“Prioritizing” Federal Payments?

October 16, 2013 Cash

During the depth of the recent Great Recession, senior Budget and Finance staff would gather in my office once a week to decide which vendors our county would pay that week and which would not. We knew our cash position and which checks had been printed and held. While we had some idea of expected […]

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Facts? We Don’t Need No Steekin’ Facts

October 16, 2013 Congress

The current craziness in Washington would be bad enough if it were based on actual facts. It isn’t. Nevermind that “austerity” as a policy emphasis is counterproductive while the economy is still sluggish, unemployment remains high, and the economy could be more robust without inflation … despite the political rhetoric and the conventional wisdom from […]

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Keeping Watch for Local Government Fiscal Stress

December 2, 2012 Accounting

New York’s Comptroller, Tom DiNapoli has issued a draft proposal for identifying local governments at risk of fiscal stress. An earlier report touches on local fiscal distress. And here, former Assemblyman Richard Brodsky discusses the earlier Comptroller’s report. It’s a good idea, and given the local governments that have already gotten themselves in trouble the […]

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I’m not the only one

July 28, 2011 Budget

Lawrence O’Donnell just said the solution would be for Boehner to get the Democrats and about 50 “not-crazy” Republicans to pass the debt ceiling increase. Same strategy as I mentioned here. But then he pointed out that Boehner has never done anything to draw Democratic votes. Oh well.

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More on what happens to states if the Federal Government does not increase the debt ceiling

July 20, 2011 Debt

Here’s another analysis of what happens to states, this one with an interactive map and two scenarios if the Federal government can’t get its act together. We might get some state and local defaults after all.

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If the Federal Government decides not to pay its bills

July 19, 2011 Default

Mathew Yglesias does a nice summary of how the pain (and whatever) will roll downhill if the Federal Government decides not to pay its bills. Actually, Yglesias says “can’t pay its bills.” I think it’s a matter of Congressional choice. Note which states are most likely to suffer the most.

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It won’t be just a Federal default

July 12, 2011 Debt

Even without a default on debt payments, if the Federal government fails to increase the limit and constrains its outflows because they can no longer borrow and if the crisis goes long enough, there will nevertheless be governmental defaults. They’ll happen downstream in state and local governments which are dependent on Federal funds. Most obviously, […]

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More on economic interrelationships

July 11, 2011 Economics

Graphic from NPR shows why Europe’s Crisis Matter for the US.

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We slide toward talking about economics – and economic slides

July 11, 2011 Economics

The current economic distress in the US and in the EU have common threads both financially and politically. Certainly the public reactions do. In particular, both involve protecting lenders to a much greater degree than borrowers and much more than the public, which in various ways pays to protect the lenders. They also both involve […]

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