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Old 06-03-2009, 06:23 AM
 
963 posts, read 1,372,308 times
Reputation: 847

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Most already know that we in the red for the federal budget, but many states are also in the red, and unlike the Feds, can't just borrow or print more money to deal with the issue right away, so a lot of states are having to make massive cuts. So how would you deal with state budget deficits in your state or states like California that are really in the red.

My ideas:

1. Continue, making major cuts in some services. There is a lot of things, that can be cut now, thanks in part to technology. For example, our governor, recently restricted travel within or out of the state, unless absolutely necessary. I agree, I think, we live in a society now, with teleconferencing, why spend on hotels, gas, airfare, rental car, and food for employees.

2. Cut representatives. governor, and other high ranking state leaders salaries by at least 25-30%. Most IMO earn too much for what they aren't good at, and besides, many get perks at the tax payers expense.

3. This may create controversy, but it would bring a large increase to revenue for the state, as well as saving money on jail space. Legalize marijuana and "soft drugs".

4. Another hot button issue. Legalize "gay marriage" and if that feels like it offends too many people, then call all marriages (gay and straight) "civil unions" under the eyes of the state gov't and let church's use the term "marriage". Again revenue for the state.

5. Legalize some video poker and slots within the states.

6. Cut people off of the system if they don't show some "proof" of paying into it, like with illegal immigrants.

7. Make cities create growth boundary and use existing infrastructure first instead of making the city and state build new infrastructure to accomdate bad growth policies.

8. Last, but not least, increase sales tax, if necessary. I think people need to know that stuff cost, and I think politicians are good at tell us what we want to hear, but bad when it's stuff we don't want to hear like "increasing taxes" (play scary music), but things cost.
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Old 06-03-2009, 07:30 AM
 
Location: Nebraska
4,179 posts, read 9,120,242 times
Reputation: 9523
Good job, and well-thought-out.Too bad no one will listen.
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Old 06-03-2009, 08:40 AM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,916,106 times
Reputation: 5750
No disrespect intended, but I disagree with most of your post. Let me start with a brief point by point and then offer some thoughts:

1) This point I do agree with, overall. However, I would not agree with across the board cuts, but selectively.

2) It's good to look at upper end salaries, but most state employees already work for far less then their private sector counterparts. Also, states need qualified leaders and they have to be paid. To me, it's a poor idea and it will not really save much money overall.

3) It's always tempting to legalize drugs and other crimes so it can be taxed, but it's been tried and not only failed but increased crime and other problems.

4) This actually costs the government money. The majority of "civil unions" are for reasons other than love and actually increase social services.

5) This has some merit if carefully monitored.

6) Good idea.

7) This creates controversy and is costly. Reverse savings.

8) Hmmmmmm......................


To me, there is no easy way to create revenue when unemployment is high and tax revenues are down. Here are a few thoughts...

1) Although this does not create revenue now, each state should have the legal ability (some do not) to save money when times are good for when times are bad.

2) Freeze all state salaries from the top official thru teachers and all others. I do not like cutting salaries.

3) Look at consolidating state government jobs and look into using prison inmates to provide some basic services beyond what mey be done now.

4) Raise the cost of drivers licences, car/bike/trailer/boat/RV registrations by $25 per year. It's not a huge bite.

5) Add or raise state sales tax by 2-3% selectively on items as cigarettes, all alchohol products and upper end items that cost more than a certain amount and only afforded by people clearly not hurting. Also, consider a very small sales tax hike for rental cars, motels...

6) Float public work bonds for infrastructure improvements.

7) If need be, borrow some money from the feds. A small amount of borrowing isn't all that bad- we all do it.

8) Promote in-state tourism, drop out of state tuition for state colleges to attract students, and have the government appoint a commission to attract new business to the state.

9) Have a temporary tax amnesty program for those people & businesses owing back taxes such that if they pay a highly reduced amount, the rest will be forgiven.
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Old 06-03-2009, 09:15 PM
 
963 posts, read 1,372,308 times
Reputation: 847
Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
No disrespect intended, but I disagree with most of your post. Let me start with a brief point by point and then offer some thoughts:

1) This point I do agree with, overall. However, I would not agree with across the board cuts, but selectively.

2) It's good to look at upper end salaries, but most state employees already work for far less then their private sector counterparts. Also, states need qualified leaders and they have to be paid. To me, it's a poor idea and it will not really save much money overall.

3) It's always tempting to legalize drugs and other crimes so it can be taxed, but it's been tried and not only failed but increased crime and other problems.

4) This actually costs the government money. The majority of "civil unions" are for reasons other than love and actually increase social services.

5) This has some merit if carefully monitored.

6) Good idea.

7) This creates controversy and is costly. Reverse savings.

8) Hmmmmmm......................
No problem, thanks for responding, I like a good healthy debate with different perspectives and opinions.

To address some of your points

2. As far as the state salaries, I was mostly referring to the higher ranking officials. It seems lately (well at least in my state), that we keep getting not so good elected officials. I blame it mostly on the public since we put them in office, but I just feel like we shouldn't have to pay them a large amount of money to get qualified leaders. Look what teachers, police, and military personnel make. They don't get paid that much, but they love their profession and are dedicated to it. I believe we can find leaders that would work just as hard for less.

