State Budgets

Are States Making Smart Economic Decisions? Jonathan Williams on The Voice of Reason with Andy Hooser

State budgets should never be overly dependent on the federal government.

Jonathan Williams, ALEC Executive Vice President of Policy and Chief Economist, spoke with Andy Hooser on The Voice of Reason about the economic rankings of states, which states are cutting taxes or overspending, and whether or not they are prepared for an upcoming recession.

States are doing relatively well financially right now because they have all that surplus money except for places like California and New York. They figured out ways to spend money even faster than all the Biden bucks and other surplus dollars coming in. There’s so much money sitting out there in state budgets sloshing around. These are dangerous times, and we have to be very careful that we don’t overextend ourselves and overspend right now.

We know the recession is coming at some point, and I think it is important for state capitals all across the country to say let’s not make the mistakes of the past like we saw during the financial crisis where we had to go to Washington, DC, and ask for a bailout.

I think my overall fear is that states become overly dependent on the federal government. It seems the natural inclination of things here in Washington, DC, is to try to take power and federalize it and not to abide by the idea of the founders. These decisions should be made at the state and local level. There are a lot of folks here in Washington, DC, – in both parties – who would love to centralize power in Washington, and I think that’s inherently dangerous for all of us.


In Depth: State Budgets

Smart budgeting is vital to a state’s financial health. The ALEC State Budget Reform Toolkit offers more than 20 policy ideas for addressing today’s shortfalls in a forthright manner, without resorting to budget gimmicks or damaging tax increases. One way to stabilize budgets over time is to embrace…

+ State Budgets In Depth