Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors: 2006

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Executive Summary

This report presents the findings of the CatoInstitute's eighth biennial fiscal policy reportcard on the nation's governors. The report card'sgrading is based on 23 objective measures of fiscalperformance. Governors who have cut taxesand spending the most receive the highestgrades. Those who have increased spending andtaxes the most receive the lowest grades.

Only one governor receives an A this year—Republican Matt Blunt of Missouri. The next twohighest-scoring Republicans are Rick Perry ofTexas and Mark Sanford of South Carolina. Thehighest-scoring Democratic governors are JohnLynch of New Hampshire and Phil Bredesen ofTennessee.

Nine governors receive Fs. In alphabeticalorder, they are Kathleen Blanco of Louisiana,Michael Easley of North Carolina, Kenny Guinnof Nevada, Christine Gregoire of Washington,Mike Huckabee of Arkansas, Ruth Ann Minner ofDelaware, Janet Napolitano of Arizona, Bob Rileyof Alabama, and Brian Schweitzer of Montana.

Governors who received praise in previous editionsof the report card but have lower grades thisyear include Arnold Schwarzenegger of California(current grade, D); Jeb Bush of Florida (currentgrade, C); Bill Owens of Colorado (current grade,D); George Pataki of New York (current grade, D);and Bill Richardson of New Mexico (currentgrade, C).

(View the list of Governor scores and grades.)

Stephen Slivinski

Stephen Slivinski is director of budget studies at the Cato Institute and author of Buck Wild: How Republicans Broke the Bank and Became the Party of Big Government (Nelson Current, 2006).