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Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Comeback Kids

As Reid Wilson reported in The Washington Post a few months ago, lots of governors have been touting their states' "comebacks."  See the list below, which is not exhaustive. In most cases, they are claiming credit for these comebacks.  But they are pursuing different, if not contrary, policies (e.g., tax increases in California, tax cuts in Ohio).  So maybe something else is at work. During the Great Recession, constitutional balanced-budget requirements and the demands of the bond market forced states to cut way back. Now a modest national economic recovery is reducing unemployment and easing fiscal pressure.  Perhaps the governors' policies have no more responsibility for these "comebacks" than a rooster has for the sunrise.
  • Sean Parnell (Alaska): ""With these polices in hand, the Great Alaska Comeback is underway."
  • Jan Brewer (Arizona):  "Today, I am proud of the progress we've made in the past 5 years to bring about the Arizona Comeback."
  • Jerry Brown (California): "It occurred to me that these critics – who have long recited our state’s decline – perhaps have nothing to say in the face of California’s comeback – except, “please, don’t report it.” Well, I’m going to report it, and what a comeback it is: A million new jobs since 2010, a budgetary surplus in the billions and a minimum wage rising to $10 an hour!"
  • Pat Quinn (Illinois): "Illinois is making a comeback."
  • Terry Branstad (Iowa): "Four years ago, I saw the future of our state getting bleaker. I love this state. I was sick of the direction we were going. I knew we could do better and four years ago, I came back to lead the Iowa comeback. And we’ve done it."
  • Deval Patrick (Massachusetts): "Because we are making more of the things we invent in the commonwealth, manufacturing is making a comeback."
  • Rick Snyder (Michigan): "Michigan is the comeback state."
  • Jay Nixon (Missouri): "Today, Missouri’s automotive comeback continues to make headlines."
  • Brian Sandoval (Nevada): "While our efforts to grow and diversify the State’s economy remains one of our biggest priorities, these results give me great confidence as we work together to continue Nevada's comeback."
  • Chris Christie (New Jersey): "Today, I am proud to report that the New Jersey Comeback has begun."
  • Andrew Cuomo (New York): "We had to reverse decades of decline in economic communities all across the state, especially upstate New York, and we had to start a New York comeback."
  • Pat McCrory (North Carolina):  "This collaborative, problem-solving, focused leadership transformed Charlotte from a regional hub into a leading national metropolitan center. This focus on pragmatic problem-solving is now fueling North Carolina’s comeback to prosperity as well."
  • John Kasich (Ohio): "I’m proud of the tax cuts because I think it’s another installment in Ohio’s comeback."
  • Mary Fallin (Oklahoma): "We’re in the middle of what I call an Oklahoma comeback."
  • Tom Corbett (Pennsylvania): "So, right up front, let’s give credit for Pennsylvania’s comeback where it belongs, to the people of Pennsylvania."
  • Peter Shumlin (Vermont): "Our downtowns are on the comeback as vibrant centers for jobs, retail, and residential life, from Brattleboro to Barre, Newport to St. Albans and Rutland. Visitors from around the globe continue to come to Vermont to ski and hike our mountains, stay at our inns and resorts, and enjoy our state’s beautiful outdoors."