In case all the stock market jitters aren’t concerning enough, Stateline is reporting that the National Conference of State Legislatures’ predicts a drop in state revenues this fiscal year (for many states, we’re already in FY 2008). Why is this on a peace blog? Because:
A: If our state governments are looking at trouble, we will sure wish that the Feds had money to help us out. But unfortunately, our grotesque level of spending to invade and occupy Iraq means that the Feds are not in a position to help us out anytime soon.
B: State’s provide schools, safety nets, and needed services: environments that encourage success and stability instead of desperation. For example, people have pointed out that you can predict future incarceration rates based on how many kids are reading at grade level. Or here in Oregon, even the district attorneys and sheriffs strongly support Healthy Start and Head Start, because of the effectiveness of providing support and education to young families. These two programs make a difference for the parents (less likely to wind up in the system for abuse) and for the kids (less likely to be arrested before age 18). That’s just the sort of program that mistakenly winds up on the cut list when times feel tight… and poor families bear the brunt.
So where’s the money gonna come from to help the states when times are tight? Ask the feds if we should go billions of dollars into debt for that and see what they say.