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  • California Just One State Facing Budget Disaster


    Washington – The Tax Foundation’s Josh Barro and Joseph Henchman provided sobering analysis of state budget woes across America today at the Conservative Bloggers’ Briefing held at the Heritage Foundation.

    In a newly released report detailing the spending practices and tactics of all 50 states, Joseph Henchman, Director of State Projects for the Tax Foundation, proscribed a return to basic principles of good taxation for all ailing budgets, but especially California, which faces a $42 Billion shortfall.

    “California’s biggest problem, and a problem for a lot of the states that are in problematic budget sutuations, is heavy reliance on unstable revenue soucres,” he said. Things like capital gains revenue, high-earner taxes and corporate taxes have been the bread and butter of wasteful state legislatures during the past decade’s economic growth. “These are the taxes that rose really high in good times and have dropped so dramatically in bad times.”

    Often, states have attempted to bridge budget gaps by freezing salaries and hiring of government employees, using accounting gimmicks to disguise current revenues, or targeting unpopular groups of citizens with tax increases. This last tactic, the politically safe one, preys on those least capable of dealing economically with a tax increase.

    “By shifting their tax burden to a small group of people, a small group of highly mobile people who are extra sensitive to economic changes, states have painted themselves into a corner with their budget situations. One by one, we’re seeing proposals on the table for cigarette tax increases in virtually every state…which we found problematic because it represents a shifting of the tax burden to a small, politically unpopular minority, in often cases poorer than people over all.”

    Henchman recomends states solve their revenue problems through fair and honest tax policy. “By broadening tax bases and lowering rates, states can generate extra revenue while bringing the state tax system back to the basic principles of good taxation: simplicity, transparency and neutrality.”

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    3 Responses to California Just One State Facing Budget Disaster

    1. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      To be blunt, the states must cut expenditures and stop indulging in grandiose schemes. California is a basket case. The best thing that can happen to it is a takeover by Mexico. All that would mean then is that different set of thugs will be running the state.

    2. Ozzy6900, CT says:

      The irony here is that Rush Limbaugh stated in today's show that if you could go into the State budgets, you could probably find several million dollars that could be cut just in idiotic, bloated programs, most of which are of the "hand out" variety! Instead, they are going to keep feeding these waste programs with Taxpayer money then find new and improved ways to empty our pockets. Massachusetts wants to try a 1/4 cent tax on every mile you drive in lieu of the gas tax (don't think that they will levy the gasoline tax for a minute).

    3. Pingback: If Only Every State Was As Prepared As Alaska | Caffeinated Thoughts

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