Non Sequitur

Feb. 16, 2010 at 2:17pm

Budget Crisis grips 48 states... WA too.

How broke is you?

The picture points out Illinois specifically. And that is a bad, bad mess they got themselves into.

But look up the Left Coast, and you'll see that Oregon is at nearly 30% and we're not all that far behind them. Actually, we're 14th on the list, tied with Florida. I've been proselytizing for a long time that Oregon is running 18 months behind California, and we're only 12 months behind Oregon. We're actually much deeper in the hole than Michigan!

Unless you're in North Dakota or Montana, things are not looking too good. With almost all states in the red, and some being bankrupt, things are going to get uglier and uglier in this year and the next couple of years. States will have to cut staff (that won't help unemployment) and states will have to keep borrowing more and more money just to stay afloat and meet pension obligations.

But states can't just print money out of thin air like the Federal government can. So what to do? Do we get by on less and tighten our belt like our great-grandparents did in the Depression? Or do we raise taxes to cover the shortfall? What can WA do? What can the other 49 do?

comments [21]  |  posted under budget crisis, depression 2, obamanomics, Washington

Comments

by NineInchNachos on 2/17/2010 @ 8:26am
Oh I know! let's change the state seal to a tapeworm.

blog.thenewstribune.com/politics/2010/02...

Har har har! get it a tape worm? Because paying taxes is socialism.

also this might be funny:
slog.thestranger.com/slog/archives/2010/...

by fredo on 2/17/2010 @ 9:14am
"what can Washington do?"

Fiddling around with the tax rate on chewing gum is not going to solve our problem. These budgeting problems cannot be solved unless politicians are prepared to take on government sector labor unions. In good times these organizations were able to extract huge pay increases but there was no mechanism for reducing the pay when, inevitably, the economy soured. In addition to payroll problems, there is the related problem of lavish benefits and pension arrangements which are not sustainable in the long run.

NS-I believe you are correct to draw our attention to the problems of California and Oregon. This is where we are headed. Many of the local labor unions have used wage rates in these two states to justify increases here in Washington.

I was especially interested to note that one of the states that's in worse shape than we are is Connecticut. Regular contributor Jenyum likes to refer to this state and it's "enlightened" policies. Har, har, har, the truth will out.

by seejane on 2/17/2010 @ 9:48am
Like any household the State has to cut expenses and increase revenue. I hope our legislature has taken a close look at the idiots in California and decides to work together to work things out.

Democrats will have to help cut wages, benefits or services. Republicans will have to help raise taxes. If they really "only want what's best for Washington" they will consider and accept that they may not be reelected. The time for partisan bickering is over because we're all losing.

by NineInchNachos on 2/17/2010 @ 10:25am
Taxes are the price of civilization.

by fredo on 2/17/2010 @ 10:46am
Taxes are the price of civilization.

48 states are running budget deficits, the federal government is running a deficit that is almost beyond calculation, and we've obligated our children and grandchildren to pay for it all. Is borrowing money that future generations will be required to repay also the price of a moral civilization?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 2/17/2010 @ 11:00am
Why are we so worried about this now when all the protesters were silent on this issue when Bush was president. Bush dug us this hole, it will be the job of the good Democrats to get us out of it. Seriously, where were the tea-baggers when Bush was putting our grand children into bondage? We need to fix the problems that we have. I trust the Democrats to fix them. The right is providing a lot of noise but very little signal.

by fredo on 2/17/2010 @ 11:13am
Crenshaw, two wrongs don't make a right. Why compound the problems you claim Bush caused by borrowing even more and creating deficits of herculean proportion? Wouldn't it be better for government to exercise a little restraint?

by NineInchNachos on 2/17/2010 @ 12:22pm
John Maynard Keynes, wrote the book on modern macro
The man you need when the economy's off track, [whoa]
Depression, recession now your question's in session
Have a seat and I'll school you in one simple lesson

BOOM, 1929 the big crash
We didn't bounce back--economy's in the trash
Persistent unemployment, the result of sticky wages
Waiting for recovery? Seriously? That's outrageous!

