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Public Employment Job Losses Continue to Slow the Recovery

August 5, 2011

July’s employment report included more bad news from states and localities: job losses are continuing. Since August 2008, state and local governments have slashed 611,000 positions, and the cuts have been getting worse — 340,000 of those jobs were lost in the last 12 months. July was the ninth consecutive month, and the 29th out of the last 35, in which total state and local employment shrank.

What the Debt Limit Deal Means for States

August 2, 2011

The debt limit deal inevitably will lead to large federal cuts in programs that directly benefit families and communities, adding to the deep and widespread cuts that states have made in their programs — everything from preschool to services for the elderly.

States Cutting Services for Fourth Straight Year

July 25, 2011

A major report that we plan to issue tomorrow shows that at least 38 of the 47 states with new budgets for fiscal year 2012 (which started July 1 in most states) will cut education, health care, or other state-funded services. These cuts will come on top of the large cuts that nearly every state has made over the past three years in response to the recession-induced decline in revenues.

The Misguided “States Do It” Argument for a Balanced Budget Amendment

July 13, 2011

Proponents of a balanced budget requirement for the U.S. Constitution sometimes argue that since nearly every state has to balance its budget, the federal government should do the same. This argument has two fatal flaws:

Batty BATSA Bill Is Back, Cont.

July 6, 2011

The House Judiciary Committee will mark up a bill tomorrow that would create vast opportunities for multistate corporations to shelter profits from state corporate income taxes, costing states and localities billions of dollars each year. This comes as states struggle to close gargantuan budget gaps that are the continuing legacy of the recession.

Meredith Whitney’s Wrong Again

June 7, 2011

Wall Street analyst Meredith Whitney has a new report on state finances, according to Fortune magazine, and, unfortunately, it appears to be just as disconnected from the evidence as her last one.

Rejecting TABOR’s “Population Plus Inflation” Formula: It’s Bipartisan

May 3, 2011

Arizona’s Republican governor, Jan Brewer, vetoed a bill last week to impose a rigid cap on her state budget that would have forced even deeper cuts in education, health care, and other services than her state has already enacted.

Top Three State Tax Charts

April 18, 2011

Federal taxes tend to grab most of the attention around this time of year, but state and local taxes — such as sales taxes, state income taxes, and local property taxes — represent over a third of the total taxes that Americans pay. Here’s three charts about them.

Don’t Blame State Budget Problems on Progressive Income Tax

March 28, 2011

A Wall Street Journal story on Saturday suggested that some states set themselves up for budget problems by relying too heavily on income tax revenue from wealthy residents. The reality is far more complicated.

Targeting Working Families for State Budget Cuts Neither Smart Nor Necessary

March 16, 2011

Facing continued budget problems due to the recession, just about every governor has proposed more spending cuts for the coming fiscal year. Though cuts are needed to help states close their budget holes, some cuts make less sense than others.