It is vital that state legislatures control their spending habits. The surpluses that are bound to appear again when the economy picks up steam will be a temptation to those who like big government. Strong spending restraints are very popular with voters in the states in which they have been tried. Legislators would be well advised to keep that in mind next time they risk alienating taxpayers by creating an expensive new government program

More on State and Local Fiscal Policy


The Real Reason DC’s Metro Doesn’t Work

By Randal O’Toole. National Interest (Online). May 30, 2016.

What We Do in Puerto Rico Sets a Precedent, Like It or Not

By Ike Brannon. The Hill (Online). May 5, 2016.

Unaccountable Government in Washington, D.C.

By Michael D. Tanner. National Review (Online). April 6, 2016.

Cato Studies

Federal Government Cost Overruns

By Chris Edwards and Nicole Kaeding. Tax and Budget Bulletin No. 72. September 15, 2015.

The Effect of State Taxes on the Geographical Location of Top Earners: Evidence from Star Scientists

By Enrico Moretti and Daniel Wilson. Research Briefs in Economic Policy No. 29. July 1, 2015.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency: Floods, Failures, and Federalism

By Chris Edwards. Policy Analysis No. 764. November 18, 2014.


Taxation Without Representation: The Illegal IRS Rule to Expand Tax Credits under the PPACA

Jonathan H. Adler and Michael F. Cannon. Health Matrix. Vol. 23. No. 1. 2013.

Do Budget Shortfalls Mean States Must Raise Taxes?

Chris Edwards. CQ Researcher. Fall 2009.

Public Filings

Mountain West Holding Co. v. Montana

By Meriem Hubbard, Ralph Kasarda, Wencong Fa, Ilya Shapiro, & Trevor Burrus. Legal Briefs. May 11, 2015.

HB 1109 - Compact for America to Balance the Federal Budget

By Ilya Shapiro. Testimony. March 19, 2015.

Hickenlooper v. Kerr

By Ilya Shapiro, Julio Colomba, David B. Kopel, & Manuel S. Klausner. Legal Briefs. November 20, 2014.

Cato Reviews & Journals

Is State ‘Right to Try’ Legislation Misguided Policy?

Thomas A. Hemphill. Regulation. Fall 2014.

A Rent-Seekers Tax?

Ryan Murphy. Regulation. Summer 2014.

Why California Dissolved Its RDAs

Shirley Svorny. Regulation. Summer 2014.


A SAFE Way Out of State and Local Pension Woes?

Featuring Jagadeesh Gokhale. October 1, 2013. Conference.

Which States Are Most Free?

Featuring John Samples. June 8, 2011. Policy Forum.

The Wealth of Cities: Revitalizing the Centers of American Life

Featuring . August 3, 1998. Book Forum.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Community Development

By Tad DeHaven. June 2009.

Economic Development Administration

By Tad DeHaven. February 2009.