More State Budget Cuts Expected
May 20, 2010
As a new fiscal year approaches, state governments are preparing yet another round of deep budget cuts in which they will slash social services, raise working people’s taxes, and cut the wages and jobs of public workers.
According to a recently released report, "An Update on State Budget Cuts," published by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, over 30 states have raised taxes since the recession began while over 45 states slashed spending in 2008 and 2009. Since 2008, 26 states imposed hiring freezes, 14 states and Washington, D.C. announced layoffs, 26 states cut state workers' wages while others froze cost of living increases. Dramatic cutbacks were carried out in public education, Medicaid, public transportation, corrections, public assistance programs and other vital services.
At the same time, federal and local governments are also cutting investments.
The results are felt everyday by the people. Elementary and secondary schools are falling down while students are stuffed into overcrowded classrooms. Tens of millions of working people are denied needed medical care. The unemployed and poor are left in dire straits, unable to even secure the basics of food, clothing and shelter.
All this, in the country which boasts that it is the "richest in the world."
It is time that the working people set things straight so that the wealth of the country and the vast budget at the disposal of state, local and federal governments are used to guarantee that everyone has such basic rights as food, clothing and shelter, a secure job or livelihood, comprehensive health care, and the best possible education.
These are minimum requirements of any truly modern society.