Skip to comments.Ten States That Cannot Pay Their Bills
Posted on 01/11/2012 8:04:38 AM PST by blam
Ten States That Cannot Pay Their Bills
Posted: January 11, 2012 at 6:59 am
Michael B. Sauter, Charles B. Stockdale, Ashley C. Allen
10. New Hampshire
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 27.2%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $365 million
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 18.4% (8th largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +7.5% (11th smallest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): -4% (12th largest decline)
New Hampshire is often considered to have weathered the recession better than most states. It has one of the strongest economies in the country in many respects. Its poverty rate is a modest 8.1% the lowest among the 50 states. However, the state did not make it through the recession completely unscathed. Home values dropped 4% from 2006 to 2010, the 12th largest amount, and GDP increased only a small amount compared to other states. New Hampshires budget shortfall was the 10th largest in percentage terms. To fight the deficit, the state has enacted a hiring freeze and cut a number of services. It reduced the number of state hospital beds by 15, a change that will result in 500 fewer patients treated per year. It has also cut funds to 10 mental health centers for childrens support services. Despite all these measures, New Hampshires projected 2012 budget shortfall is the eighth largest.
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 28.8%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $5.1 billion
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 14.7% (14th largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +12.8% (17th largest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): -3.4% (13th largest decline)
In the past two years, Connecticut has had a combined budget shortfall of just under $10 billion. In 2010, the state spent 27.0% more than its available funds, and in 2011 it spent 28.8% more. Connecticut was not hit as badly as some states by the recession, but home values still dropped 3.4% between 2006 and 2010. During that same period, poverty increased the third-most in the country, from 8.3% of households to 9.7% of households. In order to account for the substantial budget gaps, Connecticut cut government employee salaries, as well as funds for K-12 and higher education. The governor also made substantial budget cuts to programs aimed at preventing child abuse and providing foster care for neglected children.
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 29.6%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $4.6 billion
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 15.3% (13th largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +13.4% (12th largest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): +1.6% (2nd smallest increase)
Washingtons home values actually increased between 2006 and 2010, but only by 1.6% an exceptionally small amount compared to other states. On the other hand, the states economy recorded a double-digit growth rate. Still, this was not enough to save the state from its budgetary shortcomings. Because of its $4.6 billion budget gap, the state cut public safety funding, assistance for the mentally and physically disabled, and education funding, among others. The state also increased premiums for a health plan that serves low-income residents.
7. North Carolina
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 30.6%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $5.8 billion
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 12.1% (21st largest)
> GDP change (2006-2010): +12.1% (21st largest increase)
> Median home value change (2006-2010): +12.4% (15th largest increase)
Compared to most states, North Carolina actually fared relatively well during the worst years of the recession. GDP and home values increased substantially, while median income and poverty rates did not worsen by much. Despite this, the state has had high budget gaps for each of the past three years. In 2011, the state had a budget shortfall of $5.8 billion, or 30.6% of available resources. In order to balance the budget, the state was forced to make across-the-board cuts to public health, the elderly and disabled, K-12 education, higher education and the state workforce. The state slashed 21% of funding to a program that pays for nurses and social workers in low-income schools. Because of the cut, 20 schools were left without a nurse or social worker.
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 31.3%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $338 million
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 14.3% (15th largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +8.3% (tied for 14th smallest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): +12.4% (18th largest increase)
Vermont was hit extremely hard by the recession. The percentage of people living below the poverty line increased by 13.6% between 2006 and 2010 one of the largest increases in the country. And while the states GDP increased over that period, it only grew a small amount compared to other states. One way Vermont has attempted to bridge its budget gap is by closing the state court system for half a day each week. Other measures include a hiring freeze and cuts to higher education operating funding and financial aid.
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 34.7%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $940 million
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 13.8% (16th largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +8.3% (tied for 14th smallest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): +5% (26th largest increase)
Maine is another state that conflicts with the assumption that states with severe budget shortfalls were the only ones hit hard by the recession. Median home value actually increased 5% in the state, and the poverty rate dropped the third-most in the country. Nevertheless, Maine faced a $940 million budget shortfall in 2011, worth 34.7% of available funds for that year. In 2011, the state made cuts in every major funding category and to CHIP and Medicaid. It has also instituted hiring freezes for state employees. For the 2012 fiscal year, Maine is again projected to have a budget shortfall, this time of $422 million. In light of this, the state cut temporary cash assistance and food stamps to legal immigrants who have been in the country less than five years.
4. New Jersey
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 38.2%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $10.7 billion
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 36.0% (2nd largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +7.1% (10th smallest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): -7.5% (9th largest decline)
Home values in New Jersey dropped 7.5% between 2006 and 2010, the ninth largest decline. For the third year in a row, the state has initiated deep cuts to close its budget gap. The state made the eligibility requirements for its public health insurance program more strict. As a result, approximately 50,700 low-income adults will lose access to health care coverage, according to CBPP. The state cut funding to after-school programs, which will affect 11,000 students and cause 1,100 staff workers to lose their jobs. That is on top of already cutting 2,000 state positions. Despite all of these changes, the states projected budget shortfall for 2012 is only 2.2 percentage points lower than this years and the second-largest among the states.
