Shocker: Real state debt at $4.2 trillion

There's a group here in Illinois that is making the same calculations as the group State Budget Solutions and is finding an incredible difference between what the politicians say their deficit is and the "real" deficit when you include all liabilities. CNBC: The nonprofit State Budget Solutions combined states' major debt and future liabilities, primarily for pensions and employee healthcare, unemployment insurance loans, outstanding bonds and projected fiscal 2011 budget gaps. It found that in total, states are in debt for $4.2 trillion. The group, which follows state fiscal conditions and advocates for limited spending and taxes, said the deficit calculations that states make "do not offer a full picture of the states' liabilities and can rely on budget gimmicks and accounting games to hide the extent of the deficit." The housing bust, financial crisis and economic recession caused states' tax revenue to plunge, and huge holes have emerged in their budgets over the last few years....(Read Full Post)