Texas Used Stimulus to Cover 97% of Its Deficit

Even as he railed against the Recovery Act, Texas Gov. Rick Perry used the government's stimulus plan to cover 97 percent of the state's budget deficit in 2009:

Turns out Texas was the state that depended the most on those very stimulus funds to plug nearly 97% of its shortfall for fiscal 2010, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Texas, which crafts a budget every two years, was facing a $6.6 billion shortfall for its 2010-2011 fiscal years. It plugged nearly all of that deficit with $6.4 billion in Recovery Act money, allowing it to leave its $9.1 billion rainy day fund untouched.

"Stimulus was very helpful in getting them through the last few years," said Brian Sigritz, director of state fiscal studies for the National Association of State Budget Officers, said of Texas.

In FY 2012, Texas' deficit is projected to come in at $12 billion, more than 30 percent of its budget -- the third highest rate in the country. But the states, which are collectively facing a $120 billion shortfall next year, are unlikely to see any more stimulus, in large part due to the efforts of conservatives like Gov. Perry, who have slammed the Recovery Act as a wasteful and ineffective government bailout. You make your own bed, etc.

Read the full story at CNN.

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

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