Monday, November 16, 2009
A report from the Pew Center on the States shows that other parts of the country are now catching "California disease" in which the state budget spirals out of control, ends made to meet last fiscal year only with some newly printed/borrowed money from Washington D.C.
The report begins by noting that California is in a league of its own but, based on the data in the table above, Arizona doesn't appear to be too far behind. Oregon's not doing so hot either.
In the map to the right it's clear to see that problems are worst in the four housing bubble states of California, Arizona, Nevada, and Florida along with the rust belt states of Wisconsin, Michigan, and Illinois (is Wisconsin considered part of the rust belt?) and then Oregon, New Jersey, and Rhode Island, all of which have unique difficulties.
Omitted from the table above (for space considerations) is the fact that all but the bottom three states require a "supermajority" to raise taxes and pass a budget, something that makes addressing lost revenue due to high unemployment and foreclosure rates quite difficult. It's much easier to just wait for money from the nation's capital, something that we're likely to see again in 2010 to the tune of perhaps hundreds of billions of dollars.