“those halcyon days are over” Are ‘lawmakers’ high? : U.S. Federal, State & Local government Shenanigans, November 2016

Incomplete list (there’s just too much government BS to be able to keep up with all of it) of U.S. Federal/State/Local Government self-destruct announcements for November 2016:

Alabama: ‘Elected’ administrators are freaking out over skyrocketing taxpayer funded healthcare costs, so much so that they’re warning that current tax collections cannot support state Medicaid operations in the near future.  This is code for get ready for tax increases, and/or cuts in services.  Proof we’re in the Age of Trump, Birminigham gives TopGolf driving range $1.5-million USD in tax breaks! The high tech golf range uses balls with RFID chips! Yeah, their priorities are in the right place, NOT!

Alaska: The oil rich state is in a massive spending hole!  Local governments have been tightening their belts ever since the gov’na used his executive power to make $1.3-billion USD in  emergency spending cuts back in June. Now, the gov’na is asking those cities/counties he slashed to help him push deadlocked legislators to pass a new greatly reduced budget for 2017!

American Samoa: The tiny southern Pacific island territory approved a $280-million USD budget for fiscal 2017, $2-million more than expected.  It’s because they must match a $7-million airport improvement grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.  $1-million is being paid to “cabinet members and Governor’s staff”.

Arizona: The state’s Joint Legislative Budget Committee revealed that October’s tax colllections were $33-million USD more than what was expected.  However, the increase in tax collections was not the result of increased retail sales, it was the direct result of increased tax collections on what workers were paid.

Arkansas: There’s a battle on for the taxpayer funded state budget; the gov’na wants $50-million USD in tax cuts and huge cuts in spending.

California: The state’s Legislative Analyst Office (LAO) is predicting an incredible $2.8-billion USD surplus for the taxpayer funded government! The overly optimistic prediction is based on an extension of a ‘temporary’ tax increase on wealthy people.  However, data shows that even with the tax increase on the rich, tax collections for just the month of October were $381-million short of what was expected!  

Colorado:  State leaders must be high on that legalized mary-jane!  The Department of Transportation is getting only $1.4-billion USD to cover $9-billion worth of road construction projects!   And The Denver Post describes the state budget process as a “shell game” that’s a “necessary evil”!

Connecticut: Local news media reporting frantic taxpayer budget proposal debates.  Reports say spending cuts for the state’s fiscal year 2018 could be twice as drastic as they were for this current 2017 fiscal year.  Even with spending cuts for 2017 the state government will end up in the hole by $1.45-billion USD, because of reduced tax colllections and ‘fixed costs’ to taxpayers skyrocketing by 53%!   They did not go into details of what’s causing the 53% increase in costs, but local news reports said that ‘lawmakers’ admited that in  economic boom times (with high tax collections as a result) they actually work to keep from spending money on necessary infrastructure so they can fund their own pet projects: “During the boom years, those problems were papered over and largely hidden because tax collections were flooding the state coffers and producing surpluses. But those halcyon days are over, legislators said.”Hartford Courant

Delaware: State agencies are demanding increased taxpayer funding.  State Medicaid administrators are warning that if the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) dies then state taxpayers will need to cough-up $100-million USD to cover the federal money that will be lost, in other words, Delaware’s expansion of Medicaid (as well as the other states who met Obamacare’s expansion demands) under ObamaCare is 100% funded by federal taxpayers. 

Florida: ‘Elected’ state administrators are warning that The Sunshine State’s economy is slowing down, and don’t blame Trump, blame Canada!  Budget proposals are factoring in increased costs of operations, especiallly in healthcare and education, and reduced tourism tax collections.  There’s been a huge decline in tourists from the British empire country of Canada, and two reasons for that is fear of zika virus and the crashing value of the Canadian dollar (CAD).  According to the Office of Economic and Demographic Research there were almost half-a-million fewer tourists from Cananda this year than in 2015, and the decline is expected to contiunue in 2017.

Georgia: “The state’s current minimum wage, $5.15 an hour, leaves Georgia in the company of only a handful of other states with minimum wages below the federal minimum hourly wage floor of $7.25….     ….300,000 of our neighbors and fellow Georgians still remain in the health insurance coverage gap and are unable to see a doctor….That number includes at least 32,000 veterans….”Georgia Budget & Policy Institute  

Guam: The Guam Solid Waste Authority is questioning the federal court apointed receiver of the territory’s troubled trash collections ops.  Gershman, Brickner & Bratton (GBB) submitted a report which showed it was 33% over budget for items that are vaguely described.    Guam Solid Waste Authority is demanding a better explanation of where the taxpayer funding went.  This comes as a referendum to re-unify Northern Marianas Islands with Guam could be held in 2018.

