Opinion: Editorials

Conservative governors trump liberals in Great Recession

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Opinion,Editorial

Here is a statement from Tuesday night's Republican convention that won't prompt any fact-checking by liberal media:

"In states with Republican governors, the average unemployment rate is a full point lower than in states with Democratic governors. Republican governors lead seven of the 10 states with the lowest unemployment rates, and 12 of the 15 states ranked best for business."

The reason liberals won't challenge this statement, made by Virginia's Gov. Bob McDonnell, is because it's indisputably true. The average unemployment rate for states with Republican governors, according to Department of Labor data, is 7.6 percent. The average for states with Democratic governors? 8.8 percent.

And as for the best states to do business? According to both CNBC's analysis and a Chief Executive annual survey of CEOs, 12 of the top 15 states to do business in are, in fact, run by Republicans. The bottom three, according to Chief Executive, are the Democratic strongholds of Illinois (unemployment 8.9 percent), New York (unemployment 9.1 percent) and California (unemployment 10.7 percent).

Washington Examiner readers need only look at their local jurisdictions to compare how liberal and conservative states have tackled the Great Recession and what the results have been.

In Maryland, Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley, a 2016 White House hopeful, has enacted nine tax hikes since the recession began, including a huge President Obama-like hike on the highest income-earners this fall.

Now, Maryland suffers from net out-migration to other states. It still has a billion-dollar deficit for the next fiscal year. Chief Executive rates the state as the 40th best state in the union to do business, and unemployment stands at 7 percent.

Meanwhile, across the Potomac in Virginia, Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell cut spending and did not raise taxes. Not only is Virginia's budget back in the black, but McDonnell has announced a $448.5 million surplus. Chief Executive rates Virginia as the sixth-best state for business, and unemployment is just 5.9 percent.

But the biggest applause of the convention, before Wednesday night at least, came when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker walked on stage. His brave fight against government unions in Wisconsin has already saved taxpayers there $1 billion in public employee compensation.

After the crowd settled down, Walker said, "On June 5th, voters in Wisconsin were asked to choose between going backwards to the days of double-digit tax increases, billion-dollar budget deficits and record job losses, or moving forward with reforms that lowered the tax burden, balanced the budget and helped small businesses create more jobs."

Contrast Wisconsin with its neighbor, Obama's home state of Illinois. After raising taxes by 66 percent last year, Illinois' Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, finally has something to show for it. Standard & Poor's just downgraded the state's credit rating.

Virginia or Maryland? Wisconsin or Illinois? That's the choice Americans will face this Nov. 6th.

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