Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Pending Train Wreck: Trump’s Budget and Healthcare Cuts on Top of Widespread State Fiscal Crises | janresseger

Pending Train Wreck: Trump’s Budget and Healthcare Cuts on Top of Widespread State Fiscal Crises | janresseger:

Pending Train Wreck: Trump’s Budget and Healthcare Cuts on Top of Widespread State Fiscal Crises

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What’s been happening in our statehouses over the past few weeks may help us picture the train wreck that looms if President Trump’s proposed budget, and/or the repeal-and-replace or total repeal of the Affordable Care Act should be enacted by Congress. We were warned several weeks ago in a report from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that these proposals being considered by Congress make outlandish assumptions about the fiscal capacity of state governments. But only in the past couple of weeks, during rancorous state budget debates that preceded the end of Fiscal Year 2017, have the ugly details about the condition of state budgets been explored in detail by the press.
Thirty years ago Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform began demanding that state legislators and members of Congress sign his pledge never to raise taxes. Wikipedia explains: “Prior to the November 2012 election, the pledge was signed by 95% of all Republican members of Congress and all but one of the candidates running for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination.”  In the past month, however, state legislators have been begun to break their promise to Grover Norquist as despairing constituents have demanded tax increases to preserve essential services and protect their state economies.
Here is the warning from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities about the danger of Trump’s and Congress’s assumption that states can absorb the impact of massive tax slashing by the federal government: “The reality… is that states lack the wherewithal to replace the magnitude of funds they would lose under the budget. States operate under balanced budget requirements, and most states are already struggling to balance their current budgets, even before any federal cost shifts. Recent state revenue growth has been weaker than expected, leaving 28 states with budget shortfalls this fiscal year… Most of these states have responded by cutting services, using reserves, and taking other steps to balance their budgets…. More Pending Train Wreck: Trump’s Budget and Healthcare Cuts on Top of Widespread State Fiscal Crises | janresseger:


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