America's successful governing party
posted at 2/4/2013 12:31 PM EST
According to a September 2012 Gallup poll, a full 65 percent of Americans trust their state government -- a 14-point jump in confidence from 2009.
Why is Americans' confidence in state and local government surging while their frustration and fear of the federal government are growing? Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Republicans govern at the state level.
Republicans currently occupy the governor's mansions in 30 states, representing 58 percent of the U.S. population. They control both the governorship and legislature in 25 states, representing 52 percent of all Americans. Democrats enjoy such control of only 14 states, representing just 33 percent of the country.
And not only are Republicans governing more than half the country, they are objectively doing a much better job at it than Democrats are. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average unemployment rate in the 25 states controlled completely by Republicans is just 7.2 percent, more than half a point lower than the national 7.9 percent unemployment rate. In the 14 states with full Democratic control, unemployment is 8.4 percent, a full half-point higher than the national average.
The Republican state economies are growing faster too. According to the latest data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the real gross domestic product of the 25 Republican-controlled states has grown almost .25 points faster since 2008 than the real GDP of the 14 Democratic-controlled ones. And they aren't doing it by going into to debt. The Republican-controlled states on average have a Standard & Poor's credit rating a full grade higher (AA) than their Democratic counterparts (AA-).
If President Obama and the Democrats want to improve the American people's trust in the federal government, they should heed the advice of Republican governors: Back off and give more power to the states. America's governing party will take it from there.