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alstry (35.41)

States suffocating cities?????

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December 18, 2008 – Comments (4)

As money keeps evaporating expect to read more stories like this in the WSJ.....

The worst budget crisis in decades is forcing states to cut funding to cash-strapped cities, which already are slashing police, firefighters and other services.

Cities have limited options when presented with state cuts, but some are fighting back. Last month, the League of Arizona Cities and Towns sued the state over its demand for city funds. A group of California redevelopment agencies sued their state to block it from conducting a "raid" of $350 million in local redevelopment funds.

In Mesa, Ariz., the police academy won't have a graduating class next year, says Mayor Scott Smith, because the force is cutting positions. Libraries have cut their hours and swim programs will be limited to six of the city's 11 public pools next summer. Mesa gets most of its revenue from local sales taxes, and about one-third of the city budget comes from money distributed by the state, according to Mr. Smith. "For the first time our cuts are across the board and affect all departments, including public safety," he said.

For the first time........for the first time........for the first time...........

You may soon get tired of hearing those words when it relates to the economy.  The problem is much bigger than Obama's  tiny $1 trillion dollar stimulous plan.

Think about it....every state, and every county, and every county is running  out of money.  You can add up the numbers for yourself.....when  you  do.......you will  get it.

A very interesting scenario is unfolding right  before  our eyes.

4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 18, 2008 at 7:20 AM, LouieJunior (23.28) wrote:

So, you think government should grow when the economy is contracting?

What's unfolding before our eyes is this... a nutural economic cycle -- one that's been made worse from government sponsored leverage.

All the bailouts and government stimuli are going to do is postpone an even bigger crash.

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#2) On December 18, 2008 at 8:37 AM, djemonk (< 20) wrote:

This is what happens during a deep recession.  Not sure why this is so stunning.

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#3) On December 18, 2008 at 8:49 AM, Gemini846 (48.76) wrote:

The issue he is saying is that some of these cities have managed thier money wiser than others and because they are in some scheme where the state collects all the taxes and then pays them back to cities/counties (thats how it works in FL too) when the state invested that money in risky real estate investments that tanked the cities lost thier money dispite having no control over it.

There needs to generally be more control in the hands of local governments.

Federal Programs should include things like national defense and interstate highways.

State programs should include things like healthcare, state roads, envronmental decisions that affect the entire state.

 Local Programs should include development decisions, school decisions, fire/water decisions, parks, zoning et.

In short the greater chance of stepping on someone's toes the closer to the vest the politicians should be. The problem is that people are comming out and trying to assert thier influence over a larger group of people. The bigger the group the greater the number of dissenters. Things like Federal Abortion laws, federal income taxes, marriage laws et step on those constitutional rights that should be handled at a state or lower level.

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#4) On December 18, 2008 at 6:16 PM, Mary953 (76.01) wrote:

Well said, Gemini.  We have a Governor at the moment that I particularly like.

As a mayor, he built programs and buildings like mad. He brought in businesses to his city. He brought in an NFL team as one rather large venture.  It turned out to be (hindsight) exactly what the city needed.

As governor, the state did not need that type of building program and he turned his attention to strengthening everything from education to prison systems.  The man has done an incredible job at tackling the type of work that needed work at the state level - and he has left city/county level problems to the local governments.  By term limits, we will lose him soon which is a shame.  I would vote for him again (and no, he is not affiliated with the party that usually would garner my votes).  He is an excellent example of a politician that "gets it" where the issue of handling programs at the proper level is concerned.

If it makes a difference, he is not a career politician.  Before running for mayor, he owned a large successful business that he had built from the ground up.  Perhaps that is the appropriate background to seek in an executive.  Someone who has learned to make things work properly in the private sector.

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