Saturday, July 4, 2009

"States set to ring in Independence Day sans budget," By Andrew Welsh-Huggins, Associated Press, July 3, 2009

"Several states are facing the prospect of government shutdowns and program cuts as they enter the first weekend of the fiscal year and July Fourth holiday without a budget in place.

'This downturn, even more so than previous downturns, really is affecting every state right now,' said Brian Sigritz, a staff associate with the National Association of State Budget Officers.

'Numerous things look worse than some past recessions,' said Bert Waisanen, a fiscal analyst with the Denver-based National Conference of State Legislatures. 'The housing market is worse. Industrial production is worse. Wages are nearly worse.'

'The sputtering economy has created an across-the-board drop in tax collections. Taxes ranging from sales to personal income to property are all down,' Sigritz said."


Blog Comment: Highway maintenance is the Achilles's heel for modern society. Without expensive and energy intensive maintenance, the highways will fail from bridge collapes, washouts from a lack of culvert maintenance, and land slides. The power grid depends on the highways for replacements of huge transformers and pylons. Each winter, ice storms damage the power grid, and thousands of power company crews on trucks repair the damage. State governments maintain the highways. The Peak Oil economic depression is just beginning to cut into state revenues. As unemployment increases, states will have less revenues from sales and income taxes. As oil supplies dwindle, the price of diesel and highway maintenance will increase. Eventually states will not have enough resources to subsidize home heating and highway maintenance. Without the highways and power grid, virtually nothing will come in from "the outside." The federal government will try come to the rescue, but 70% of federal revenues come from individual income taxes.


Rice Farmer said...

Your comment is absolutely correct. In fact, the shutdown of highway rest stops has already begun.

And the mowing of median strips and shoulders is being cut back.

This is just the beginning.

Clifford J. Wirth, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, University of New Hampshire said...