Friday, October 20, 2006

Governors Report Cards from the Cato Institute

The libertarian-influenced Cato Institute has released their fiscal policy report card for 2006.
This report presents the findings of the Cato Institute's eighth biennial fiscal policy report card on the nation's governors. The report card's grading is based on 23 objective measures of 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.

I take this with more than a grain of salt. "Cutting taxes and spending" is a popular mantra, but at the expense of whom?

Nevertheless, there are some eyebrow-raising grades being assigned to some interesting governors who are likely presidential contenders in 2008:

Jeb Bush (R) of Florida received a C. Hmm, just an average ho-hum grade.
Mitt Romney (R) of Massachusetts received a C.
Mike Huckabee (R) of Arkansas received an F.

If you are looking for A grades, only one was given... to Matt Blunt (R) of Missouri.

From Wikipedia:

In early 2005, Governor Matt Blunt proposed eliminating the [First Steps] program in an attempt to cut spending on social services and health care, and balance the state budget. The proposal was widely disliked, by parents and service providers across the state and from all political perspectives.

Later, the governor backtracked on his proposal, instead recommending changes to the operation of the program and higher co-pays for services for parents with relatively high incomes.

Missouri First Steps is a program offered by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE) that offers coordinated services and assistance to children from birth to age 3 who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities.

Overall, almost 100,000 Missourians lost their Medicaid coverage under Blunt's first budget.

As of August 22, 2006, Blunt has a 40% approval rating, 45th of the 50 governors.

Hmm, for being the only governor in the nation with the Cato Institute's grade of A, he's certainly not a popular bloke.

Crossposted at B3

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