Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant receives passing grade on fiscal policy


By Steve Wilson | Mississippi Watchdog

Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant barely gets a passing grade on fiscal issues, says a report by the Cato Institute.

Bryant, a Republican who is up for re-election in 2015, got a C in the 12th annual “Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors” by Nicole Kaeding and Chris Edwards.

The report card graded all 50 governors using statistical data on their records on taxes and spending. Governors who cut taxes and spending the most received higher grades; those who raised taxes and spending scored lower.

According to the study, Bryant’s score was hurt by his lack of major tax reforms and an increase in the state’s budget in 2014.

ONLY A C: Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant received a grade of C in the Cato Institute’s latest report card on governors and their fiscal policies.

Only four governors earned A grades —Pat McCrory (R-North Carolina), Sam Brownback (R-Kansas), Paul LePage (R-Maine) and Mike Pence (R-Indiana).

Eight governors got an F: Mark Dayton (D-Minnesota), John Kitzhaber (D-Oregon), Jack Markell (D-Delaware), Jay Inslee (D-Washington), Pat Quinn (D-Illinois), Deval Patrick (D-Massachusetts), John Hickenlooper (D-Colorado) and Jerry Brown (D-California).

“Over the years, the data-driven Cato report cards have shown that Republican governors are more fiscally conservative, on average, than Democrats,” Kaeding said. “However, there are some Democratic centrists who have recently made important tax reforms, including Andrew Cuomo of New York and Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island, who both earned a B.

“Similarly, several Republican governors, like John Kasich of Ohio and Rick Snyder of Michigan, both earned a D for their lack of fiscal restraint.”

Among Mississippi’s neighbors, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley received B grades for their fiscal policies. Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe, a Democrat, and Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam, a Republican, each got a D.

Get regular updates on Mississippi through our Facebook or Twitter accounts