ALEC on WBOB Radio in Florida: Good Governors Cut Taxes
We wanted to create a document for concerned citizens across the country to really look at their chief executive and see how they're doing compared to other governors.
We wanted to create a document for concerned citizens across the country to really look at their chief executive and see how they’re doing compared to other governors.
American Legislative Exchange Council’s (ALEC) Chief Economist Jonathan Williams is a regular guest on the Ed Dean Morning Show on WBOB radio, Florida’s #1 statewide radio talk show. Williams recently shared the results of the 2021 Governors Scorecard, which ranked Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis at #3 for promoting lower taxes, prioritizing budgets, eliminating government waste and empowering individuals and families as opposed to government bureaucracies.
Guest Host Kevin Derby: You guys now just released a report on America’s 50 governors looking at economic freedom. Who did well who did poorly on that report card?
ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams: This is our second edition of this report. ALEC does it with Dr. Arthur Laffer, former chief economist for President Ronald Reagan. We wanted to create a document for concerned citizens across the country to really look at their chief executive and see how they’re doing compared to other governors. Gov. DeSantis ranked number three in this report for economic freedom. Gov. Kristi Noem from South Dakota was number one and Gov. Spencer Cox of Utah was number two. Gov. Brian Kemp of Georgia also ranked in the top 10.
Guest Host Kevin Derby: Gov. DeSantis right now is facing a budget which is 10.4 percent higher than what we had last year. I think that’s going to impact his ranking, assuming he’s going sign almost all of it.
ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams: One of the things we do look at is how governors manage federal funds, which is a big thing right now in all state budgets. We looked at how state spending has either grown or declined on a per-capita basis.
Guest Host Kevin Derby: There are no surprises in the bottom five, Andrew Cuomo, former governor of New York, Gov. Pritzker of Illinois, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. But there was one surprise in the top five, that was Democrat from Colorado, Jared Polis. What was going on there in Colorado?
ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams: Gov. Polis has called for the complete elimination of estate and personal income tax. I think he wants Colorado to be more like Florida. We think it is one of the very best things that states can do to enhance their economic growth.
Guest Host Kevin Derby: What do you see that the top five governors have in common?
ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams: These governors generally have either signed into law recently, tax relief measures, or their governors have advocated for bold reforms or eliminations of taxes. But we also look at how they manage federal cash that’s sitting in state budgets right now. How do we make sure we don’t overextend ourselves for when we know that money is going away? We know it’s temporary.
Guest Host Kevin Derby: Is there a common thread for the bottom five governors?
ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams: These governors have advocated for tax increases. Many of these governors have energy-rich states but for whatever reason, decided not to explore. They have also called for huge increases in state spending, and unfunded pension liabilities under their governorships.
Guest Host Kevin Derby: This scorecard is important. We need more governors running for president. I appreciate what ALEC is done here.
ALEC Chief Economist Jonathan Williams: Thanks so much for having me on. Check out our report and rank your governor at RankMyGovenor.org.