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Friday, January 21, 2011

Let the States Go Bankrupt?

As I work for my own state's budget office, this headline got my attention: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/41188877/ns/business-the_new_york_times/

I think that those pushing this have a hidden agenda and are not as "concerned" about the fiscal health of the states as one might think. At the end of the day, very few states are in what I would call real fiscal stress in that very few sit around and wonder on a regular basis whether or not they can pay their upcoming obligations. Illinois and California are probably the only two.

The argument is, mostly, predicated around the discussion of future pension and healthcare obligations. Some studies have greatly exaggerated the level of underfunding for pensions and this is something I was hoping to address in a post this weekend and I still might.  However, if you believe those studies, then you might say that we have to let the states have a mechanism to jettison these obligations.

I will address this in further detail this weekend. Understand that anything I say is not the official position of the State of Wisconsin, but rather my own view of the larger issues here.

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