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Paul Volcker, Richard Ravitch Say State Budget Crisis Threatens 'Social Order'

 
Cybermerc
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User ID: 1254056
United States
07/17/2012 02:29 PM
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Paul Volcker, Richard Ravitch Say State Budget Crisis Threatens 'Social Order'
[link to www.huffingtonpost.com]

State finances are teetering with $4 trillion in unfunded liabilities to cover pensions and health care for state workers, along with revenue shortfalls, antiquated financial practices and skyrocketing Medicaid costs, according to a report released Tuesday.

The State Budget Crisis Task Force -- organized by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch (D) -- is the first complete study of the state finances conducted without the involvement of state government groups. Volcker and Ravitch concluded that the dire financial portrait may lead to major cuts for social services, causing a cascade of further problems for state and local governments nationwide.

"The thing that worries me is the threats to the social order," Ravitch told The Huffington Post, noting that "cultural and social bankruptcy precede financial bankruptcy." "You can't cut human services and cut the ability of government to take care of the people."

State governments have been borrowing to pay for operating expenses in order to comply with state constitutional mandates for balanced budgets, the report said. Those loans and the practice of shifting spending between budget categories make balanced budgets "illusory," the report said. In addition, Volcker and Ravitch noted that "one-shot" financial measures are common in state governments, including those that pile up debt for the future. State revenue projections also can be wrong, because of weak planning, lack of transparency and miscalculation, the report said.

Volcker and Ravitch said that unfunded state government pension obligations could total as much as $3 trillion, triple the $1 trillion estimate produced by the states. This is in addition to the $1 trillion in unfunded health care obligations for retired state employees. The report also notes the rising Medicaid costs, a common refrain from governors and state legislators nationally.
 Quoting: [link to www.huffingtonpost.com]

"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
- James Madison

“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
- Marine Gen. James Mattis
Cybermerc (OP)

User ID: 1254056
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07/17/2012 02:31 PM
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Re: Paul Volcker, Richard Ravitch Say State Budget Crisis Threatens 'Social Order'
Yet something else those in charge will just put into a can and start kicking.

The house of cards they have built upon a shaky card table is about to come crashing down. It won't be pretty when it does.
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
- James Madison

“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
- Marine Gen. James Mattis
Cybermerc (OP)

User ID: 1254056
United States
07/17/2012 02:42 PM
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Re: Paul Volcker, Richard Ravitch Say State Budget Crisis Threatens 'Social Order'
bump
"If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy."
- James Madison

“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.”
- Marine Gen. James Mattis

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