The States Can Save Us?

May 6, 2022 Updated: May 8, 2022

Commentary

By now, it’s fairly obvious that with this leadership lineup of Joe Biden running the White House, Nancy Pelosi ruling the House, and Charles Schumer presiding over the Senate, no good ideas are coming from the feds anytime soon.

Things are so bad in Washington these days that Schumer recently declared that the best way to fight inflation would be to increase tax rates on businesses.

The ruling class in Washington just doesn’t get it, and the less Congress does, the better.

So where will the policy reforms come from? How about the governors? The good news is, they are already leading the parade of smart, pro-growth policies—and they are coming from coast to coast. And unlike the toxic and supercharged partisan split in Washington, even some Democratic governors are making positive changes.

Many states wisely took the billions of dollars the federal government sent to them and used the funds to cut personal or corporate income taxes and modernize their tax systems. Most of these are red states, but even some Democratic governors, such as Colorado’s Jared Polis, have supported tax reduction as a job creator.

New Hampshire ended its income tax on capital gains and dividends.

Arizona incorporated a 2.5 percent flat tax to be phased in over three years.

North Carolina’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper, worked with the Republican legislature and adopted bipartisan tax reforms that lowered individual and business tax rates by 10 percent.

Several states are expanding school choice and requiring more accountability in public schools. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is requiring public university professors to be graded every five years to make sure they are still up to par.

Several states have adopted a policy that if a school district shuts down, then the education dollars will go to parents, so they can send their kids to schools that remain open. Great idea.

Then, there is deregulation. In Ohio, the governor and legislature enacted a requirement to eliminate two state regulatory restrictions for every new restriction adopted. Arkansas streamlined its licensing and certification processes.

And while Washington runs $2 trillion deficits and adds every year to its $30 trillion national indebtedness, the states are balancing budgets and even running SURPLUSES.

Alaska Gov. Mike Dunleavy announced line-item vetoes totaling $215 million to an approved budget to help balance the budget.

Maryland ended the year with its largest budget surplus in the state’s history.

The feds can’t seem to do anything right when it comes to lowering health care costs. But several states, including Florida, New Hampshire, and Alaska, are adopting “right to shop” legislation to allow insured patients to pick and choose their health care providers and hospitals on the basis of cost comparisons, thus saving the government and the patients money.

Then, there is the issue of getting workers back on the job, and ending welfare benefits that can be more lucrative than a paycheck. Several red states have adopted welfare policies that reduce the size of unemployment benefits and the weeks of free checks whenever the jobless rate falls below 5 percent.

In these states, workers were much more likely to go back to work. Go figure!

All of these examples of successful policy innovation and adoption of common-sense reforms in the states—while the federal government is paralyzed in poisonous partisan battles—point in one direction. Turn decision-making over to the states if we want to save our country.

That’s the way our Founding Fathers envisioned how our nation would operate, and more than 200 years later, they are still right.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Stephen Moore is a senior fellow at FreedomWorks and co-founder of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. He served as a senior economic adviser to Donald Trump. His new book is entitled: “Govzilla: How the Relentless Growth of Government Is Impoverishing America.”