3. When was it tried? The only problem I could see would be driving while under the influence, and we can deal with that, by implementing super strict laws and heavy fines, like we have with alcohol now.

4. How would it cost the govt more money? I would think it would be a boost for state governments as they could issue out civil union licenses, much like they do now with heterosexual marriages, and making money off the fees. Not only that, but marriages would be a boom for anything associated with weddings (like bakeries, floral shops, clothing stores, lodges, travel, food, etc) and add more money for the state through taxes.

7. I can see where it would be controversy, because of land rights issue, but I don't see how it would be costly. If anything I could see a cost savings for the state and city. Why not encourage smart growth and developers to build where existing infrastructure is available and gradually expand the growth boundary over time, versus building a bunch of pockets of subdivisions flung way out in the boonies, where there is no infrastructure before and then have to turn around and build new roads, school, power lines, police and fire stations to accommodate this development, where you can build it in an area that already has that existing infrastructure and service.

Quote:

To me, there is no easy way to create revenue when unemployment is high
and tax revenues are down. Here are a few thoughts...

1) Although this does not create revenue now, each state should have the legal ability (some do not) to save money when times are good for when times are bad.

2) Freeze all state salaries from the top official thru teachers and all others. I do not like cutting salaries.

3) Look at consolidating state government jobs and look into using prison inmates to provide some basic services beyond what mey be done now.

4) Raise the cost of drivers licences, car/bike/trailer/boat/RV registrations by $25 per year. It's not a huge bite.

5) Add or raise state sales tax by 2-3% selectively on items as cigarettes, all alchohol products and upper end items that cost more than a certain amount and only afforded by people clearly not hurting. Also, consider a very small sales tax hike for rental cars, motels...

6) Float public work bonds for infrastructure improvements.

7) If need be, borrow some money from the feds. A small amount of borrowing isn't all that bad- we all do it.

8) Promote in-state tourism, drop out of state tuition for state colleges to attract students, and have the government appoint a commission to attract new business to the state.

9) Have a temporary tax amnesty program for those people & businesses owing back taxes such that if they pay a highly reduced amount, the rest will be forgiven.
I like all your points except for 9. I'm all for helping people, but I don't think there should be a tax amnesty program. Maybe a program, where people's deadlines can be extended and maybe have a payment plan set up, but I think everyone should pay their fair share of taxes.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:31 PM
 
5,273 posts, read 11,916,106 times
Reputation: 5750
Quote:
Originally Posted by e2ksj3 View Post
No problem, thanks for responding, I like a good healthy debate with different perspectives and opinions.

To address some of your points

2. As far as the state salaries, I was mostly referring to the higher ranking officials. It seems lately (well at least in my state), that we keep getting not so good elected officials. I blame it mostly on the public since we put them in office, but I just feel like we shouldn't have to pay them a large amount of money to get qualified leaders. Look what teachers, police, and military personnel make. They don't get paid that much, but they love their profession and are dedicated to it. I believe we can find leaders that would work just as hard for less.

3. When was it tried? The only problem I could see would be driving while under the influence, and we can deal with that, by implementing super strict laws and heavy fines, like we have with alcohol now.

4. How would it cost the govt more money? I would think it would be a boost for state governments as they could issue out civil union licenses, much like they do now with heterosexual marriages, and making money off the fees. Not only that, but marriages would be a boom for anything associated with weddings (like bakeries, floral shops, clothing stores, lodges, travel, food, etc) and add more money for the state through taxes.

7. I can see where it would be controversy, because of land rights issue, but I don't see how it would be costly. If anything I could see a cost savings for the state and city. Why not encourage smart growth and developers to build where existing infrastructure is available and gradually expand the growth boundary over time, versus building a bunch of pockets of subdivisions flung way out in the boonies, where there is no infrastructure before and then have to turn around and build new roads, school, power lines, police and fire stations to accommodate this development, where you can build it in an area that already has that existing infrastructure and service.



I like all your points except for 9. I'm all for helping people, but I don't think there should be a tax amnesty program. Maybe a program, where people's deadlines can be extended and maybe have a payment plan set up, but I think everyone should pay their fair share of taxes.

I see your point, but here in Oregon we have a state income tax and the amount of outstanding taxes is enough to solve the budget woes. Tax amnesty programs bring in hundreds of millions and when the economy is in the toilet I think it serves a purpose. Otherwise, I agree with you.
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Old 06-03-2009, 10:35 PM
 
48,519 posts, read 81,063,674 times
Reputation: 17978
I also don't see taht as either fair or wise. I thnik teh main thing is that sates are going to have to realine thier budgets. They are going to have to cut their budgets while at the same time using stimulus money wisely as far as infrastruture goeds;not getting to wrpped up in new projects. Mosre sates need to work on a balanced budget because they too don't want to get too afr in debt that it hurts them when the resession starts up. There are alot of sates that have mnade themselves inot very hard sates to afford to do businesss in in a recession and in a recovery.Many are facing having to rebuild their businesss and industry and you can't do that be unaffordablr or not being able to compete drawing business.
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