Texas has done a better job of balancing its books than its Canadian "counterpart," Alberta, at least according to a new Fraser Institute report, "A Tale of Two Energy Booms."
This despite the fact that Alberta enjoyed a stronger post-recession economy.
“As the government tables its budget this week, Albertans should ask their elected officials why the province has struggled to balance the books despite a relatively strong economy,” said Mark Milke, a senior fellow at the independent, non-partisan Canadian public policy think-tank, and the study's author.
Texas and Alberta experienced similar rates of average annual GDP growth, but Alberta witnessed greater employment growth and lower unemployment rates.
However, according to the report:
Since 2000, Alberta’s per capita government program spending increased by 69.5 per cent compared with 59.5 per cent in Texas. Moreover, Alberta public sector employment grew 2.8 per cent—annually, on average—compared with 1.1 per cent in Texas.
Consequently, in the five years since the recession, Alberta’s government has not recorded a single budget surplus.
Texas, on the other hand, has recorded only one deficit.