Posts Tagged ‘Cato’

Cato Institute Senior Fellow Says Federal Government Spending Must Be Cut To Sustainable Levels

By Sean Whaley | 3:18 pm July 26th, 2011

CARSON CITY – A senior fellow with the Cato Institute said today the partisan fight over reducing federal spending is really between one class of people who work, produce, save money and pay taxes and a second group that lives off of the first group.

“This whole political clash between the Republicans and Democrats is really a clash in the electorate,” said Gerald O’Driscoll, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute. “And the first group wants to stop paying as much taxes; certainly does not want to pay the taxes that are implied by the debt that has been racked up in order to pay off on promises to the second group that can’t be fulfilled.

“This is reality coming home and that’s ultimately what underlies this great political debate,” he said.

O’Driscoll, who lives in Reno, was interviewed on the Nevada NewsMakers television program.

Gerald O'Driscoll, senior fellow with the Cato Institute

The demand to cut federal spending has been linked by Republicans to raising the debt ceiling. The deadline for Congress to act on raising the debt ceiling is one week away, with Republicans and Democrats apparently still far away from any kind of agreement on how to cut spending.

O’Driscoll said federal government spending is at unsustainable levels right now.

“As recently as the Clinton Administration, government expenditures were 18.2 percent of total output of goods and services, GDP,” he said. “And they were 20 percent, a little under 20 percent, going into this downturn. Now they are 25 percent. That is more than the economy can pay.”

O’Driscoll said the federal income tax and other associated tax revenues produce about 19 percent of GDP on average, so the government can’t afford to spend 25 percent.

“That is unsustainable,” he said. “That is a big cutback that has to occur.”

The Cato Institute is a public policy research organization that describes itself as being “dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.”

Audio clips:

Gerald O’Driscoll, a senior fellow with the Cato Institute, says the debate over the debt ceiling and federal spending is really about those who pay taxes and those who consume them:

072611Odriscoll1 :30 can’t be fulfilled.”

O’Driscoll says the reality of federal spending levels is pushing the debate:

072611Odriscoll2 :06 great political debate.”

O’Driscoll says current federal spending is unsustainable:

072611Odriscoll3 :20 economy can pay.”



Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons Gets ‘B’ Grade From Cato Institute For Stance Against Tax Hikes

By Sean Whaley | 12:56 pm September 30th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Gov. Jim Gibbons has received a “B” grade from the Cato Institute for his performance in dealing with Nevada’s major budget and fiscal challenges over the past two years.

“Nevada is enduring tough economic times and government tax collections have fallen substantially,” the Cato Institute said in its 10th biennial fiscal report card of the nation’s governors. “Gov. Gibbons has generally refused to increase taxes to make up for the shortfall because that would make the economic situation even worse.”

The Cato Institute said: “In proposing spending cuts rather than tax increases to balance the budget, Gibbons noted: ‘It is not the role of the state government to put people out of work.’ ”

“He said the government would be ‘piling on’ the difficulty that citizens and businesses are already having if it raised taxes,” the report card says. “Gibbons has proposed business tax cuts and opposed and vetoed numerous tax increases. In 2009, he vetoed a big increase in sales and payroll taxes, but the Legislature overrode his veto. Gibbons has supported some modest tax increases, but he seems to understand that broad-based increases would damage the state’s pro-enterprise environment.”

In a statement, Gibbons spokesman Dan Burns said the governor is proud of his record against raising taxes and opposing new taxes. He is also proud to have kept that promise he made to voters four years ago.

“It’s easy to say you won’t raise taxes,” Gibbons said, “Many people talk the talk. I am proud that I have walked the walk and stood up for the working families of Nevada.”

The report card calculated data on the taxing and spending habits of 45 of the nation’s 50 governors between 2008 to August 2010. The governors are scored from 0 to 100 on seven separate taxing and spending variables. The scores are aggregated and converted to letter grades, A to F.

Gibbons received a score of 61. Only seven governors had higher scores with the highest, a 74, going to Republican Gov. Mark Sanford of South Carolina.

The three other governors awarded an “A” in the report card were Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota and Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Manchin is the only Democrat to get an “A” grade.

Seven governors were awarded an “F”: Ted Kulongoski of Oregon, David Paterson of New York, Jodi Rell of Connecticut, Pat Quinn of Illinois, Jim Doyle of Wisconsin, Bill Ritter of Colorado and Chris Gregoire of Washington. All except Rell are Democrats.

The report notes that many states raised taxes even though the federal government “showered them with billions of dollars of added funding in last year’s ‘stimulus’ bill.”

The Cato Institute describes itself as a public policy research organization dedicated to the principles of individual liberty, limited government, free markets and peace. Its scholars and analysts conduct independent, nonpartisan research on a wide range of policy issues.