ON-Lion Letter

Monday, August 24, "was a rough day for global financial markets," according to an article in American Legislator by Will Freeland and Jonathan Williams.  "[G]iven the ever-present possibility of entering a recession or a period of substantially stagnant growth, this so-called “Black Monday” should provide a wake-up call for policymakers to reconsider how current economic policies may be harming our economic competitiveness."

Freeland is a research analyst with the Task Force on Tax and Fiscal Policy of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) in Washington, D.C.  Williams directs the task force and is vice president of ALEC's Center for State Fiscal Reform, which is substantially supported by The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation in Milwaukee.

Freeland and Williams recommend that states:  1.) utilize a predictable tax system; 2.) maintain a positive fiscal gap in order to weather a recession; 3.) prepare a fiscal contingency plan for any unexpected federal policy action; 4.) utilize sound state pension practices; and, 5.) cultivate a public-policy environment that maximizes economic growth.

"The bottom line is what state policymakers have control over is their economic climate, which they can ensure is consistent with greater economic performance," they conclude.  "Such moves make for a softer landing in a recession and a quicker rebound afterwards.  There is no time better than the present, or in anticipation of a recession, to work towards super-charging state economic performance."

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