While Romney campaigns on how poorly our economy is performing under President Obama, the President ought to thank the "red" state GOP governors who are generating both economic and job growth despite his administration's policies.
If states are the laboratory for exploring what works, the contrasting results between the "blue" and "red" states should provide a stirring endorsement to the importance of returning to conservative economic principles to right America's economic ship.
Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley has seen the jobless rate fall by 2 percentage points over the past year. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder promotes a state budget that's on solid ground for the first time in a decade, and the jobless rate has fallen by 2.2 percentage points. Gov. Terry Branstad can be proud that Iowa's unemployment rate has dropped from 5.9 to 5.1 percent in a year. South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley talks up a jobless rate that slid from 12 percent in December 2009 to 8.8 percent in April.
According to state employment data released May 18th by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 16 states have seen job growth since President Obama took office. The remaining states have lost a combined 1.4 million jobs since January 2009. In comparing red vs. blue states, red states, on average, gained jobs under Obama. In contrast, blue states had an average job loss rate of almost 1%. In fact, since the recovery started, red states have had a job growth rate of nearly twice that of blue states.
Investor's Business Daily compared average job growth, unemployment, changes in housing prices, per capita income, GDP growth, and gas prices for the 22 states that voted for John McCain in 2008 and the 28 states that voted for Obama. On every indicator but GDP growth, blue states have done worse than red states. Red states, on average, outperformed blues states in job growth (1.9% to 1.2%), jobless rate (7.4% to 8.5%), per capita personal pay increase (4.35% to 4.27%), housing prices (+.03% to -2.4%), and gas prices (blue states 5% higher). The one measure where blue states outperformed was in gross domestic product growth increase (2.5% to 2.2% from 2009 to 2010).
Investor's Business Daily also examined state business friendliness rankings from Forbes, CNBC, the George Mason University's Mercatus Center, the Tax Foundation and Chief Executive magazine. Taking into account measures on tax rates, regulations, tort reform and the size of the state government, IBD found that states that ranked in the top 10 in two or more of those lists had nearly twice the job growth rate of those showing up in the bottom 10 in two or more rankings. Top-ranked states also had an unemployment rate almost a full percentage point below the least business friendly states.
Jason Sorens, co-author of the Mercatus 50-state ranking study, asserts: "We can take lessons we learn from states and apply them nationally. If keeping taxes, spending and regulations low and reasonable promotes growth in states, we should expect that same relationship to hold nationally."
Yes, the global economy is struggling and uncertain. Credit is hard to secure, but the worse things get, the more entrepreneurial opportunities abound to solve problems. Creating value is nothing more than solving problems to the point that someone is happy to trade money for your solution. That transfer from a willing buyer and willing seller is the ultimate expression of economic freedom. This system works far better than any plan instituted by state or federal politicians.
President Obama's "hope and change" plans for America are not working in the states that keep trying to use them. His version of hope and change has never worked anywhere. Stop over-regulating, over-taxing, and over-controlling our every move.
If we give Mitt Romney the keys to the White House, he should begin undoing what has been done to stifle and penalize those Americans who know how to make our economy work! I challenge you to seize every day between now and the November election to do everything in your power to bring sanity, our sacred freedoms, and sound American economic principles back to Washington and every state capital.