Politics

40 of the 50 States Don’t Have Enough Money to Pay All Their Bills

spending bill ugly money billsMost of the “sinkhole” states with the most red ink are blue. But should we be surprised?

Now that states are required to follow new rules of full financial disclosure, the truth is coming out: Most of the states in the union don’t have enough money to pay all of their bills. In its latest report, Sheila Weinberg, head of Truth in Accounting (TIA), which prepares and publishes its Financial State of the States report every September, said:

At the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2018, 40 states did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. This means that to balance the budget — as is supposedly required by law in 49 states — elected officials have not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations and have pushed [unreported] costs onto future taxpayers.

While most states report that they are making efforts to fully fund their pension plans, in the past they weren’t required to account for liabilities for pensioners’ healthcare costs. Now they are.

For example, the state of New York touts its fiscal responsibility by reporting that it has funded 93 percent of its pension liabilities. But, under the new full disclosure rules, the state has been forced to reveal that it has only funded one penny out of every dollar of its enormous retiree healthcare obligations.

Added together, those 40 states — the worst of which TIA refers to as “sinkhole” states — owe more than $1.5 trillion in total debt. When each state’s unfunded liabilities is divided by the number of each state’s taxpayers, the truth is staggering. For example, each taxpayer in New Jersey (50th on the list) owes $65,100 in order for the state to meet its promised obligations. Illinois is right behind, with each taxpayer liability calculated to be $52,600.

There is some “sunshine,” but precious little. Only three states received A’s for their fiscal condition. Another seven received B’s, 13 received C’s, 18 received D’s, while the rest earned failing grades of F for their fiscal irresponsibility.

Four of the five “sunshine” states — Alaska, North Dakota, Wyoming, and Idaho — are enjoying surpluses thanks largely to their booming energy industries. But all five are behaving responsibly with their surpluses. TIA lauded Utah for its careful and prudent financial management:

Utah’s taxpayers and residents benefit from some of the most responsible financial management practices in the nation. Utah has the best record among the 50 states in keeping expenses below revenues.

In fact, Utah has done that every year since 2005 — even during the Great Recession. For FY 2018, Utah has a Taxpayer Surplus of $5,300.

Utah also produces some of the timeliest financial reports in the nation.

On the other hand leaders in Connecticut (48th) are frittering away their state’s healthy financial condition by deliberately underfunding that state’s promises:

Connecticut’s overall financial condition improved slightly from the previous fiscal year. The amount of Connecticut’s debt related to unfunded retiree health care benefits slightly decreased, but the state still needs $51,800 from each state taxpayer to pay off the debt accumulated to date.

While some focus on Connecticut’s strong economic indicators, such as personal income, the state is not setting enough money aside to pay for promised benefits, including unfunded pension and retiree health care promises.

Adding to the woes of “sinkhole” states is the exodus of high-income individuals. Lee Wallace, a resident of Illinois, is one of those who hasn’t left yet, but plans to shortly:

I live in Illinois. Lifelong Illinoisan. Yes, I know it sucks. My 5 year plan is to leave the state before it collapses financially and my home value plummets. Property taxes, sales taxes and income taxes are insane over here. DO NOT MOVE HERE….

I live outside of Chicago in the suburbs. Yes there are lots of jobs and opportunity here so that’s good — but beware: Illinois is a house of cards that is near its tipping point, financially speaking. The unfunded pension debt is unsustainable and among the worst in the country.

They can’t fix the pension problem because this is a completely blue state and run by Democrats and also very strong labor unions and lobbyists over here.

Reprinted with permission from - The New American - by Bob Adelmann

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Ronn A. Page
1 year ago

Very good article

Zuman342
1 year ago

I escaped NY fourteen years ago to go to Virginia now Virginia is going the way of NY. We’ll be leaving soon.

Bob
1 year ago

The problem with socialism is that you always run out of other peoples money to spend. THAT IS HAPPENING NOW. Yeah, keep voting for socialists. Wake up Americans!

Jim Shedd
1 year ago

Unfortunately, too many voters don’t know the truth and are easily distracted, especially if the receive a check from the government. As stated by BajaRon, socialism has never worked but by dumbing down our youth and promising them a check they don’t have to actually work for it’s easy to encourage them to keep voting for the same politicians who’ve created the messes they will face in the future when the promised checks don’t come any longer. After all, who doesn’t Like the promise of free money?

Oldtimer
1 year ago

It is truly unfortunate how easy the criminals have taken over this what was once a free country. We have allowed ourselves to become overwhelmed with “self” that we sit rather than stand and watch rather than join in then when it catches up to wonder why it happened…
Sad facts are that with the smarter we are the less effort we seem to want to put forth to remedy not just state issues but national too
Start small require ALL your children to become responsible and have walked together EVERYDAY and talk candidly about America’s situation and keep their minds clear on the REAL facts…

Diane
1 year ago

Illinois new dem. gov. – Senate Bill 2090 – “to allow individuals to exercise their right to vote” in jails across the state.

