Four of the five worst-run states all have one thing in common — and it’s exactly what you think it is.
That’s right, states in the worst fiscal condition — according to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University — are almost universally run by Democrats. The worst-run states are, in order starting from the bottom: Illinois, Connecticut, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and Kentucky. The five best-run states are, in order: Nebraska, South Dakota, Tennessee, Florida, and Oklahoma.
Mercatus used official annual financial reports from state governments, as well as reports from state actuaries to measure each state on cash and budge solvency, long-term spending commitments, taxes and spending, debt, and pension liabilities.
The most recent data available comes from 2016, and Mercatus said this would be the last year for the rankings. But this is no one-time thing. Mercatus has been ranking states for years, and nine of the 10 consistently worst-ranked states are Blue States (Illinois, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Mexico, New York and Rhode Island, with Kentucky being the lone Red State in the group). Conversely, nine of the 10 consistently best-ranked states were all Red States (South Dakota, Tennessee, Nebraska, Florida, Utah, Alaska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, and Montana, with New Hampshire as the lone Blue State in the group).
Investor’s Business Daily says the worst-ranked states are where they are on the list due to “years of overspending and overpromising, mostly to unionized government workers by pliant Democratic leaders.”