September 10, 2010

Can New Jersey Reverse Course?

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Mercatus scholars host a series of interviews with with policy scholars, elected officials and other practitioners about state and local legislative and regulatory reforms.

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The Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently released the study, “Institutions Matter: Can New Jersey Reverse Course?” by Eileen Norcross and Frederic Sautet. They examine the current dire strait of the Garden State’s public finances and discuss how the state created its fiscal crisis. The study includes an examination of over 30 years of public policy decisions that led to the state’s large budget deficit. The paper recommends specific reforms to help the state right its fiscal ship, including legislating better constitutional rules to constrain spending, simplifying and flattening the tax system, and reducing budget gimmickry.

Joining us is one of the author’s of this study, Eileen Norcross. Eileen is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and the lead scholar on the Mercatus Center’s State and Local Policy Project. She blogs on state and local issues at Neighborhood Effects. During this episode she talks to us about how New Jersey got to this point and offers state policy makers a roadmap of what not to do.