A new study from George Mason University’s Mercatus Center confirms what many of us already knew:
Liberal “blue states” are fiscally irresponsible.
In fact, 11 of the 14 least fiscally solvent states are also on the list of the “dirty dozen” most liberal blue states. In descending order of fiscal irresponsibility, from 50th to 37th, here’s the list of fiscal shame:
#49 NEW JERSEY
#46 NEW YORK
#38 RHODE ISLAND
The 12th state in the “dirty dozen” list—Delaware—does not fare particularly well either, placing 30th out of the 50 states.
(In an article published at Breithbart on the 4th of July, I offered a definition of these “dirty dozen” to include those states that gave President Obama more than 56.2 percent of the vote in the 2012 Presidential election.)
The Mercatus Center report ranked the 50 states “based on their fiscal solvency in five separate categories:”
(1) Cash solvency. Does a state have enough cash on hand to cover its short-term bills?
(2) Budget solvency. Can a state cover its fiscal year spending with current revenues? Or does it have a budget shortfall?
(3) Long-run solvency. Can a state meet its long-term spending commitments? Will there be enough money to cushion it from economic shocks or other long-term fiscal risks?
(4) Service-level solvency. How much fiscal “slack” does a state have to increase spending should citizens demand more services?
(5) Trust fund solvency. How much debt does a state have? How large are its unfunded pension and health care liabilities?
The Mercatus Center report supports an assertion I made in that earlier article:
One hundred and fifty years after the end of the Civil War, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are two Americas—one [consisting of the “Great 38 States” in flyover country which President Obama either lost or obtained less than 56.2 percent of the vote in the 2012 Presidential election] where the principles of constitutionally limited government and individual liberty are still revered, the other [those “dirty dozen” liberal blue states] where statism and the trampling of individual rights are on the rise.
The “dirty dozen” liberal blue states are headed towards the sort of fiscal insolvency now unraveling the country of Greece, and their fiscal recklessness may well drag down the entire federal government as well. All the more reason for the rest of us in the “Great 38 States” to consider convening an Assembly of the States so that fiscally responsible states can assert their sovereign rights guaranteed by the 10th amendment. Those sovereign rights include the right not to be forced to pay for another state’s profligacy.