Digging deep to bail out irresponsible state governments

Ed Lasky
Massachusetts is the state to emulate for Barack Obama. Higher education and high tech are the mainstays of the economy. It's liberal, it's"clean," the charter schools are being shut down, and Governor-Deval Patrick is Obama's role model.

What has happened to that state since Mitt Romney left? Matt Viser of the Boston Globe reports on the consequences of irresponsible spending:

The problems are expected to be so widespread, the solutions so elusive, that the state may have to rethink the size of its commitment to big-ticket programs such as its landmark healthcare coverage plan, aid to cities and towns, and education funding, the specialists said at an emergency budget hearing convened yesterday by members of the state Senate.

Several economic specialists who testified advised state officials to prepare for at least four years of budget problems, foreshadowed by dire records: State revenues declined 35 percent this April over last year, the worst ever. The fall in state revenues for this year, projected to be $3 billion less than budgeted, will probably also be the steepest in state history.

"This is going to be the worst fiscal crisis in the state's history," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "I think it's fair to say it's a catastrophe. That's not an overstatement."

Widmer projects that state tax collections will not return to 2008 levels until at least 2014, as state revenues lag behind a slowly rebuilding economy.

States have a problem: Most, if not all, have to balance their budgets. This serves to make very visible the problems that some states have inflicted upon themselves.

Not to worry. To some extent American taxpayers will end up bailing out basket cases such as California, New York, and Massachusetts via the "stimulus" bill. Taxpayers from other states whose legislators have followed responsible policies will be reaching into their wallets to feed the coffers of states that have been irresponsible.

America bails out profligate states-but then who will bail out America? China? How long will that train ride continue before China takes steps to translate its economic muscle into geopolitical power?

Dig deep, America.

Massachusetts is the state to emulate for Barack Obama. Higher education and high tech are the mainstays of the economy. It's liberal, it's"clean," the charter schools are being shut down, and Governor-Deval Patrick is Obama's role model.

What has happened to that state since Mitt Romney left? Matt Viser of the Boston Globe reports on the consequences of irresponsible spending:

The problems are expected to be so widespread, the solutions so elusive, that the state may have to rethink the size of its commitment to big-ticket programs such as its landmark healthcare coverage plan, aid to cities and towns, and education funding, the specialists said at an emergency budget hearing convened yesterday by members of the state Senate.

Several economic specialists who testified advised state officials to prepare for at least four years of budget problems, foreshadowed by dire records: State revenues declined 35 percent this April over last year, the worst ever. The fall in state revenues for this year, projected to be $3 billion less than budgeted, will probably also be the steepest in state history.

"This is going to be the worst fiscal crisis in the state's history," said Michael J. Widmer, president of the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation. "I think it's fair to say it's a catastrophe. That's not an overstatement."

Widmer projects that state tax collections will not return to 2008 levels until at least 2014, as state revenues lag behind a slowly rebuilding economy.

States have a problem: Most, if not all, have to balance their budgets. This serves to make very visible the problems that some states have inflicted upon themselves.

Not to worry. To some extent American taxpayers will end up bailing out basket cases such as California, New York, and Massachusetts via the "stimulus" bill. Taxpayers from other states whose legislators have followed responsible policies will be reaching into their wallets to feed the coffers of states that have been irresponsible.

America bails out profligate states-but then who will bail out America? China? How long will that train ride continue before China takes steps to translate its economic muscle into geopolitical power?

Dig deep, America.