GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence was one of just five U.S. governors given an “A” grade on the conservative CATO Institute’s annual Fiscal Policy Report Card on American Governors.
The CATO report card examines which governors throughout the U.S. are most likely to cut government spending and taxes even when state revenues show signs of rising.
With the growing revenues of recent years, most states have balanced their short-term budgets without major problems, but many states face large challenges ahead. Medicaid costs are rising, and federal aid for this huge health program will likely be reduced in coming years. At the same time, many states have high levels of unfunded liabilities in their pension and retiree health plans. Those factors will create pressure for states to raise taxes. Yet global economic competition demands that states improve their investment climates by cutting tax rates, particularly on businesses, entrepreneurs, and skilled workers.
Calling Pence a “campion tax cutter,” the report applauds Pence for:
“Pence has restrained state spending growth,” the report also notes. “The general fund budget increased 2.6 percent in 2015 and 1.1 percent in 2016. It is set to grow 3.0 percent in 2017. Under Pence, Indiana has maintained the top credit rating from the three main credit rating agencies.”
Other governors receiving an “A” grade from the organization were:
While only Republicans received the highest letter grade in the CATO report, failure to get state budgets under control is a more bipartisan affair (though, the field is dominated by Democrats).
Here’s a list of the 10 governors who received an “F”:
Read the report in full: