The prestigious CATO Institute, considered the nation's premiere public policy organization (think tank), is dedicated to individual liberty, free markets and providing hundreds of non-partisan studies and research papers annually.The Institute just released its comprehensive Fiscal Policy Report on America's Governors for 2012 -- in other words, their "report card." Apparently Gov. Chris Gregoire deserved an "F"!

The CATO Institute annually publishes an in-depth study of the fiscal performance of each state's governor. Taking into consideration taxes, legislation introduced, what was done to spur economic growth, and general performance in the areas of public policy. This report includes a look at Gregoire's career stemming back to when she took office in January 2005.

Gregorie received an "F" on the report card, and, according to the Fiscal Policy Report, she ranked in the bottom five in nearly every category used to rate the 50 governors. The report had this to say about our departing leader:

"Governor Gregoire earned a well-deserved 'F' on the last Cato report card. Under Gregoire there has been a never-ending stream of proposals to raise taxes. In her first year, she approved tax increases on cigarettes, gasoline, liquor, and vehicles. She also re-established an estate tax after a previous version had been struck down by the state supreme court. In 2009 she signed a large tax package that included increases in business and occupation taxes, sales taxes, cigarette taxes, beer taxes, soda taxes, and candy taxes."

The report goes on to say:

"In 2009 Gregoire opposed a ballot measure (I-1033) that would have put a legal cap on government revenue growth. In 2010 she supported a ballot measure (I-1098) to create a state income tax. But Washington voters have turned down an income tax numerous times in the past, and they did so again in 2010 by a large margin"

The CATO Institute is not just some independent think tank; it has been praised by everyone from the left-leaning Washington Post, to legendary political columnist George Will. So if they blast a politician's performance, you can bet they have done their homework. Maybe this bitter assessment of her performance is part of the reason she's not seeking another term; she might have seen this coming.


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