Opinion

Too many states cannot be trusted

(Screengrab: YouTube/NBC News)

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Too many states are now looking at the federal government as their “honey pot” savior after years of fiscally disastrous decisions and too much spending.

This is another unwelcome offshoot of the Chinavirus, with the states demanding bailouts by the feds for what the states say is a reimbursement for expenses connected to the virus. Some local governments have joined the “blue state bailout” crowd as well. The states have already received $150 billion from Congress, which served only to whet their appetite for more– the states consider this money to be merely an appetizer before the main course. They want the federal handouts to rectify their own past mistakes, and to pay for deficits or shortfalls in their own budgets that have no relation to the Chinavirus pandemic.

What’s really disgusting are those state leaders, and there are several of them, who are using the Chinavirus sufferings as an excuse to request money for fiscal problems that plagued these states before the pandemic outbreak. These are mostly states run by Democratic machines and their public union allies.

Too many states “have spent lavishly, borrowed excessively and ignored looming pension debt” and now they want taxpayers from other states to pay down their deficits, warned Americans for Prosperity.  The states have requested north of $500 billion in more federal money to shore up declining state revenues and to bail out underfunded pension plans. If they receive this money, you can safely bet they will demand more.

Illinois has asked Congress for $41 billion for itself alone “for gaps in the state’s pension system”, and New York’s Mayor de Blasio wants $7.6 billion for New York City. In January, New York state’s Gov. Cuomo was already in trouble, facing an $8.5 billion budget deficit prior to the pandemic, in spite of a strong economy. The New Jersey governor wants “direct aid” to “keep government workers from being laid off”, among other wish-list demands. Illinois, perhaps the most recklessly extravagant, has a $137 billion unfunded pension liability, and growing. Of course, one rarely hears about these governors and mayors advocating decreasing government entitlements or raising the money from their own citizens. No, they want other people’s money to be handed over to them, money they have not earned.

Well, how about raising their own funds from within their own states? 

Some unprepared states have been mismanaged for decades, have no rainy-day funds, and have borrowed to the hilt, with debt in some instances equaling two or three times their annual revenues. Some states that have already taken federal money have used it to give raises or one-time bonuses to public sector workers, as opposed to private citizens who have lost paychecks.

President Trump is right to call the actions and motives of these states into question, and to say “GET LOST” to states that really want money to bail them out of their long-standing fiscal failures. They have spent their prosperity and now they want others to pay the tab.

As the Wall Street Journal has stated, American taxpayers should not be on the hook for paying off the excesses of profligate leftist politicians who have given away the store and taxed their citizens to the breaking point so they could take power and keep it: “If states want more money, they need to show it won’t merely go to sustain unaccountable one-party political machines”.

John R. Smith

John R. Smith is chairman of BIZPAC, the Business Political Action Committee of Palm Beach County, and owner of a financial services company. He is a frequent columnist for BizPac Review.
John R. Smith

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