FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Americans are feeling pretty cash-strapped these days and as a result, state budgets are feeling squeezed too. Many states are watching tax revenues simply melt away from sales taxes to corporate and capital gains taxes. People aren't shopping like they used to, or traveling, and the stock market's killing everybody - all of which is hurting local governments. And those states with high foreclosure rates? They're getting hit hard too.
According to the liberal-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, at least 37 states have faced or are facing budget gaps in the 2009 fiscal year totaling $66 billion.
Take California for example. Two months ago, the state faced a $15 billion deficit. Suddenly that number has shot up to $26 billion, and California may not be able to pay its bills this spring.
New York state isn't much better. It faces a $12.5 billion deficit in 2009. Cuts here are expected to include health care and education.
The governors of both states have called special legislative sessions to deal with this financial crisis. As the economy continues to deteriorate, states are facing increasingly difficult choices.
Here’s my question to you: Would you rather your state cut services or raise taxes to cover its budget shortfall?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Let's put it bluntly, you can only "cut services" by so much before you end up hurting a lot of people. The anti-taxers had their heyday; now they are going to have to bite the bullet. What you want from government, you have to expect to pay for it.
Josh from Minneapolis, Minnesota writes:
Cut services. I can’t afford to pay higher taxes. I make too much to qualify for any services but I make too little to pay my expenses. How is raising taxes going to help me? Simple, it won’t. Maybe I should not work at all so I can qualify for "services". I think the government has serviced us enough. Leave my money alone, please. I earned it.
Cut neither. Reduce waste. Reduce redundancy. Reduce favoritism. Reduce graft. Local and state governments are run like General Motors.
Lynne from Boise, Idaho writes:
I don't think most states need to go to either extreme. Having worked in both federal and state government, I can tell you with certainty that there is a lot of wasted money and time. I think state governments should employ common-sense cost-saving measures, cut unnecessary expenditures, and come up with out-of-the box ideas for improving efficiency. It would make much more sense than raising taxes.
Mike from New Orleans, Louisiana writes:
I would say that my state should cut services, but since Bobby Jindal became governor, we don't have any.
Joe from Tucson, Arizona writes:
Raise my taxes, please. Education in the country has suffered enough. We have to look to the future.
Dave from St. Louis, Missouri writes:
Now that we have elected Obama, it does not matter because in 2 months the light will shine down and America will be debt-free and the world will be at peace.