Did I Mention We Are Out of Money?

Or if you prefer, the people and institutions who seize our income under threat of imprisonment and incur debts in our name are experiencing a combination shame-spiral (if they could indeed feel shame) and Day of Reckoning? Here are some recent headlines about the Continuing Crisis:

* South Carolina Agencies Could Run Out of Money

* [Charlton] County [Ga.]: "We're out of Money"

* Consultant: [Prepaid College Tuition Program] Will Run Out of Money in Five Years

* "As the year winds down to a close, we may be seeing our first round of municipal defaults as local governments simply run out of money"

* "New York is out of money"

* Report: Philadelphia, New York, Chicago and Boston Top List of Cash-Starved [Pension] Plans

* Rising Public Sector Pension Costs Threaten To Swamp [New York] State, Local Finances & Stick Taxpayers With The Bill

* Outrageous Public-Employee Pension Obligations Kill [New York City]'s Ability to Provide Vital Services

* Vote Leaves NYC OTB Out of Money

As we have reminded people again and again, Empty Budget Syndrome is not due to lower revenues, but to relentless increases in spending. The people who work in or otherwise favor government have made the stuff too expensive without producing noticeable improvements in performance. Which means, especially in blue states, that the ultimate destination for this battle will be within the Democratic Party itself. When you already run everything, and you're somehow still out of money for all the governmenting you seek, blaming Republicans is not going to get the budget balanced or the debt service lowered.

For previous out-of-money headlines, start here.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I smell another Morning Linksless day.

    Democrat vs. Democrat on public spending issues. So many hands wringing at once will be deafening.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Oh, they snuck the Links in there just to make me look foolish. I DON'T NEED YOU TO MAKE ME LOOK FOOLISH.

  • Restoras||

    Trickssseeee editors!

  • Timothy Geithner||

    "Hello? Bureau of Engraving? Ummm...how quickly can you replace printing $1 notes with $100 notes?"

  • Mike Laursen||

    That's the solution I fear the most: that the Federal government will start handing out regular subsidies to state general budgets.

  • Democrat||

    Empty Budget Syndrome is not due to lower revenues, but to relentless increases in spending.

    That's not what I learned on MSNBC. One of you is wrong.

  • ||

    http://www.latimes.com/news/lo.....0204.story

    The little people are going to have to just pay more I guess.

  • Almanian||

    Yeah buddy!

  • Restoras||

    Let's face it - everyone is going to surrender their life savings to the government one way or another. There is no other way out of this.

  • ||

    Guillotines.

  • Almanian||

    As we have reminded people again and again, Empty Budget Syndrome is not due to lower revenues, but to relentless increases in spending.

    So, Matt, in summary, you're saying that the issue is we're not taxing The American People™ enough - that revenues are insufficient to meet the Needs of the People®.

    So government at all levels needs to increase revenue - that's the gist of this, right?

    No? OK lemme try this again...

  • Team Blue||

    Did I Mention We Are Out of Money?

    Ok, but I'm not sure I get your point...

  • ||

    Everyone else has mentioned it, this is the first we've heard it from you, however.

  • Virginia||

    Jerry Brown finally accepts reality.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/lo.....5210.story

    State Treasurer Lockyer concurs:

    "So far, I've heard good ideas about how to spend more money. Great. It ain't there. It's time to make cuts, I believe deep cuts. I'd do the 25% across the board and just say those who wanted less government, you're going to get your wish. In other communities that are willing to put something on the ballot to make up that difference, they're going to have a higher service level."

    Put tax hikes to a state-wide vote and watch them fail. Then beg a new Congress for more "state stabilization" freebies. Will California's public sector riot like the Greeks? I hope so.

  • Brett L||

    "It's gonna be like the Lakers won the title!"

  • ||

    I am hoping for mass exappropriation of Hollywood's stuff.

    Here we have Scarlett Johansson's ass - what can I get for Ms. Johansson's ass? Hardy used, or so they tell me.

  • Ryan Reynolds||

    Don't believe everything you hear...

  • ||

    Funniest comment I've seen all day.