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 39.0%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $3.3 billion
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 17.0% (10th largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +2.7% (4th smallest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): -28.6% (4th largest decline)
Like its neighbor Nevada, Arizona was hit particularly hard by the subprime mortgage crisis. Between 2006 and 2010, median home values plunged 28.6% in the state, the fourth worst price drop in the country. GDP, poverty and income levels have either stagnated or become significantly worse during this period. Since 2009, the state has had among the worst budget gaps in the country, a combined total of $12.1 billion for the three years. To balance its budget, Arizona has made dramatic budget cuts, including revoking Medicaid eligibility of more than 1 million low-income residents and cutting preschool for more than 4,000 children.
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 40.2%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $13.5 billion
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 16.0% (11th largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +8.2% (13th smallest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): -4.2% (11th largest decline)
Illinois has consistently had among the largest budget shortfalls in the country since 2009. It also was hit extremely hard by the recession. Between 2006 and 2010, home values decreased by 4.2%. GDP grew a relatively small 8.2%. Median household income increased less than 2%. The state made cuts in its budget for community mental health services for both children and adults, and it cut its school education funding by 4%, or $311 million. Governor Pat Quinn has announced also that he will lay off thousands of state employees.
> 2011 budget shortfall as a % of general fund: 54.5%
> 2011 budget shortfall: $1.8 billion
> 2012 projected budget shortfall: 37.4% (the largest)
> GDP change (2006 2010): +1.2% (smallest increase)
> Median home value change (2006 2010): -44.5% (the largest decline)
No state has suffered during the recession more than the state of Nevada. Between 2006 and 2010, home values plummeted a staggering 44.5%, the poverty rate increased 26%, median income dropped 3.8% and GDP increased only 1.2%. Each was the worst in the country for that category. Last year, Nevadas budget gap was $1.8 billion, the equivalent of 54.5% of available funds. This was the third year in a row the state has had one of the worst shortfalls in the country, and that trend appears ready to continue through at least 2013. In order to balance its budget last year, Nevada was forced to raise taxes significantly, cut dental and vision services from Medicaid coverage for adults and reduce financial aid funding and state employee salaries.
I think they missed a few ‘worser’ states
How many of these are Blue States?
With the exception of AZ, every one of these bankrupt states is headed by Democrats. Yet, the clueless voters will continue to vote Democrat because many of them receive the government’s hot checks.
I thought California would be #1 and it’s not even on the list.
It’s odd that 4 of these states are in New England..............
Was this one of David Letterman’s lists?
The collapse starts to domino when these states default on their pension obligations and the fedgov doesn’t bail them out.
Better have your preps in place by then.
Illinois should be the Democrat poster child for the GOP in the 2012 election. It is 100% Democrat including complete and total control of every branch of government in the state, in the largest county, and in the largest city. It is rampant with crime and corruption, high taxes, and crushing debt. Democrats and unions define everything that goes on there.
A few years ago, Tennessee was under complete Democrat control. There was a BRUTAL and dirty campaign to force a state income tax down our throats, or the world would come to an end and the parks would close, police, fire and teachers would be laid off. The citizens, coordinated by the local (and competing) talk radio stations, rallied at legislative plaza and scared them back into their holes. Here we are a couple of election cycles later, in Republican control. We are not on the above mentioned list, no lay offs, no end of the world, but most of all, NO STATE INCOME TAX! Eat THAT dopey dims!
Arizona did NOT go for Obama.
Just raise taxes.
Bring trapped in the Red State part of Blue State Illinois is no fun. Corruption and incompetence dominate state politics and despite having some very good conservatives in the state legislature who want to do the right thing is of little importance when the agenda is set by the Democrats who are all cut of Dick Dirtbin cloth. The many good conservatives here probably can relate to what it was like behind the Iron Curtain. They just laugh when we talk about splitting Chicago off as it’s own state, claiming is is the “economic engine of the state”. Well, how long will that engine run with no damn food?
Actually the cuts to mental health treatment were insanely stupid proposals by Idiot Governor Pat Quinn and were not actually made. Even conservatives know this is not the first place to cut, yet Quinn and the Democrats used traditional tactics, then blamed the Republicans for being the bad guys. It is truly disgusting.
Nevada has had GOP governors for a while, but the downturn in NV has been led by DemocRAT-led Clark County and Las Vegas. Also, AZ had Jonathan Napolitano running it before 0bozo took it to "run" Homeland Security.
Not really...property taxes are murder up here, and they still blow insane amounts of money on public schools and public assistance. Moving vans are one of the most valuable commodities in New Hampshire right now...after last night; their value increased even more. :-)
Whoa! California? Michigan? New York?
Is California growing money?
So, according to this article, California is in better condition to pay its bills than Arizona? Doesn’t even make the list?