Saturday, July 19, 2008

Taxpayers can bear no more

UK's Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, apparently has hit his limit on obfuscation and outright lying (unlike Bernanke and Sec. of Treasury Paulson).

19 July 2008, UK Times Online:
In his gloomiest assessment yet of the state of the British economy, Alistair Darling gave warning that the downturn was far more profound than he had thought and could last for years rather than months.
And now some reports from the United States.

Massachusetts' Gov. Deval Patrick slashes budget. Slashed $122.5 mil from the $28.223 bil budget, and asked for powers to conduct mid-year budget cuts.

Orland Park works very hard to hide budget hole. The village has a $4.7 million hole in a budget of $122 million - a 3.77% deficit. Whoops. And so far is successfully hiding the fact.

New Brunswick, NJ cuts services, including scaling back on trash pickup. Oh, and there will be "personnel reductions." Layoffs.

California? Still hasn't passed a budget yet. And they're going to need a major bond issue no matter what.

Illinois Gov. Blagojevich cuts $1.4 billion from the state budget of $59 billion. The General Assembly makes symbolic votes (knowing the Senate had already adjourned) to repeal $480 million of the cuts. Without the Senate, the cuts stand.
The budget was $2 billion in the red, so with the governor's cuts the State is still $600 million short.
The cuts also affected the RTA, which is mandated by the governor's blatant political ploy earlier this year to provide free rides for seniors. However, the subsidy that helped the RTA cover the costs of those rides was cut from the budget.

Indiana knows the secret to budget surpluses: don't provide any services.
By contrast, state governments in the four bordering states — Kentucky, Illinois, Ohio and Michigan — all were showing projected budget deficits at the end of their fiscal years

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that 29 states plus the District of Columbia will have budget shortfalls for fiscal 2009.
By percentage of budget, the states in the biggest trouble are:
California - 21.3%
Arizona - 17.8%
Nevada - 13.5%
Rhode Island - 12.6%
Florida - 11.0%
New Jersey - 10.6%
Alabama - 9.2%
New York - 9.1%

Yowza.

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