I had a real plan any fool can understand
The advice, real simple--boost aggregate demand!
C, I, G, all together gets to Y
Make sure the total's growing, watch the economy fly

econstories.tv/home.html

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 2/17/2010 @ 1:42pm
Bush intentionally destroyed the economy, the Democrats are trying to fix it. The Republicans are still trying to destroy it and are chomping at the bit to get their hands back on the economy to deal the coup de gr‚ce. Let the experts fix what is wrong and get this ship back on track, to mix a metaphor.

by panachronic on 2/17/2010 @ 2:59pm
The solution is very, very simple: Roll back state spending to pre-Gregoire levels. Then we can talk about tax cuts.

Problem solved. Carry on.

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/17/2010 @ 3:06pm
Look at history. Only one thing and one thing only can get the economy out of the hole it's in:

An enormous, full-fledged war. WWII is what really got the US out of the Depression. Don't be surprised if there is some manner of global conflict in the next 5-10 years.

by NineInchNachos on 2/17/2010 @ 3:29pm
war on obesity?

by fredo on 2/18/2010 @ 7:15am
"...the democrats are trying to fix it." Crenshaw

Unemployment has jumped 2 percentage points since Obama took office. Is that the way the democrats fix things?

by KevinFreitas on 2/18/2010 @ 7:35am
@fredo: Let's be realistic here and realize that the minute Obama took office 2% of the nation's work force weren't laid off. Stocks may shift on the news items of the day but jobs don't shift quite as fast. The economy is greater than any one president and the true legacy of Obama will only be seen after the fact as it was/is with Bush. Paying for two wars along with all of Bush's taxcuts were easily major factors in getting us into this current mess. BUT, it remains to be seen how Obama's actions since may/may not help. His administration may celebrate now since the stimulus (which, let's not forget, Bush and the Reps supported) turned 1 but time will tell.

The one thing I'll grant any president, whether I voted for him/her or not, is that it's a thankless, 24/7 job that I doubt many people who criticize on a daily basis could handle if they tried.

by NineInchNachos on 2/18/2010 @ 8:08am
keep your eye on the prize obama!


by ixia on 2/18/2010 @ 9:54am
I miss FEED Tacoma we had before it became a tax-haterís soap box. Culture, local food and very local issues are what made it fun and interesting. I am so tired of the constant bitterness and whining about taxes. Tacoma works pretty darn well and our lives are plenty good if we just look around a bit. Time to take a brake from this permanent complaining - I am signing off.

by fredo on 2/18/2010 @ 10:01am
Nachos, your chart shows that since Obama took office he's lost an ADDITIONAL 4,000,000 jobs over and above the losses suffered under Bush. Is this supposed to indicate that things are getting better?

Kev, you say that the Presidency is a "thankless" job. I dunno. President Obama enjoys huge public adulation, is constantly besieged for photo opportunities and autographs, is able to eat prime rib 365 days a year, can swim in his own private pool, relax in his own spa, bowl at his own bowling alley, enjoy movies in his personal movie theatre, and can fly off to Hollywood or Hawaii on a moments notice for some R & R. His children attend private schools. After working as little as four years he may retire to a huge pension and free health care. I'm pretty sure Obama is man enough to accept some criticism, constructive or otherwise. It goes with the job.

by fredo on 2/18/2010 @ 10:15am
Ixia, If you see something you don't enjoy seeing then stop looking.

by NineInchNachos on 2/18/2010 @ 10:31am
@ixia NOOOOOOO! Please don't leave me alone with these T.E.A. knuckleheads!

by KevinFreitas on 2/18/2010 @ 11:25am
@Ixia: FeedTacoma thrives on everyone starting their own conversations. There's a "Start a New Topic" button right on the homepage to help make it easy to get something going. If you aren't excited about tax- or gov't-related bitterness, effect that change!

by L.S.Erhardt on 2/18/2010 @ 3:18pm
Tax-related topics seem to be popular because they're a big deal for most people. What's wrong with discussing them?

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