I’m glad to be free in Tennessee!
Our local media often reports on the release of various “studies”. These usually are in support of some liberal cause and usually have the message that we need more government spending on whatever the cause du jour is.
A study was just released. It calls for no spending. It should make headlines in Tennessee, and as near as I can tell, it has not been reported on by any of the Tennessee media.
The Mercatus Center at George Mason Univeristy recently compiled a study of the states which have the greatest freedom and those that have the least. The good news is, I live in Tennessee and Tennessee rates 7th in over all freedom.
The study looked at four criteria. Fiscal Policy, Regulatory Policy, Economic Freedom and Personal Freedom. I am not going to go into the details of how they came up with their criteria, but it was interesting and corresponds with something we all know. When you grow government, that growth comes at the price of personal freedom.
Tennessee is not perfect. Tennessee was rated number three in terms of fiscal policy. It was number eight in economic freedom, number eighteen in personal freedom and perhaps a little disturbing, number twenty eight in terms of regulatory freedom. The study notes positively that Tennessee has the lowest tax burden of any state in the United States. On the negative side, regulation in Tennessee has grown considerably in the last few years, including excessive regulation and taxation of occupations.
What comes as no surprise is the “Blue” states come last in freedom. They are overwhelmed with taxes and regulation. New York is the least free state. It is the state that is the highest taxed state and in this recession was the first to announce, new and drastic taxes, including the infamous IPOD tax. Illinois ranks forty second in freedom and it’s governor just announced an attempt to raise the state’s income tax by fifty percent.
In the overall rankings, the bottom five states for freedom are:
These are of course all states where liberal democrats control the state.
The top five for freedom:
As I said, Tennessee is seventh overall. We do not make the top five yet. But 2010 is coming and we have the opportunity to elect a really good candidate to the Governor’s office and increase the number of state representatives and state senators who support freedom.
It is good to live in Tennessee!
You can read the complete report at: http://www.statepolicyindex.com/