The great milk cow in the sky dropped dead

By Cate Long
August 18, 2011

The new paradigm for state and local governments is austerity.

Hard economic conditions and efforts at the federal level to achieve a balanced budget mean that funding for municipal governments will continue to contract. How will the reductions at the federal level spill over? Blunt-talking former Senator Alan Simpson, who co-chaired the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, was quoted recently as saying:

The federal government’s largess

By Cate Long
August 5, 2011

The states rely on the federal government for 1 out of every 3 dollars they spend. States are rightly worried that the new “super committee” established by the debt ceiling deal in Congress will be looking at these monies to reduce spending. I thought it would be useful to look at the federal budget and get a sense of the size and composition of these expenditures.

Debt deal for states: whither Medicaid?

By Cate Long
August 2, 2011

Debt deal for states

As we reach the end game in Washington, states still have no idea how a reduction in federal spending will trickle down to their budgets. Stateline.org drills down to the number one concern of governors and state legislators — Medicaid (emphasis mine):

Medicaid is the beast

By Cate Long
July 22, 2011


It’s not short-term federal budget issues and credit rating changes that should worry muniland; these issues will require adjustments and creative solutions, but they are transitory. The real issue for states is how their budgets will sustain the increasing load of Medicaid, the federal government’s healthcare program for the poor and those who require nursing home care. This is the real elephant in the room.

JumboAmerica

By Cate Long
July 8, 2011

Are we JumboAmerica?  That is to say, has America succumbed to gluttony and sloth?

The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation

By Cate Long
July 5, 2011

“The American Revolution was a beginning, not a consummation.” ~Woodrow Wilson

Greening the city

By Cate Long
June 27, 2011

Greening the city

Many cities took a big step forward for clean air when they adopted buses fueled by natural gas. But there are other important projects that will make getting around easier, quieter and less polluting. New York City is getting ready to take a big step. From American City:

Muni sweeps: Important deals for CA and NJ

By Cate Long
June 16, 2011

New Jersey municipal employees to pay more for benefits

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the state Democratic leadership have reached agreement on reducing employee benefits:

Muni sweeps: How much job creation?

By Cate Long
May 27, 2011

Job creation or program pass-through?

The Congressional Budget Office has published a new report entitled “Estimated Impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act on Employment and Economic Output from January 2011 Through March 2011.” It makes some large claims about how many jobs stimulus funds have created: