Eve Of Destruction
This month, the Government Accountability Office released its annual report on the fiscal condition of our states. The report's title -- "State Fiscal Gap Seen Worsening" -- says it all. Every state is facing record deficits, and the GAO predicts the budget gaps for state and local governments will steadily worsen through 2060 absent any policy changes.
The GAO calculated that closing the fiscal gap would immediate action: an annual 12.7 percent reduction in state and local government expenditures, or tax increases of a similar magnitude.
The downward spiral that state budgets are experiencing are the result of accounting gimmicks, reckless spending, and a failure of state legislatures and governors over the years to make the tough decisions to reset state spending to a level that taxpayers can afford.