Over the weekend, a casual glance at Twitter resulted in this writer finding a funny chart, as you can see above. This chart was attached to a tweet from Keith Boykin, a CNBC and BET on-air personality. Boykin credited it to The Ed (Schultz) Show, and apparently, they seem to think this proves something. What that might be, other than the fact that traditionally blue, monied states voted for the Democrat incumbent for president, is beyond me. Regardless, I got to thinking about what kind of comparison might be found in looking at the state-level financial well-being of these “educated” states versus the “non-educated” states. Let’s start with the Top 5 most “well-educated” states and their fiscal positions as we close out 2012 and start heading into 2013.
As you can see, bluer than blue Massachusetts tops the list as most “educated”. Actually there are just so many ways our chart above can be picked apart, including the fact that, gee, Massachusetts *might* be the most “educated” because of, oh, I don’t know, the number of Ivy League schools that reside in the state (not to mention M.I.T.). Regardless, for such a well-educated state, it appears that Massachusetts is in some mighty financial trouble at the state level.
This may be a bit dated, but this 2011 article from CNN Money highlights the fact that Massachusetts was looking to cut it’s state budget by the most in 20 years in 2011. Among the issues facing Massachusetts last year included:
- Shedding as many as 900 jobs, to add to a total of 5,900 jobs lost since 2008
- Slashing $23 million in state funding for emergency homeless shelters
- Closing down two prisons
- Raiding the state’s “rainy day” fund for $200 million
All that edumacation and money concentrated in Massachusetts sure has made a big difference, hasn’t it?
For Maryland, the second most “educated” state on the list, the budgetary issues are also present, with this local article highlighting the issues that Governor Martin O’Malley faces. Among those issues?
- A $1.3 billion budget deficit that O’Malley hopes to close with $6 billion in cuts
- Nearly half of those cuts will be made to state agencies, with 10 percent being cut out of education, and 14 percent from retirement and healthcare funds
Colorado, number three on the list, is the only one that actually had something positive going on, budget wise. This article notes that spending in some areas is actually increasing for the first time in a number of years, but does note “state officials caution there could be trouble on the horizon. Potential economic crises in Europe, and the prospect of automatic, deep cuts…could throw the national economy, and Colorado, into another tailspin.”
I suppose there’s always one outlier.
Onto Connecticut! Deep blue, and again, “highly educated” Connecticut, is facing a “sudden” $300 million budgetary shortfall, as announced in this November 9 article. Beyond the $300 million budget shortfall that state is facing THIS year alone, the linked article also warns that upcoming budgets are in just as much trouble:
The report says state government can expect $231 million less next fiscal year than originally anticipated.
And that’s on top of hundreds of millions of dollars worth of additional potential holes facing the next state spending plan — a total gap many lawmakers say privately they fear exceeds $500 million.
All them bright people and that state budget just continues to spiral out of control eh? Weird!
Finally, onto Vermont! Strangely enough, Vermont ALSO falls into this pattern of “highly educated” but can’t balance a state budget for the life of them. In this article here, it’s noted that Vermont “could have an operating gap of $50 to $70 million in fiscal year 2014.” Although, it must be noted that $50 to $70 million IS better than the $279 million shortfall the tiny state was facing just three years ago.
It should also be noted that the above article linked to describe Vermont’s problems in 2009 also included New York and Connecticut, two of our “most educated” states. Funny, that.
For the sake of brevity and word count, links for the Top 5 “least educated” states budgets can be found here, here, here, here and here. Funnily enough, in those states lacking that almighty edumcaction, budgets are actually improving, for the most part. The first two links, regarding West Virginia and Mississippi, are especially delicious considering the absolute disdain the left has for those places. BOTH are putting money back into the budget because of unexpected increases in tax revenues and apparently getting closer to fiscal responsibility much faster than their more educated counterparts.
I don’t know about you, but at this point, I’d much rather be in one of those uneducated states, where the people and *some* of the politicians realize small government is the answer. Because, you know, having a love and respect for the ideas of personal liberty and freedom is SUCH the mark of an uneducated mind.