Monday, July 20, 2009

States' Money Woes Pile Up

Yep. These types of stories that are becoming more and more common:

Post-Gazette: Budget Impasse Puts State Workers in a Bind

From the article:

Mortgages, groceries, utilities, day care, mounting credit card bills ... and a disappearing paycheck. What's a state employee to do?

Well, you see, it's a bit complicated. But this is where having emergency savings comes in.

Oh, wait. You said "mounting credit-card bills."

Never mind, then. Carry on.

Meanwhile, workers are negotiating with creditors for leniency and tapping banks that have offered no-interest or low-interest loans.

Of course they are. I mean, if they weren't able to take on more debt in these stress-filled times, who knows what sort of ill-conceived plans they might hatch?

Just yesterday, Gov. Rendell sent a letter to the head of the Mortgage Bankers Association of Pennsylvania asking for affected state workers to be able to skip a mortgage payment, have extended grace periods, or be billed only for interest.

"The mortgage industry has suffered a serious blow in public confidence and reputation over the last year. Your customers did not create the national recession, nor did they create the state deficit. But all of us bear the collective responsibility to help each other through it," the letter said.

Collective responsibility to help each other? Say what?

Sheesh. I'm a guy who didn't want the government bailing out anybody. That includes banks, automakers, General Electric ... ANYBODY. On the flip side, I also don't want to see bureaucrats suggesting that banks allow for missed payments, longer grace periods or ANYTHING else of that nature when the government itself can't manage its own finances at even the most elementary level.

All these lamentations that "state congressfolk can't come to agreement on a budget" seem, to my amateur eyes, to be nothing more than a restatement of: State congressfolk haven't yet come up with an agreed-upon way to legally spend money they don't have — and won't have unless some ultra-rosy economic projections pan out.

But then, I'm probably overly cynical about all this.

Here's to those states who haven't been pushed to the financial brink. Good job ... so far.

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— Posted by Michael @ 9:30 AM

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My financial life began turning around when I took responsibility for it.
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