then he reversed course and supported modest cuts in 2007 and 2008.  In 2009, he supported a package of business tax “incentives,” but then vetoed more substantial pro-growth tax cuts, including cuts to the capital gains tax and corporate net worth tax.  In 2010, Perdue signed into law a tax increase on hospitals, and then cut property taxes and taxes on retirement income.  Perdue has a good record on spending and has presided over substantial cuts to the state’s general fund budget since it peaked in fiscal 2008.”

The CATO report is available at this link.

Mike Klein is Editor at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.

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October 4, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , ,

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