Nonpartisan Think Tank Finds Republican Governors Create More Jobs & Control Deficits Better
CHICAGO, Nov. 1, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dr. Ronald R. Pollina, Chairman of the American Economic Development Institute (AEDI), which co-published the recent Pollina Corporate Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2012, says the Republican Party should be proud of its sitting governors.
Of Pollina Corporate's Top 10 Pro-Business States for 2012, nine are Republicans (Gary R. Herbert of Utah, Bob McDonnell of Virginia, Matt Mead of Wyoming, Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, Mitch Daniels, Jr. of Indiana, Dave Heineman of Nebraska, Dennis Daugaard of South Dakota, Sam Brownback of Kansas, and Mary Fallin of Oklahoma). Only Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri is able to wave a top pro-business banner for the Democratic Party.
It is important to note that until 2010 Virginia was fortunate to have Democrats Mark Warner and Tim Kane as governor. During their terms from 2004 through 2010, Virginia held the #1 position five out of nine years and only dropped to #3 in 2008. This was the single best run of any state in the nine years that the study has been conducted.
But in terms of a state that has shown the greatest progress in recent years, Republican Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana brought his state from #40 in 2008 to #16 in 2012.
The Top 10 States averaged a 5.6 percent unemployment rate, well below the national average of 7.8 percent. Relative to state budget deficits, the Top 10 States average shortfall as a percent of their general funds is 2.1 percent, again well below the national average of 9.5 percent. The bottom ten ranked states had an average unemployment rate of 8.8 percent and an average state debt shortfall as a percent of their general funds of 5.5 percent.
"But just being Republican does not automatically grant you status as a pro-business guru," explains Dr. Pollina. Of the bottom ten ranked states, three are run by Republicans, including New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a darling of his party. New Jersey ranks #45, a position it held when he took office two years ago. Unemployment for New Jersey is 9.9 percent, but their budget deficit as a percentage of general fund is relatively low at 1.6 percent. Governor Christie has worked at containing cost, but a job creation strategy has eluded him.
Other less than stellar performing Republican governors include Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania #42 (unemployment 8.8 percent, budget deficit as percentage of general fund 2 percent), Scott Walker of Wisconsin #47 (unemployment 7.5 percent, budget deficit as percentage of general fund 10.8 percent), and Lincoln D. Chafee of Rhode Island #49 (unemployment 10.7 percent, budget deficit as percentage of general fund 0 percent). Like Governor Christie, Governor Walker has attempted to bring costs down but not unemployment.
"Until jobs can be created along with the resulting tax revenue, cost containment will remain an unending journey without a pleasant destination," emphasizes Dr. Pollina.