Larry Pierson
1 year ago

Socialism is inherently and fatally flawed in that it cannot take into account a basic weakness in human behavior – the inevitable corruption one gets when faceless and unaccountable bureaucrats are given power over their fellow human beings. For this reason, every attempt to implement socialism has always resulted in something insidiously evil, robbing the people of their health, their wealth, their self reliance, their self respect, and God. In whatever form it has taken, whether it be communism, fascism, Nazism, or the progressive-liberalism we find in America today, socialism has proven itself over and over again to be morally, socially, spiritually, politically, and economically bankrupt.

Popo
1 year ago

That’s what you get when you continue to vote for Democrats!

Willie Ryan
1 year ago

Again this proves that the democrats are spending money on there self and do not care about the people.If the people in this country don’t get democrats out of office we will go broke and have to sale to other country.

Greg Russell
1 year ago

ALL government, local, state and federal had BEST cut back their spending. Im tapped out and Im FED UP with food being literally taken off MY table for their pet projects and feeding those who WON`T work.

MariaRose
1 year ago

Sorry for the state of issues in Illinois, but I dealing with the snobby rich liberals who are so Blue here in New York . They talk the talk well until it hits them both financially and proximity. The NYHA is so corrupt in how it has mishandled funds the only way the structures are going to be fixed is to tear them down and build again, but apparently low-income affordable housing costs more to build mainly because they have to meet regulations to last which probably explains indirectly why no maintenance is done ( I am assuming to get the full money’s worth over the decades). But those of us who are not high income earners still have to bear the tax cost that the high income had been deducting off their tax liability 100% of their SALT taxes which they can’t now. Moving out of the state with the high SALT tax to a current lower SALT tax state doesn’t change anything especially when these same people want to get the same services from their new location which will eventually cause taxes to rise anyway. Why not stay and find ways to lower the cost? Like the example of expanding costs of retirees who get paid more in retirement than they every earned working. (Sorry I have no sympathy since my extremely small pension are a very small fraction of my work income). Transportation costs are rising to supposedly cover the cost of extremely needed repairs to the MTA who found gross negligence in timekeeping which resulted in one individual earning over $500,000 in overtime in an impossible number of work hours. This is the result of lack of proper review of budget spending.

R. S. S. Mc KOSK\\
1 year ago

SO, WHY BLAME THE GOVERNMENT AND OUR DULY ELECTED OFFICIALS FOR THE FINANCIAL MESS WE’RE IN ? WE ARE TO BLAME BY NOT
LISTENING TO WHAT POLITICIANS ARE SAYING AND. LIKE LEMMINGS, VOTING REPEATEDLY FOR THE SAME POLITICIANS WHO ARE
RESPONSIBLE FOR CREATING THIS ‘MESS’. EG, CONNECTICUT. GOVERNOR LAMONT TOLD US WHAT HE WAS GOING TO DO IF ELECTED
SUCH AS RESTORE ROAD TOLLS, NEW TAXES, ETC. HE WAS ELECTED, AND GUESS WHAT ? VOTERS WHO VOTED FOR HIM ARE NOW
COMPLAINING BECAUSE HE IS MAKING GOOD ON HIS CAMPAIGN PROMISES. NOBODY LISTENED TO HIM AND HIS WORTHWHILE
OPPONENT BEFORE ELECTION DAY. LAMONT IS, GUESS WHAT, A DEMOCRAT, AND THE STATE VOTED ACCORDINGLY. COME ELECTION
DAY, FORGET YOUR PARTY AFFILIATION AND LISTEN TO THE CANDIDATE, AND VOTE WISELY.

WE DESERVE WHO THE MASSES SELECT. TIME FOR REEDUCATION.

Becky Langner
1 year ago

Aren’t we forgetting something in this discussion? What has been the effect of industry moving outside the US on the overall state of our economy? What is the median income of US citizens?
I’m going to read the report and be back with more questions….

George Pike
1 year ago

What about texas

Brenda Blunt
1 year ago

Local governments need to be responsible just like everyone else! Watch your spending!!!

Rox
1 year ago

Top 25 cities for the worst living standards, education, crime. . . All democrat run.

Mary Lou Swann
1 year ago

I am a retire from Texas. I worked for the state of Texas. I hope my state has been responsible.

Rox
1 year ago
Reply to  Mary Lou Swann

You are a border state. It is too late. Even after the wall is built your welfare and educational costs, etc. will defund your state.

M. Franklin
1 year ago

Fiscal irresponsibility and Socialism makes up the majority of the DNA in liberals. The rest of it is tax, upon tax, upon tax, upon tax, upon tax, and upon MORE TAXES.
A liberal never came across a tax he didn’t love.

flitec
1 year ago

When I went to work at Boeing Charleston SC we were non union and didn’t want the union. in there propaganda drive they published cartoons of black workers on there hands and knees with with a white worker standing on there back working on the aircraft. the union said airplanes built in South Carolina were built by dumb country hicks that didn’t know anything about airplanes and they would eventually crash. and then they couldn’t understand why people would meet them at the door wanting them to join the union with a gun in there hand.they’re still trying to unionize boeing SC and I hope people don’t fall for it. unions are the downfall of America especially government unions which I’m still trying to figure out how that happened. so if you’re not union and you’re not a socialist and you don’t have the sign of the beast tattooed on you, you’re in trouble.

Earl
1 year ago

Really glad that I live in Idaho. A New York transplant.

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