DeSantis and Florida Take Major Victory Lap, Rated #1 in CATO Institute's Freedom Index

Florida has been ranked number one in fiscal and economic freedom and takes only second place for overall freedom among all 50 U.S. states.

Ranked by the CATO Institute’s index which measures personal and economic freedom, Florida has beaten out nearly every other state and Gov. Ron DeSantis is celebrating.

“Florida ranks #1 among the states for economic freedom!” DeSantis posted on Facebook on Monday.

Florida’s triumph as being the state with the most economic freedom, which includes personal as well as fiscal and regulatory policy, comes after years of gradual improvement in this area.

The CATO Institute noted that since 2014, Florida has been steadily improving.

“Lacking an individual income tax and featuring a hot climate, Florida has long enjoyed substantial in-migration of well-off retirees. But as we’ve noted in the past, the state attracts more than seniors, as others vote with their feet for good weather and the increased opportunity afforded by Florida’s freer society,” CATO reported.

“Florida does especially well on economic freedom, and even more so on fiscal policy. Indeed, it is our top state on both. Regulatory policy is improved but mediocre compared with the fiscal side. Florida’s personal freedom has lagged in the past; however, it has improved a lot since 2014,” the report added.

The CATO Institute particularly noted that Florida has noticeably lower taxes, which adds greatly to the economic freedom experienced throughout the state.

“Florida’s state-level tax collections are more than 1.5 standard deviations below the national average, whereas its local tax collections are a little lower than average,” the report said.

Florida also ranked number one on fiscal policy, according to the CATO Institute’s analysis.

The fiscal policy evaluated included taxes, government employment, spending, debt and fiscal decentralization.

The report noted that while Florida does great with economic freedom, it does even better with fiscal policy.

Finally, in overall freedom, which takes into account a combination of personal and economic freedoms, Florida ranked second.

Just above it, in first place is New Hampshire.

The news of these high rankings is remarkable considering that Florida climbed to the top, even after the past few years of dealing with the pandemic and nationwide inflation and economic difficulties.

At the end of July, DeSantis even publicly criticized the Biden administration on Twitter, calling out the president for poor economic sense that has damaged the nation.

“While the Biden Administration and its legacy media cheerleaders are trying to gaslight people about the economic slowdown, we have seen Biden’s poor economic stewardship and the negative impact it has had on families,” DeSantis tweeted on July 28.

Meanwhile, Florida has not only come out on top in economic and fiscal freedom but has also driven down unemployment in the state, as DeSantis’ office announced on Aug. 19.

Florida’s unemployment rate dropped to a historic 2.7 percent in July and thousands of jobs were also created in the state.

The unemployment rates as well as the economic and fiscal ratings, seem to prove that DeSantis’s leadership is benefitting the state, as Dane Eagle, Secretary of Florida’s Department of Economic Opportunity noted last month.

“July’s employment data speaks for itself — under Governor DeSantis’ leadership, Florida is thriving. July is one of the best months Florida has seen for job creation, representing an achievement the state has only reached seven times in its history,” Eagle said, according to the governor’s office news release. “DEO will continue to support Governor DeSantis’ strategic investments in Florida’s residents, businesses, and communities to continue this momentum and keep Florida’s economy strong.”

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.