Karen McMahan
The August Review
February 24, 2009

After the $700 billion bailout of the financial industry and the $17.4 billion bailout of domestic automakers, Americans are now being asked to pony up billions more to rescue states that have been fiscally irresponsible. A bailout, many argue, would not force states to re-examine their fiscal policies to prevent future deficits and instead would encourage them to continue to overspend.

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With more than 41 states facing budget deficits in the current fiscal year, governors are asking the federal government for $1 trillion to help them pay for education, infrastructure projects, and a host of social and health-care programs, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Just after taking office, Gov. Beverly Perdue met with lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to lobby for federal stimulus money to cover the state’s projected shortfall of $2 billion or more in its fiscal 2008-09 budget.

In a Jan. 15 press release, Perdue said that she plans to “continue our state’s practice of sound fiscal management” and vows to balance the budget as required by state law.

Ironically, in September 2007, the liberal N.C. Justice Center praised the state’s final 2007-09 budget, with its new major policy spending initiatives, as being “an affordable and responsible approach to moving North Carolina forward,” even though the budget increased state spending by $1.79 billion, or 9.5 percent over the prior year, in the first year and an additional $27 million in the second year.

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