A few days ago, I pointed out that the economic threat to America was far more important than whether a new SCOTUS judge was to be appointed. That applies as much to the fifty states making up our union as it does to the nation as a whole.
The latest annual “State of the States” survey bears this out.
At the end of the fiscal year (FY) 2019, 39 states did not have enough money to pay all of their bills. This means that to balance the budget—as is required by law in 49 states—elected officials have not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations and have pushed costs onto future taxpayers. TIA divides the amount of money needed to pay bills by the number of state taxpayers to come up with the Taxpayer Burden™. If a state has money available after all bills are considered, that surplus amount is likewise divided by the number of taxpayers to come up with the Taxpayer Surplus™. We then rank the states based on these calculations.
We have also implemented a grading system to give greater context to each state’s Taxpayer Burden or Taxpayer Surplus. Based on our grading methodology, three states received A’s, eight received B’s, 14 received C’s, 17 received D’s, and eight states received failing grades.
States in general do not have enough money to pay all of their bills. The total debt of the 50 states amounts to $1.4 trillion. Our analysis does not include debt related to capital assets. Most of this debt comes from unfunded retirement benefit promises, such as pension and retiree healthcare liabilities. This year, pension debt accounts for $855 billion, and other post-employment benefits (OPEB) totaled $617 billion. Furthermore, we have estimated that the 50 states could lose $397 billion in revenue as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
. . .
States that lack the necessary funds to pay their bills are called Sinkhole States, while those that do have enough money are referred to as Sunshine States.
Top 5 Sunshine States (taxpayer surplus):
1. Alaska: $77,400
2. North Dakota: $37,700
3. Wyoming: $19,600
4. Utah: $5,500
5. Tennessee: $3,400
Bottom 5 Sinkhole States (taxpayer burden):
50. New Jersey: -$57,900
49. Illinois: -$52,000
48. Connecticut: -$50,700
47. Hawaii: -$31,700
46. Massachusetts: -$30,100
There’s much more at the link.
I suggest you click over to the full report and take a look at where your state stands in the financial rankings. I was unpleasantly surprised to note that Texas is in the lower half of the “pack”, among the “Sinkhole States” (34th out of 50, with a D grading, although it’s nowhere near as “broke” as some).