William McGurn had some thoughts on this in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this week. A couple of highlights, then RTWT.
When the Obama administration’s Transportation Department called on California to cough up billions for a high-speed bullet train or lose federal dollars, [California Governor, Jerry, D] Brown went along. In sharp contrast, when the feds delivered a similar ultimatum to [New jersey Governor, Chris, R] Christie over a proposed commuter rail tunnel between New York and New Jersey, he nixed the project, saying his state just couldn’t afford it.
On the “millionaire’s” tax, Mr. Brown says that California desperately needs to approve one if the state is to recover. The one on California’s November ballot kicks in at income of $250,000 and would raise the top rate to 13.3% from 10.3% on incomes above $1 million. Again in sharp contrast, when New Jersey Democrats attempted to embarrass Mr. Christie by sending a millionaire’s tax to his desk, he called their bluff and promptly vetoed it.
There are other examples:
…Illinois, where Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and his Democratic legislature pushed through a tax increase on their heavily indebted state.
Now ask yourself this. Can anyone look at Illinois and say to himself: I have seen the future and it works?
Indiana’s Mitch Daniels, a Republican, is probably the only governor who can truly claim to have turned around a failing state [other than, perhaps, Governor Christie]. Louisiana’s Bobby Jindal, also a Republican, may be another challenger for the title, having just succeeded in pushing through arguably the most far-reaching reform of any state public-school system in America.
What he said.