KEEP THE PRINTING PRESSES RUNNING !! another trillion ? why not !Submitted by sentinel on Fri, 01/02/2009 - 23:17
A group of Democratic governors warned Friday that without as much as $1 trillion in federal assistance, many states will not be able to pay their bills in the next year.
“There are states that are talking as California has of not being able to meet their financial obligations in the coming months,” New York Democratic Gov. David Paterson said on a conference call with reporters. California announced in December that all state employees would be forced to take two days of unpaid leave.
Paterson was joined by fellow Democrats, New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland and Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle in warning that states across the country will be forced to make drastic budget cuts in the face of unprecedented deficits.
“We are not crying wolf. This is one of the worst situations our states have faced,” Strickland said. “This is a real crisis. These are real problems. And if we don’t get some significant assistance many of those in our states will suffer greatly.”
Strickland added that the situation facing the state of Ohio is so dire that in order to balance his state’s budget, he would have to fund every state program at 75 percent of its current level. “If I were simply to flat fund the operations of this government, I’d end up with $7.3 billion in deficit,” he said. “We’re just trying to keep afloat.”
In order to make up for the shortfalls, Corzine said the incoming Obama administration and Congress will need to free up $1 trillion in federal spending for state assistance. “We’re all going to be Herbert Hoovers if we’re not careful here,” he said.
The $1 trillion the governors are seeking would be spent to prevent cuts in social services and education, as well as “shovel ready” infrastructure projects that could begin with 18 months. The group has presented its plan to the transition team and congressional leaders. The New Jersey governor said both have been receptive to the idea.
“There is a need for the federal government to step in to bolster the social safety net,” Patrick said. “We’re really talking about a bridge from where we are and where we think the economy will be in two years.”