Cato Institute released a study which is fascinating, and it gives you a sense of how current or former Governors among the 2016 Republican field will govern should they win the White House.
They looked the rate of growth of government spending under the administrations of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, Ohio Governor John Kasich, former New York Governor George Pataki, former Texas Governor Rick Perry and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
It’s pretty eye opening.
Using data from the National Association of State Budget Officers, I wanted to see just how much each governor increased spending on an annual basis. Analyzing the data on an annual basis allows us to control for the length of governor tenure. George Pataki was governor of New York for twelve years, while Scott Walker has been governor of Wisconsin for only four years. Comparing Pataki’s increase of 39 percent to Walker’s increase of 16 percent is unfair to Pataki.
….Jeb Bush has the highest spending with a 6.08 percent average annual increase. John Kasich is second. He increased spending by 4.95 percent. Rick Perry finishes third with an average annual increase of 4.01 percent. Bobby Jindal shows the most fiscal restraint. He cut spending by 1.76 percent a year on average.
Kaeding acknowledged that different state’s population growth rates are different and that would explain some spending increases as demands on vital public services increase such as schools and police.
She states taking that into consideration the spending looks different.
The spending increases of Jeb Bush and Rick Perry now look much smaller. Jeb Bush’s increases are still above the average, but Rick Perry falls below it. Part of the reason that spending increased quickly under Bush and Perry is that their state populations were growing quickly. John Kasich’s increases, on the other hand, are an outlier. He increased spending faster on a per capita basis. This further confirms Kasich’s lack of fiscal restraint. Bobby Jindal actually cut spending on a per capita basis by an average of 2.41 percent a year.
Here’s the chart:
Perry’s spending seems reasonable due to the growth of the population, but Jindal is the only candidate who actually cut overall spending. That I’m sure will show up in a few campaign ads.