In Case You Missed It...
Besides grilling burgers and watching fireworks, I used the long 4th of July weekend to catch up on some reading. One article I dug into with gusto was the cover story from the June 28th issue of Time magazine - Inside the Dire Financial State of the States.
The article sheds light on overlapping policy and political challenges that comprise the financial crisis facing most state governments. While many in the business and government communities have foreseen this crisis for some time, it has barely generated a blip on the national radar. Yet, as this article illustrates, Americans are already feeling the impact of state budget cuts and there are no quick or easy solutions.
This excerpt sums up the problem pretty well.
"Nearly everywhere, tax revenue plummeted as property values tanked, incomes dwindled and consumers stopped shopping. Falling prices for stocks and real estate have made mincemeat of often underfunded public pension plans. Unemployed workers have swelled the demand for welfare and Medicaid services. Governments that were frugal in the past are just squeaking by. Governments that were lavish in the good times, building their budgets on optimism and best-case scenarios, now risk being wrecked like a shantytown in an earthquake."
Read more at Inside the Dire Financial State of the States