Rick Newman on U. S. News & World Report.com has looked at the funding “crunch” across the fifty states and devised what he calls the “Pain Index.”
The recession might technically be over, but the funding crunch in state and local governments could actually get worse. The stimulus act passed in 2009 sent about $250 billion to states, to help offset a plunge in tax revenues, which is how most states fund schools, roads, Medicaid, welfare, and many local services. Even with that federal aid, states have had to cut spending by nearly $50 billion, and raise taxes by another $30 billion or so. The combined effect of higher taxes and fewer services directly affects Americans’ quality of life—and it could get worse as stimulus spending starts to run out and the federal government begins to deal with its own mismatch between spending and revenue.
Using data provided by the National Association of State Budget Officers, Newman devised his “index” by combining tax increases and spending cuts enacted in each state since 2009. According to his measurement the Commonwealth of Massachusetts ranks #40 out of the 50 states on the “pain index.” Alaska ranks #1. See the full list and story here.
|Massachusetts:||$135 in new taxes||/ -$150 in spending cuts||with the pain per person at: -$15|
The “quality of life” issue has long been a frontline consideration in Massachusetts. What’s your view of Newman’s analysis? Is our “quality of life” in danger in Massachusetts – or – not so much?