A Conservative Budget for Tennessee
BY RON SHULTIS
For several decades and under the control of both Republicans and Democrats, Tennessee has been known for its fiscally conservative budgeting. Years of limited spending and low taxes have kept hundreds of millions of dollars in the pockets of Tennessee taxpayers that might otherwise have gone to government bloat. In fact, according to the Tax Foundation, Tennessee residents pay less in taxes than anyone in the country.
But future good times are no guarantee—and that’s why, whether in good or bad times, Tennessee families practice priority-based budgeting, making tough choices on how to spend their hard-earned dollars, especially while inflation is at the highest rate in decades. With the federal government and Federal Reserve pumping trillions of dollars into the economy, Tennesseans are looking to their state government for solutions. While solutions have mostly focused on one-time relief such as sales tax holidays, by continuing to control spending, Tennessee policymakers can ensure that state government does not grow faster than taxpayers’ ability to pay for it. Further conservative budgeting would allow state policymakers to implement more permanent tax cuts, providing relief in a time of rising prices and fostering further economic growth and prosperity. The Conservative Tennessee Budget sets the cap of growth of the state’s budget at population plus inflation growth to make this prosperity a reality.