10 States Hurtling Toward California-Level Disaster

California was only the beginning.

Nine more states are "barreling toward an economic disaster" according to a new Pew poll that sees deep service cuts and temporary tax hikes to avoid fiscal calamity. Some of these states will be familiar to Atlantic Business readers. I've been leading the funeral cry for the united states of MichiCaliFlAriVada (that's Michigan, California, Florida, Arizona and Nevada), and all five states are on Pew's list. Rounding out the ten are Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Rhode Island and Wisconsin. Here's the graph from the Pew Center on the States:


Six Factors
Revenue change
Budget gap
Unemployment rate change
Foreclosure rate
Need supermajority?

GPP "money" grade
Score
















United States
-11.70%
17.7%5
4.4
1.37%
17 yes, 33 no

B- 5
17
















California
-16.20%
49.30%
4.6
2.02%
Yes

D+
30
















Arizona
-16.50%
41.10%
3
2.42%
Yes

C+
28
















Rhode Island
-12.50%
19.20%
4.5
1.50%
Yes

D+
28
















Michigan
-16.50%
12.00%
6
1.47%
Yes

C+
27
















Oregon
-19.00%
14.50%
6.4
0.86%
Yes

C+
26
















Nevada
1.50%
37.80%
5.2
3.12%
Yes

C+
26
















Florida
-11.50%
22.80%
4.4
2.72%
Yes

B-
25
















New Jersey
-15.80%
29.90%
3.7
1.18%
No

C-
23
















Illinois
-10.90%
47.30%
3.5
1.44%
No

C-
22
















Wisconsin
-11.20%
23.20%
4.4
0.96%
No

C+
22

This horrible news only underscores the fact that even though 70% of stimulus spending has gone to fill in Medicaid and state budget holes, our states are still in dire straits because state tax revenue is collapsing across the country.

State Tax Revs & Economic Changes

Unlike the federal government, states cannot run deficits, which means cascading revenue becomes cascading services and many, many cut state jobs. For those who resist another state bailout-type stimulus bill, they must recognize what that entails: hundreds of thousands of state employees joining the ranks of unemployment, and unemployment benefits. Q3 was great, but this thing isn't close to being over.

Update: The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities reports that states could cut almost a million jobs without US aid because of budget shortfalls.

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Business

Just In