Blog Post

Insight: Despite Public Health Concerns, Utah’s Fiscal House is in Order

By: Juliette Tennert

Note: The opinions expressed are those of the author alone and do not reflect an institutional position of the Gardner Institute. We hope the opinions shared contribute to the marketplace of ideas and help people as they formulate their own INFORMED DECISIONS™.

Earlier this year, we started to hear about a mysterious virus popping up in China. At that time, I never would have imagined that Governor Herbert would be declaring a state of emergency, and the University of Utah, where I work and teach, would be moving classes online for more than 30,000 students in response to a global pandemic.

While public health is of utmost concern, there is a great deal of unease around the economic impacts of the unfolding pandemic. As an economist, I’ve been fielding a lot of questions about these potential impacts. It’s looking more and more like a global recession is inevitable, but only time will tell how monetary and fiscal policy responses will mitigate impacts in the U.S.

Like any honest economist, I admit that I am unable to predict the full magnitude and reach of the economic disruption of the outbreak once it has run its course. The one prediction that I can make with confidence is that, because of wise fiscal stewardship and preparations, Utah’s governor and legislators stand ready to manage the economic repercussions of