Monday, December 20, 2010

State Budgets: The Day of Reckoning

If only other network newsmagazines could do the work as CBS' 60 Minutes has. I would watch them more like I used to. I used to watch 20/20 for John Stossel mostly and he's now at FOX News. Usually for my news I watch FOX News Channel other than that I could watch 60 Minutes.

And I missed a good segment last night as well state government is one of my interests. BTW, I got this video via Capitol Fax. That website is where you go to stay up to date with what's going on in Illinois state government.

Anyway 60 Minutes in looking at the fiscal picture of American states took a look at Illinois. Representing Illinois in this piece is outgoing state Comptroller, Dan Hynes (at about the 3:40 mark).

And nowhere has the reckoning been as bad as it is in Illinois, a state that spends twice much as it collects in taxes and is unable to pay its bills.

"This is the state of affairs in Illinois. Is not pretty," Illinois state Comptroller Dan Hynes told Kroft.

Hynes is the state's paymaster. He currently has about $5 billion in outstanding bills in his office and not enough money in the state's coffers to pay them. He says they're six months behind.
Asked how these people are getting by considering they're not getting paid by the state, Hynes said, "Well, that's the tragedy. People borrow money. They borrow in order to get by until the state pays them."

"They're subsidizing the state. They're giving the state a float," Kroft remarked.

"Exactly," Hynes agreed.

"And who do you owe that money to?" Kroft asked.

"Pretty much anybody who has any interaction with state government, we owe money to," Hynes said. 
It would've been nice if the incumbent Governor of Illinois who recently won re-election to that post was interviewed for this piece. I mean we do need to hear from him and sadly he's been absent for quite a while and seemed not very adept at really solving this crisis. Although who would be adept at dealing with this crisis, tough choices have to me made. They need to be made.

John Ruberry at Marathon Pundit notes:
Could the financial collapse of states such as California, New Jersey, and Illinois push us into another recession? 60 Minutes explored the looming crisis last night.
It's going to be much more painful, won't it?

Chris Christie was the first public official interviewed in this piece. So he explains how the financial picture in his state has gotten so bad.
And the story more than likely isn't much different around the country is it?

No comments:

Post a Comment

Comments are now moderated because one random commenter chose to get comment happy. What doesn't get published is up to my discretion. Of course moderating policy is subject to change. Thanks!