Bob Williams

Bob Williams

Bob Williams is President of State Budget Solutions. He is a former state legislator, gubernatorial candidate an auditor with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). Bob is a national expert in fiscal and tax policies, election reform and disaster preparedness. Because of his unique experience and expertise, Bob is a frequent guest on talk radio and at public forums. His commentary on state budget solutions appears frequently in newspapers, journals and online publications.

Bob Williams is the Founder and Senior Fellow of the Freedom Foundation, a public policy organization in Olympia, Washington, dedicated to the advancement of individual liberty. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Pennsylvania State University. Bob worked as a GAO auditor of the Pentagon and Post Office before moving to Washington state where he served five terms in the Washington state legislature and was the 1988 Republican nominee for governor. He is a former certified public accountant. Currently Bob is private sector chair of the ALEC Tax & Fiscal Policy Task Force.

Bob Williams may be contacted by clicking here.



    Hey Chicago Whattya Say? Chapter 9 is on the way?

    State Journal-Register | by Bob Williams | August 7, 2013

    Chicago is a prime example of a city on the brink and, like Detroit, is sinking under the weight of unfunded pension liabilities.


    Michigan: Don't Rush Into Medicaid Expansion

    by Bob Williams | August 1, 2013

    If Medicaid expansion comes to Michigan, however, you can be sure that the health of new recipients will not improve and costs for the failing program will continue to rise.


    Bankruptcy in Detroit: Harsh Reality and Ray of Hope

    by Bob Williams | July 19, 2013

    Struggling municipalities across the country should look to Detroit and learn a valuable lesson; there is not always a bailout on the other end of the overspending rainbow.

  • Editorials

    States Have a Choice in Adopting Common Core Standards for K-12 Education

    by Bob Williams | Tuesday, June 18, 2013

    Some state governments seem to think that they can reach out with one hand to ask the federal government for money, while wagging a finger with the other hand to scold the feds for intruding into state education policy.

  • Policy Brief

    Financial Incentives Are The "Core" Of New Education Standards

    State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams, Joe Luppino-Esposito | June 18, 2013

    The implementation of the Common Core State Standards Initiative is forcing states to determine when a “good offer” becomes an offer that cannot be refused. This report will explain the issues, in terms of both finances and fedearlism, surrounding the adoption of the Commone Core.

  • Editorials: MICHIGAN

    Is Bankruptcy The Right Move for Detroit?

    by Bob Williams | Tuesday, May 14, 2013

    Detroit is not unique in the nature of its problems, but the scope of Detroit's problem is breathtaking. Detroit's unfunded long-term debt (mostly pensions and retirement benefits) is $14.9 billion. Detroit's debt to asset ratio is 33:1. To give some perspective, General Motor's debt to asset ratio was 20:1 in 2009.

  • Editorials: ILLINOIS

    Boeing serves as pension example for Illinois lawmakers

    by Bob Williams | Saturday, March 30, 2013
  • Editorials: ILLINOIS

    SEC fraud charges against Illinois are just the beginning

    by Bob Williams | Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    This is only the second time in history that federal regulators have accused an American state of securities fraud, so it is significant. It puts other states on notice that regulators are not only aware of such practices but prepared to take action against them.

  • Headlines

    State Lawmakers Must Consider All the Information Before They Expand Medicaid

    State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | February 14, 2013

    Before states expand Medicaid they need to take a careful look at the long-term costs and potential impact on their state credit ratings, Bob Williams explains. Get the latest news and updates on how governors are approaching expansion in our Medicaid section.


    Preparing for an Uncertain Fiscal Future: What Other States Can Learn From Utah

    by Bob Williams | February 12, 2013

    As sequestration approaches quickly, state legislators should discuss how to provide essential services while facing possible federal aid reductions. While a majority of the states depend on federal funds, and this trend is increasing, Utah provides a great example on preparing for an uncertain economic future.


    What Gov. Quinn did not include in his State of the State address

    by Bob Williams | February 8, 2013

    Gov. Quinn needs to release his plan for pension reform and a financial recovery plan for the state.


    Minnesota governor proposes largest spending increase ever for Gopher State

    by Bob Williams | February 7, 2013

    Gov Mark Dayton's budget increases state spending by 8.5% over the current budget, the largest budget increase ever proposed by a Minnesota governor.


    Governor Otter urges Legislature to ignore the state's Health Freedom Act

    by Bob Williams | February 1, 2013

    Gov. Butch Otter is pressing Idaho legislators to create an Idaho Health Exchange. He is doing so despite previously issuing an Executive Order to the contrary and the many drawbacks to doing so. The governor's request would be taxpayer funded, but it also comes at the expense of state sovereignty.

  • Editorials: TEXAS

    Bringing transparency to Texas budget process

    by Bob Williams | Monday, January 21, 2013

    Tragically, Texas legislators too often leave the public out and present legislation as a fait accompli. This is especially true when legislators create their state budget.

  • Headlines

    Understanding the fiscal cliff

    State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | January 3, 2013

    The fiscal cliff is easier to understand if you view the federal budget as you would your family's budget.

  • Headlines

    How states should respond to the risk of a significant reduction in federal funds

    State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | January 2, 2013

    It is highly likely that federal funds will be significantly reduced in the next few years. Few states appear to be prepared for such a reduction, but some states taking preemptive action to preparing for the cliff. See how Utah has responsed to the risk of a reduction in receipt of federal funds.

  • Solutions

    The State Budget Process for the Lay Person

    by Bob Williams | December 17, 2012

    An introduction to how the state budget process works and a glossary of terms used in the process.

  • Headlines

    It's overwhelming: State and municipal defined benefit pension plans doomed by fundamental flaws

    Bloomberg BNA Pension & Benefits Daily | by Bob Williams | December 10, 2012

    A growing chorus of credible voices across the political spectrum confirms that government employees' defined benefit pensions are inherently flawed, and cannot survive without drastic fundamental reform. States and municipalities need to enact reality-based solutions, and they need to do it now. Officials need to freeze the worst plans immediately and impose defined contribution, cash balance or hybrid plans.

  • Editorials: MONTANA

    Only freeze and shift to defined contribution can save teacher retirement

    by Bob Williams | Thursday, December 6, 2012

    The only real solution for Montana Teachers Retirement System is to freeze all current defined benefit pension plans, pay them off at the official unfunded liability estimate and shift to a defined contribution, cash balance or hybrid system that removes cost risk from taxpayers and contribution risk from government workers.

  • Solutions

    Why government employee collective bargaining laws must be reformed now

    State Budget Solutions | by Bob Williams | December 5, 2012

    There are three important lessons from the Wisconsin collective bargaining battles over the past eighteen months:

    1. The power of the government-sector unions and their impact on elections is greatly overestimated. With the November 2012 victory for  Senate Republicans to regain control of the Wisconsin Senate,  government employee union  suffered their sixth  major defeat since March 2011.

    2. When given a choice, government employees will quit their union in large numbers.

    3. Government employees' salaries and benefits, particularly pensions, are financially unsustainable in most states and collective bargaining reform is needed.

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