NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Some States Feast Amid Fiscal Famine

July 16, 2003

One might think prudence would dictate that states comb their budgets for any and all spending programs which could be excised during what some governor's have called, "the biggest fiscal crisis since World War II."

But apparently, government's spending habits are here to stay. Here is how a few states continue to spend your tax dollars:

  • California, which is in a deeper hole than any other state, finds no inconsistency in spending $6.6 million to get people to purchase zero-emission vehicles.
  • Michigan is appropriating $3.5 million for removing abandoned tires.
  • New Jersey considers it a must that $2.5 million be spent on brightening up its museums.
  • Promoting Ohio grapes will cost that state and its taxpayers $1.1 million.
  • Improving Pennsylvania's fishing and boating will require an outlay of a scarce $335 million.

Such sums may seem tiny, in themselves, but in the whole they illustrate how the states got themselves into such a fiscal mess over the years -- and why they probably can't reverse their plight soon, budget watchers point out.

Source: Lacey Rose, "Tax and Waste," Forbes, July 21, 2003.


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