California the Golden State Turning Brown

July 2, 2009 at 4:00 am Leave a comment


ToastCalifornia is facing a significant cash crunch as the state attempts the narrowing of its $24 billion budget deficit. The crisis will come to a head now that the fiscal year, June 2009, budget deadline has passed. Without a budget resolution and in order to fill the budget gap, the California government will need to start issuing billions of government IOUs to contractors and vendors, local agencies handling health programs, as well as some receiving state aid.

Moodys rates the Golden State as the lowest rated state of all 50 at A2. The average rating for all states is AA2 and only two other states besides California are rated below AA. At the beginning of 2009 the state bought some breathing room by delaying cash tax refunds, but that cushion has rapidly deteriorated as the economy and employment outlook have deteriorated. Making things worse for the state, relative to other states, is the state constitutional inflexibility requiring voter approval for deficit borrowing.

Time will tell if Governor Schwarzenegger can gather the votes necessary to prevent bond defaults. President Obama and other states are watching closely as the actions (or inactions) will have a ripple through effect for everyone. At 13% of the nation’s GDP, California’s economy impacts the overall country in a significant manner.

Let’s hope the state maintains its “golden” status and does not get burnt.

Entry filed under: economy, Government, Politics. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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