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Cato Institute gives Pawlenty a “B”

The Cato Institute has come out with its biennial report card on the fiscal performance of the nation’s governors. Gov. Tim Pawlenty earned a “B.”

Chris Edwards, the institute’s director of tax-policy studies, noted that Pawlenty ran on a no-new-taxes pledge, but “his tax record in office is more mixed than that.”

Edwards cites:

  • $200 million in cigarette tax increases (“fee,” my, uhm butt)
  • $109 million in corporate tax increases (the FOC credit)
  • Support for “substantial increases in fees and charges.”

On the other hand, “the goalie” gets credit for:

  • Vetoing bloated spending bills
  • Vetoing a gas tax increase
  • Opposing increases in the top income tax rate
  • “Fairly restrained budgets” with “modest increases”

Three governors (one R, two D) earned an “A,” while 8 governors (3 Rs, 5 Ds) get an “F.”