Fortunately for the states, revenue for fiscal 2020 (which ended in June for most states) was significantly better than expected. Our analysis of the census data and state tax surveys found that revenue was about 2 percent lower than predicted by states prior to the pandemic, bringing the total deficit to about $ 22 billion. That's much lower than it seemed likely earlier this year, when unemployment rates rose very rapidly and leading economic forecasters predicted rates would hit the levels of the depression. It's also much less than the historical ratio of unemployment to government revenue, mainly because this recession has focused on lower-income workers (who pay less taxes) and because state aids such as expanded unemployment benefits increased workers' incomes and purchasing power in the first Months of the pandemic.
However, much of that federal aid has now expired or is being spent, and states are still seeing significantly lower revenues as unemployment is high and business activity is still in decline. In the last few months the states have become somewhat more optimistic about the current financial year, but remain pessimistic about the next year. The states' adjusted estimates suggest that in the absence of further federal support, deficits will amount to around 11 percent of their budget in fiscal 2021 and 10 percent in 2022, which in most states begins next July. Additionally, the cost of states has increased due to higher enrollment in Medicaid and other programs. Including these higher costs, states' estimates put deficits through fiscal 2022 at around $ 305 billion.
These estimates could easily prove too optimistic. (…)
Three more articles worth reading
Caught in the wrong dilemma: why distributional conflicts and not collective action characterize climate change politics, BY Michaël Aklin and Matto Mildenberger. “Climate policy is generally modeled as a global collective action problem structured by concerns about freeriding. Based on quantitative data, archival work and elite interviews, we review the empirical support for this model and find that the evidence to support its claims is weak relative to the ubiquitous influence of the theory. Firstly, we note that the strongest collective claims to action in many important climate policy cases appear empirically unfounded. "
Climate literacy is essential for effective changeby Sarah Lazarovic. We need to make it easier to understand basic climate science and emissions reductions.
COVID-19 is killing my people – and nobody seems to careby Carlos Sanchez. It almost killed the author. A story of criminal neglect and mass death in South Texas.
“We're just an advanced ape race on a small planet of a very average star. But we can understand the universe. That makes us very special. " ~~Stephen Hawking (1988)
TWEET OF THE DAY
For any family hit by Covid, wildfires, hurricanes, cancer, floods, election suppression … and still found a way to choose … I bow to your awesome.
– akmk (@akmk) October 30, 2020
BLAST FROM THE PAST
At Daily Kos that day in 2009– On the difficulty of keeping ducks in a row:
Why has it historically been so difficult to keep the House progressives strong and use the leverage of their electoral bloc to make concessions on key laws as Blue Dogs could?
One reason for this is that progressive elected officials occupy part of the political spectrum that generally isolates them from the greatest accountability to progressive voters. In other words, they are to some extent by the "where else are you going?" Protected. Factor.
It is for this reason that grassroots progressive activists expect their elected officials to ultimately, and in almost all cases, use the argument, "The best deal we can get", in support of their ultimate abandonment of principles that are clear in the earlier stages of the process were set.