Recently 60 Minutes aired a segment on the economic problems facing state and local governments-NJ was emphasized but the problem is paramount for nearly every state. Unfunded public pensions will be stressing a lot of state budgets and, as a result, taxpayers need to wake up!
Given the current political climate, I don't know how the US can avoid hyper inflation from printing too much money while the real estate markets continue to crash. Elected officials pander rather than lead, so, although taxes need to rise, taxes will not go up but instead services will go down. Crime rates will then steadily increase as services are cut and the suffering, hopeless, poor start to use criminal options to offset poverty conditions. Urban cities that have been fighting urban decay for decades will once again become at-risk.
"At-risk" urban cities such as Perth Amboy, NJ; Yonkers, NY, Scranton, PA, and hundreds more like them, may be the first to suffer due to this perfect economic storm. Do residents of these at-risk urban cities, heavily reliant upon federal and state revenues, think they're immune from the economic disaster that previously destroyed Detroit, Buffalo, and Baltimore ? Their residents need to become actively involved in local governance to accurately judge the viability of the status quo compared to moving to towns that have a better economy and zero-tolerance toward crime. Residents of urban areas: do you have the ability to weather a two-decade economic recovery? No, I am not advocating urban flight from forthcoming urban blight. By contrast, I am encouraging proactive involvement in your local governance to prevent urban decay: demand political bi-partisanship, good schools, high public safety, fiscal accountability, and zero tolerance for corruption. Social progressivism grounded in fiscal responsibility should be the hallmark of every citizen and the requirements for every trustworthy leader!
The Obama Administration wants citizens to recognize the progress made since January 2009. By contrast, Republicans were rewarded for simply saying, "no" for two years and then demanding continuation of Bush-era tax cuts as a quid quo pro for extending unemployment benefits, recognizing civil rights, or passing an Arms Control Treaty. Even David Stockman, the architect of Reagan's "trickle-down economics plan" now recognizes as delusional the expectation that tax cuts will spur economic prosperity during times of extreme budgetary deficits.
I encourage everyone to become fiscally accountable and demand likewise of the government. We cannot "travel" ourselves out of these difficult economic times. It is time to finally recognize we are in a costly war, pay our bills, and then reap the prosperity from living for solutions rather than dwelling in problems.