Gov. Ted Strickland has just received a good grade for fiscal prudence from an surprising source -- the Cato Institute, Washington's free market, libertarian think tank.
The group just released its "Fiscal Policy Report Card on America's Governors." The group awarded a B to Ohio's governor.
The report says, "Gov. Strickland succeeded in his goal of passing an expanded homestead exemption under the property tax. He is also following through on a phased-in replacement of Ohio's corporate franchise and business property tax with a gross receipts tax. The plan is supposed to result in a large net tax cut for businesses. On spending, the governor supports large increases in the education budget and is pushing an expensive debt-financed energy plan. But with the state facing a budget deficit this year, the governor is taking steps to trim spending."
Cato awarded three "A" grades, 14 B's, 8 C's, 13 D's and and 8 F's. That's 17 good grades in 46 states, so Strickland is in pretty good company. Three states are skipped because the governor just took office, while Alaska is excluded because its oddball budget, swollen with oil revenues, makes it hard to compare it with the other 49 states.