Sunday, January 2, 2011

Governments Are Not in Check

State Budgets: Day of Reckoning

Economists attempted to alert local governments in 2007 that the present condition of our economy would be comparable or worse than the Great Depression but no one was paying attention.  Illinois representatives note that "the precipitous drop in tax revenues exposed decades of reckless spending, unrealistic benefit packages, financial irresponsibility, and the use of political gimmicks to cover up government spending. New Jersey representatives state that the spending has caused a ripple effect due to benefit package problems not an income problem that won't be rectified for years." The lack of transparency of state disclosures is the worse that Wall Street Analyst Meredith Whitney has ever seen.  Information is only available from late 2007 prior to the financial downturn and she feels municipalities will be squeezed as states reduce funding but continue mandates. 

What it all boils down to is unrestrained spending that equates to job cuts and re-negotiating existing contracts which will only cause further loss of tax revenues.  You can't spend what you aren't earning.  And in my opinion, the cushy benefits packages aren't being given to the middle or working class bread winner but the big hit is high paid officials who weren't fiscally responsible with our money to begin with.  The Government's Golden Parachute so to speak.

Locally, over the past year and a half, audits have exposed departments and contracted agencies that are not being managed in a way to protect tax dollars. And where is Ulster County beginning the new year?  Seems that with the exception of their annual meeting, the legislative calendar is pretty clear...............?????

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