Ten Commandments for Budget Health

Published September 1, 2005

Economics professor Richard Vedder of Ohio University compiled in 2002 a top 10 list of commandments for moderate state tax revenue growth and healthy state budgets. His 92-page report, “Crisis in State Spending: A Guide for State Legislators,” was published by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

First, thou shalt keep taxes low.

Second, thou shalt reduce taxes on income and wealth.

Third, thou shalt keep marginal tax rates low and relatively uniform.

Fourth, thou shalt not engage in corporate welfare by giveaways to favored investors.

Fifth, thou shalt limit taxes and/or expenditures constitutionally.

Sixth, thou shalt be diligent and moderate in collecting and spending rainy day funds.

Seventh, thou shalt protect employees from extortion of their funds for political purposes.

Eighth, thou shalt privatize much of current expenditure of funds.

Ninth, thou shalt provide help to children, not schools, in promoting learning.

Tenth, thou shalt pay your public servants according to their contribution to prosperity.

“Being a legislator is tough work, but the legislative toils can make a difference if guided by the ten commandments I outline,” Vedder said. “The beneficiaries are not just the legislators themselves and their fellow citizens, but innocent children, born and unborn, who will inherit our world. Let us leave them something of which we can be proud.

“With revenues up and deficits down, this might be the ideal time to use all ten,” Vedder said.

For more information …

Dr. Richard Vedder’s ALEC report, “Crisis in State Spending: A Guide for State Legislators,” is available on the ALEC Web site at http://www.alec.org/meSWFiles/pdf/TaxCrisis.pdf