May 12, 2020
BY GOVERNORS SCOTT WALKER, HALEY BARBOUR and SUSANA MARTINEZ
“No American living today has experienced a crisis quite like the threat posed by the coronavirus. This pandemic’s economic, public health and societal implications are unique in our history.
It is unsurprising to us that America’s governors immediately stepped up and tackled this challenge head-on. As governors continue their efforts to flatten the curve and chart a pathway back to the historic economic prosperity we were experiencing just a few short weeks ago, states with Republican governors who have implemented common-sense fiscal policies are best positioned for a swift and successful rebound.
Just as any individual or family is better able to cope with the financial impact of a sudden illness, job loss or property damage when they have spent responsibly and saved what they could, states that take these steps when times are good are far better positioned to stay solvent when a crisis hits.
This is not a partisan statement—this crisis is bigger than politics. It is simply what the data show us.
Looking back on the Great Recession of the last decade, states with low debt, solid credit ratings, sound budgeting practices and lower tax rates bounced back the fastest. States with high taxes, high spending levels, and large unfunded pension liabilities took the longest to recover.
The strong economic policies favored by Republican governors fall into the former category.
States that diligently squirreled away savings instead of yielding to the temptation to spend every penny have a massive advantage in addressing looming revenue shortfalls. Eighteen of the top 25 states with the healthiest rainy day funds have Republican governors, including 12 of the 18 states with funds equaling more than 10 percent of their total budget in the bank.