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


Dear Jeanne Shaheen: If New Hampshire Can’t Afford Education Programs, Who Can?

By Neal McCluskey. DC Examiner. June 6, 2017.

Puerto Rico’s Faux Pension Reform

By Ike Brannon. The Weekly Standard. May 24, 2017.

The High Cost of Not Paying Your Bills: Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy Bodes Poorly for Its Future

By Ike Brannon. Investor’s Business Daily (Online). May 23, 2017.

Cato Studies

The New Feudalism: Why States Must Repeal Growth-Management Laws

By Randal O’Toole. Policy Analysis No. 802. October 18, 2016.

Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors 2016

By Chris Edwards. White Paper. October 5, 2016.

Federal Government Cost Overruns

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


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

Megaprojects: Over Budget, Over Time, Over and Over

Bent Flyvbjerg. Policy Report. January/February 2017.

Freedom in the 50 States

Policy Report. November/December 2016.

The Impact of Corporate Tax Policy on State Trade Flows

Austin P. Johnson. Cato Journal. Fall 2016.


Freedom in the 50 States

Featuring . August 15, 2016. Capitol Hill Briefing.

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.

Downsizing the Federal Government

Community Development

By Tad DeHaven. June 2009.

Economic Development Administration

By Tad DeHaven. February 2009.