The Pew Center on the States has just released a sobering new report, “Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril.”
California’s financial problems are in a league of their own. But the same pressures that drove the Golden State toward fiscal disaster are wreaking havoc in a number of states, with potentially damaging consequences for the entire country.
This examination by the Pew Center on the States looks closely at nine states, in addition to California, that are particularly affected by the recession. All of California’s neighbors–Arizona, Nevada and Oregon–and fellow Sun Belt state Florida were severely hit by the bursting housing bubble, landing them on Pew’s list of states facing fiscal difficulties similar to California’s. A Midwestern cluster of states comprising Illinois, Michigan and Wisconsin emerged, too, as did the Northeastern states of New Jersey and Rhode Island.
“Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril” makes clear that the recession severely impacted states from different geographic regions with different types of economies, tax structures and political leanings.
The report judges states on a variety of metrics, including revenue change, budget gap, unemployment rate change and foreclosure rate among others. It certainly drives home the idea fiscal irresponsibility is widespread at all levels of government in the U.S.