One of my favorite Cato publications is the Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors, which is produced by my colleague Chris Edwards.
The report card uses variables such as the burden of government spending and the degree of class warfare tax policy to determine which states are moving in the right direction and which ones are moving in the wrong direction.
The new version was released today and it shows that Sam Brownback of Kansas and Rick Scott of Florida are the best governors in the nation.
Here are the top 8.
The top Democrat, for those who care about party affiliation, is John Lynch of New Hampshire.
What about the worst governors? Well, that field is more crowded, but somebody has to be the worst of the worst, and that honor goes to Pat Quinn of Illinois, who seems determined to have his state beat California in the race to Greek-style default and fiscal chaos.
No Republican was in the bottom 8, but Bill Haslam of Tennessee was in the bottom 10, and Gary Herbert of Utah and Jan Brewer of Arizona also had dismal D grades.
As Chris explains in his report, legislatures play a role in how well (or poorly) a state does in the report card – much as Bill Clinton’s reasonably good performance presumably was impacted by the GOP Congress. But Chris also looks at policies proposed by governors, so that enables a more accurate measure of each governor’s fiscal philosophy.
The Fiscal Policy Report Card is a great resource document, enabling apples-to-apples comparisons among states, just as the Economic Freedom of the World makes it easy to compare nations.