Hawaii: The city of Honolulu massively jacked up property taxes, one apartment complex owner says she’s now getting the hell outta Dodge: “We got very surprised, shocked actually, when our tax bill went up to $4-thousand a year versus about $7-hundred a year!”– Karen Okazaki, condo owner

Idaho: The ‘christian’ republican decision to shutdown horse racing establishments is also resulting in the eventual shutdown of the state Horse Racing Commission which is funded primarily by the horse racing industry, not taxes.  Currently the Horse Racing Commission does not have enough money to pay the vetrenarians needed to inspect the remaining nine state approved horse racing facilities!  It’s been revealed that the State Treasurer was repremanded by the federal government for violating Securities and Exchange Commission rules.  The repremand happened almost four months ago, but only now is the Treasurer letting the taxpayers of Idaho know about it!  It was also revealed that The Gem State’s Credit Rating Enhancement Committee (which is supposed to meet yearly) hasn’t met for the past six years!

Illinois: Rock Island County warning of layoffs after cash strapped taxpayers voted down a proposed half cent sales tax, between 35 and 80 taxpayer funded jobs will be eliminated.  Public bus service contractor Connect Transit will shutdown because the failed state of Illinois hasn’t been paying them, at least 150 jobs gone by January 2017, and 8-thousand bus riders stranded!  Connect Transit says the state owes them $5-million USD.

Indiana: State ‘lawmakers’ warning that there is little or no taxpayer funding to expand pre-K education programs.  This ‘pre-K’ thing is a little confusing, there’s already something called HeadStart that takes place before Kindergarten, and when will this early education thing end?  When they start pre-natal education programs for fetuses yet to be developed?

Iowa: The Secretary of State is threatening to shutdown the expensive electronic voting system if he doesn’t get additonal taxpayer funding.  Why bother, aren’t the elections rigged anyway?

Kansas: By the end of November the state budget was described as being in a $290-million hole, due to three years of already proven to be a failure ‘trickle down economics’.

Kentucky: State ‘elected’ leaders failed at trying to save money by cutting education funding as teachers are now suing the state for underfunding retirment plans.

Louisiana: State leaders warning of massive cutbacks as the fiscal 2016 budget came up short by at least $313-million due to crashing tax collections.

Maine: The state Finance Commissioner continues to claim that tax revenues continue to exceed expectations, and that doesn’t include revenues from projected tax increases or legalization of marijuana.  So far there’s been no detailed explanation for the better than expect tax collections.

Maryland: State leaders are trying to come up with a new budget that’s already $800-million short of taxpayer funding.

Massachusetts: ‘Elected’ leaders gave their staff employees a raise totaling $1.3-million, despite the state budget being short by at least $294-million!

Michigan: It’s already been revealed that the record level budget includes taxpayer funding to people and organizations never heard of before: “Deep in the new budget that started Oct. 1 are $10 million in grants to recipients identified only with general descriptions and the population of their unnamed community.”Detroit Free Press

Minnesota: The state Department of Natural Resources shutting down the 40 years old French River Hatchery, saying they can’t justify skyrocketing costs of operations. Despite reports of better than expected tax collections, state universities are complaining of massive funding shortfalls due to “rising costs, coupled with declining enrollment and state investment”.

Mississippi: The gov’na is warning of massive cuts to the fiscal 2018 budget due to lower than expected tax collections, which the gov’na blames on the federal budget inaction and on recent state tax cuts.

Missouri: The new gov’na elect warned of massive budget cuts due to lower than expected tax collections, and “explosive growth” in Medicaid funding to the tune of $550-million just to maintain the healthcare program.

Montana: ‘Elected’ leaders say creating a new budget is the number one priority, and it could include new taxes on marijuana and vapes, as well as jack up taxes on booze and tobacco.

Nebraska:  ‘Elected’ officials are trying to figure out how to deal with a $900-million shortfall!

Nevada:  Voters approved new gun purchase background checks and legalizing marijuana, as reports of crashing sales tax revenues came in.

New Hampshire: State agencies are demanding a total of $12.6-billion over the next two years.

New Jersey: To save their budgetary ass ‘elected’ officials reinstated a 40 years old tax law forcing New Jersey residents who work in another state with a lower tax rate to pay higher New Jersey income tax.  

New Mexico:  The gov’na’s office and the Legislative Finance Committee disagree over how much money the state actually has.  The gov’na claims there is a small surplus, but the Committee says the state is in the hole by $100-million.  That’s a major difference, and is proof your exalted officials don’t know what’s going on with your money.

New York: The state of New Jersey is criticising The Empire State’s gov’na for reducing taxpayer funding on New York’s portion of a new joint Port Authority Bus Terminal. Gov’na Cumo is instead shifting that funding to Kennedy International Airport.  The mayor of NYC wants an increase in taxpayer spending, most of that will go to ‘security’, caused partly by skyrocketing incareration rates at infamous Rikers Island concentration camp. The city of Troy warning that 90 employees will be laid off due to not being able to raise taxes in 2017.  Failed tax increase proposals ranged from 9% to a crippling 22.95%!  Onondaga County laying off 11 employees and offering more than 2-hundred employees bribes (buyouts) to get them to quit! News reports say the county is willing to spend $2-million tax dollars to buyout employees!  One ‘elected’ county administrator already took a $10-thousand buyout to ‘retire’ early! County administrators say the layoffs and buyouts are necessary because they don’t see any future improvement in tax collections, and costs of operations are only going to go up.

