The Wright Perspective℠
Social Commentary from the C-Suite to Main Street℠
A Blog by Gary Wright II
Is the end near for America? It's pretty broken right now!
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
A recent study showed that 48 of the 50 states have budget deficits this year, and things are only getting worse. The Center for Budget and Policy Priorities estimates a total deficit of $166 billion for the states, which is a fourth of their total budget. They predict an aggregate deficit of $311 billion to be reached by 2011. California has a GDP larger than most nations, yet it faces a $26 billion deficit on its budget of $96 billion.
Almost half of the states have already raised their tax rates. The states are really screwed, because they can't increase taxes again during the recession (they could - but no politician would vote for it). They depend mostly on income tax and sales tax for their money, and the high unemployment rate and deep recession have taken a large toll on their tax collections. In addition to lower tax collections, the bills of each state have increased significantly due to the price of fuel and other conditions of our poor economy.
States are having to cut their services, close schools, stop road work, close state parks, cancel infrastructure projects, and increase fees for everything.
The federal government already tried a $787 billion stimulus plan, but all that did was transfer more wealth to those who already had it. Today I read an estimate that the total bill for the federal government relief program could reach over $23.7 TRILLION!
I used to see protesters holding signs that said, "The End is Near!" and I thought they were crazy. Well, the US education system is a complete failure, and the US health care system is a complete failure. The stimulus plan was a complete failure. People are still losing their jobs, their homes, and their families because of this economic crisis. What is most disturbing, is the fact that our country is still in a state of freefall with no end in sight.
Empires rise and empires fall throughout history, and our country is still very young in comparison to others. I think I have to agree with the protesters, because it looks like the "End is Near" and it is happening faster than I ever imagined.
-- Gary Wright II