State fiscal decisions have a significant impact on the US economy. Taken together, subnational governments employ more than one out of every eight workers and provide the bulk of all basic governmental services consumed by individuals and businesses. Sustaining the States: The Fiscal Viability of American State Governments will give you a basic understanding of trends in, current status of, and future prospects for the fiscal sustainability of state governments.
After reading this book, you should have a great appreciation for the reach and multiple contributions of state governments to individuals and communities across the nation.
The book examines the broad range and depth of state revenues, responsibilities, and activities. It begins with an assessment of executive budgeting in the states, then presents the experiences of states with strong executive-driven systems and the various rules and institutions that impact state government budget discipline. The book goes on to examine state revenue sources, debt, pensions, and spending, honing in on vital state functions including education, transportation, health services and public safety. It concludes with an assessment of the challenges that will test the fiscal vibrancy of US state governments going forward: vulnerability to future economic downturns, growing dependence on an increasingly austere federal government, the obsolescence of state tax systems and an ever more coercive system of federalism.
Edited by experts, with a hand-picked panel of contributors, the book delineates the resources that states generate and use to conduct the business of government. The chapters outline the very real and significant constraints on the ability of the states to fulfill their responsibilities and introduce several challenges that state governments face and are actively addressing as they strive for fiscal sustainability. These features provide a clear, realistic understanding of state operations and financing in the United States, today. The book should also leave you with a sense of optimism for the capacity of state governments to advance forward.