North Carolina: Evil politicians spent a record $22-million on getting your vote, and investigators discovered that “As of Nov. 7, at least $2.3 million in outside spending reported to the N.C. State Board of Elections lacks information on targeted candidates…..”

North Dakota: Want to bring down the government machine? Just hold never ending protests.  Local news reports say the Standing Rock protests “…have created an unprecedented burden for the state’s court system, which faces huge cost overruns and doesn’t have enough judges, lawyers and clerks to handle the workload.”

Northern Marianas Islands:  The U.S. Pacific commonwealth passed a publicly undisclosed budget with amendments to explain why government employees got bonuses and a 5% pay raise ( refered to as “salary adjustments”).  This comes as a referendum to re-unify Northern Marianas Islands with Guam could be held in 2018.

Ohio:  The gov’na warning that taxpayer spending cuts will continue into the new year due to never ending crashing-n-burning tax collections.  Tax collections for October came in $88-million short of what was expected!

Oklahoma: Department of Public Safety announced work hour reductions for state police personnel, and reduction in use of cop cars and aircraft, due to October tax collections comeing in 10% short of what was expected!

Oregon: The near-socialist state government is short $1.7-billion and the gov’na wants to create new taxes to cover the shortfall!

Pennsylvania: Irony as the state Department of Labor & Industry warned it will shutdown an unemployment call center, eliminating 6-hundred jobs in 2017! It’s blamed on ‘elected’ officials failing to provide funding for the call center, not because of any reduction in people applying for employment help, but because of reduced tax collections.

Puerto Rico: The federally created Financial Oversight and Management Board warned of massive cuts in taxpayer funding, by at least $70-million because “Additional federal assistance appears unlikely.”

Rhode Island: For some odd reason this tini-tiny state is claiming to have a $59-million budget surplus.  Administrators claim its due to agencies staying within their budgets and tax collections that were $45-million more than expected! 

South Carolina:  Administrators are warning of “hundreds” of state job cuts if $200-million in budget cuts are approved!

South Dakota: The gov’na warns of a “pretty lean” budget due to tax collections from July through October being $20-million lower than expected!

Tennessee:  Reports say state and counties are experiencing increased sales tax collections. However, local property tax collections and hotel/motel taxes are below expectations.

Texas: Taxpayer funding of various programs is being cut again, partly due to sales tax collections being less than expected.

Utah: State education leaders claim their schools will be flooded with more than 10-thousand new students next school year, requiring an additional $115-million in taxpayer funding!  State ‘lawmakers’ want to cash in on a supposed solar power boom by ending tax credits for the solar power/electric car industry.  One ‘lawmaker’ said he expects the state to make an extra $60-million by canceling ‘green industry’ tax credits!

U.S. Virgin Islands:  Since 2011 the tourist trap territory has been trying to reduce its taxpayer funded budget.  The federal Third Circut Court (in Pennsylvania) ruled that Virgin Islands must stop trying to cut its budget by renegging on promised pay for unionized employees: “The government is not entitled to impair its contracts at will. The Contracts Clause is not toothless.”-Circuit Judge Michael Fisher

Vermont: Economists are warning the new state legeslature of tough econmic times ahead, on top of the budget’s $70-million shortfall: “There’s tremendous uncertainty between what’s been said and what might actually happen, much more than usual.”-Tom Kavet, economist

Virginia: The state government is short $1.5-billion in taxpayer funding!  Despite this state and local police are demanding pay raises.

Washington: Voters rejected what would have become the country’s first carbon tax.  Local news media revealed the tax was just a backdoor way of raising $2-billion for the greedy and fiscally inept ‘elected’ officials.

Washington DC:  The capital city wants to cutback on taxpayer funding of homeless shelters.  They’ll do this under the guise of verifying if a homeless person is a legal resident of DC, the mayor admitted it’s because of “our very limited resources”.

West Virginia:  The gov’na warned he might have to impose budget cuts through exective order.   Public grade schools are facing $11-million in taxpayer funding cuts.

Wisconsin: More failure with Scott Walker’s Right to Work (you over) system as tax revenues are short by at least $461-million in current and projected collections, according to the new Department of Administration!

Wyoming: The gov’na’s budget proposal contains no ‘new’ spending cuts, but never mind that $317-million in cuts have already been ordered this year!

WARN=Worker Adjustment & Retraining Notification


U.S. Food Crisis October 2016: “…LEAN TIMES FURTHER DOWN THE ROAD.”