Are state budget cuts fueling national financial crisis? Economist calls governors “50 Herbert Hoovers”.

Economist Paul Krugman – The New York Times –Dec. 30, 2008

 

Respected economist Paul Krugman suggests that in times of recession, state governments should be spending on education and infrastructure instead of cutting expenditures.

 

Excerpts from his column:

 

“… even as Washington tries to rescue the economy, the nation will be reeling from the actions of 50 Herbert Hoovers — state governors who are slashing spending in a time of recession, often at the expense both of their most vulnerable constituents and of the nation’s economic future.

 

These state-level cutbacks range from small acts of cruelty to giant acts of panic — from cuts in South Carolina’s juvenile justice program, which will force young offenders out of group homes and into prison, to the decision by a committee that manages California state spending to halt all construction outlays for six months.

 

Now, state governors aren’t stupid (not all of them, anyway). They’re cutting back because they have to — because they’re caught in a fiscal trap. But let’s step back for a moment and contemplate just how crazy it is, from a national point of view, to be cutting public services and public investment right now.”

 

“The priority right now is to fight off the attack of the 50 Herbert Hoovers, and make sure that the fiscal problems of the states don’t make the economic crisis even worse. “

 

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