Monday, October 20, 2008

Bredesen gets a "B" from CATO for fiscal responsibility

Phil Bredesen, Democrat Legislature: Divided

Grade: B Took Office: January 2003

Governor Bredesen has generally avoided tax increases. After a four-year battle to impose an income tax inTennessee ended in 2002with the state remaining income tax-free, Bredesen wisely sided against the idea when he came to office. The only substantial tax increase under the governor was a 2007 increase in the cigarette tax. The governor has not proposed any major tax cuts, but he has supported modest breaks such as reducing the sales tax on groceries.

When state budget gaps have appeared, Bredesen has focused on budget restraint,
including efforts to reduce state employment and rein in health care spending. Per capita spending, however, has risen quickly at about 6 percent annually during his tenure.