  • ||

    I'd do the 25% across the board and just say those who wanted less government, you're going to get your wish.

    The across-the-board cut is the Fail Approach to cutting state budgets. What you need to do is eliminate entire programs/departments/agencies.

    The Fail Approach is put forward by people who don't really want to cut budgets in the long run. They just want to create political turmoil by pretending all government programs are equally valuable, and use the cuts to the good ones to discredit the cuts to the bad ones.

  • Almanian||

    *sigh*

    RC, you know darn well that there are no government programs or "services" that are unnecessary!! Pretending it is otherwise is just silly.

    I love all my children government programs equally and with all my heart....

  • robc||

    Priority based budgeting.

    Let the state legislature (or congress) put as much spending as they want in the budget, but they have to put a priority number next to each item. You start funding at #1 and continue in order. When the money runs out, stop spending.

    CA could thus cut 25% and we would see if the programs cut really cause any angst. Well, it would it a small group of people, which is why they want to go across the board instead.

  • Rich||

    When the money runs out, stop spending.

    Ah, yes, there's the rub. But not too bad in principle.

  • ||

    I think Oregon does something like this with their state-funded medical services. Childhood immunizations near the top, if I recall.

  • Invisible Finger||

    What you need to do is eliminate entire programs/departments/agencies.

    Absolutely 100% FUCKIN-A right.

  • ||

    Agreed. If your salary/income got cut by x% you would not uniformly cut all items in your budget by x% each. You'd decide what expenses have to stay, what can be reduced, and what can be eliminated.

  • Weimar Germany||

    You can borrow the wheelbarrows we used to transport the cash necessary to buy a loaf of bread.

  • ||

    We can only pay you in pretty pieces of paper that have portraits of dead presidents on them...

  • Article 1, Section 10||

    "no State shall make any Thing but gold and silver coin legal tender in payment of debt".
    How much longer will you ignore me?

  • ||

    This morning, on CNBC, there was a discussion about the tax deal; A R Sorkin and the Senior Fed Apologist were chanting, in unison, "but how are we going to PAY FOR ALL THESE TAX CUTS?"

    I kept waiting for somebody to ask them which taxes are actually being "cut"; nobody did.

  • Wreckin'||

    Governments will reconstruct the fables before they reckon anything.

  • Restoras||

    +1

  • robc||

    REM's first tv appearance

    And yes, it matches the alt text.

  • robc||

    SFed the link, lets try again

  • robc||

    Dammit and wrong link. Try three

  • Matt Welch||

    Both are awesome, though I prefer the nervy energy of RFE. Really were a pretty good band there for a while.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Their first four albums are great. As a bassist, I always loved playing Can't Get There From Here along with Driver 8 and RFE.

  • Matt Welch||

    I learned myself guitar on Murmur and Fables. Which is maybe why my bar chords suck.

  • Restoras||

    Two words:

    Jimmy. Page.

  • Matt Welch||

    That's a bit like learning piano by listening to Rachmaninoff.

  • robc||

    Sure, I prefer RFE too, but it wasnt the song you referenced in the alt text. Was trying to be accurate more than entertaining.

  • ||

    In Wisconsin, the Democrats lost the governorship, the House, and the Senate. They quickly rushed through some new contracts for state employees, hoping to avoid more severe cuts promised by Republicans. They sprung a sympathetic independent from jail (for his fourth driving while impaired) for a day to vote, passing them in the House by one vote. But then the Democrats own (defeated in 2010) Senate Majority Leader voted against the bills, along with another defeated senator, killing the bill. The Democrats and state employees unions are pissed.

  • ||

    Wow! I applaud Decker for his principles.

  • ||

    When you already run everything, and you're somehow still out of money for all the governmenting you seek, blaming Republicans is not going to get the budget balanced or the debt service lowered.


    However, blaming libertarians is still an option.

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Video Game Nation: How gaming is making America freer – and more fun.
  • Matt Welch: How the left turned against free speech.
  • Nothing Left to Cut? Congress can’t live within their means.
  • And much more.

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement