How responsible is your governor with taxpayer money?
It’s hard to track every way the government wastes our tax dollars and every policy our elected officials pass, but a new ranking from the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) does some of this work for us. The findings include one big surprise.
All-star conservative economists including Art Laffer and Stephen Moore worked with the organization to evaluate the track record of all 50 governors. They examined their state’s economic performance, executive policies, and tax-and-spending policies.
Here are the 5 most fiscally-conservative governors in America.
1. Kristi Noem. The Republican governor of South Dakota, Noem takes the top spot on the list after ranking highly for executive policies and economic performance.
2. Spencer Cox. The Republican governor of Utah, Cox takes second place with great ratings for executive policy and economic performance, albeit coming in only 7th for fiscal policy.
3. Ron DeSantis. The Republican governor of Florida, DeSantis is becoming a national political figure for his controversial stances on COVID lockdowns, sexual orientation instruction in elementary schools, and other issues. But on the hard policy front, this ranking says DeSantis is a rock-ribbed fiscal conservative, coming in #1 for fiscal policy. On the executive order front, he didn’t fare quite as well, coming in 10th for executive policies from an economic freedom perspective.
4. Jared Polis. In a fascinating twist, the Democratic governor of Colorado comes in 4th on the ranking. Despite being a member of the Democratic Party and holding center-left social views, Polis has a reputation for market-friendly policies such as tax cuts and occupational licensing reform. His surprise high ranking reflects that his administration’s policies have, to at least a significant degree, lived up to that reputation.
5. Brad Little. The Republican governor of Idaho, Little rounds out the top five after ranking #1 for economic performance, despite a not-so-hot ranking for executive policy (16th).
Other “5-star” governors included Bill Lee of Tennessee, Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, Doug Ducey of Arizona, Brian Kemp of Georgia, and Greg Abbott of Texas.
You can read the full list here.