FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
Coming soon to a state near you: Painful spending cuts.
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A piece on CNNMoney.com suggests that although states have been struggling with huge budget gaps since 2008, federal stimulus funds have helped them avoid making some tough cuts.
But this year those federal dollars will be drying up - and the cuts ahead could be brutal: Think education and health programs, like Medicaid.
You see, states are required to balance their budgets; and for the past couple years, they've been getting help from the stimulus package.
To make matters worse, many states have already slashed services and used up their rainy day funds to balance their budgets.
As for money coming in, there are estimates that income tax revenue from this past April is likely to drop - a lot.
States are hoping Congress will renew some of the stimulus provisions - especially increased funding for Medicaid.
Without that federal money - states will be hurting. Big time.
For example, Pennsylvania would have to slash half its funding for domestic violence and rape crisis services, cut 25 percent from the budget for child welfare services, and reduce payments to hospitals, doctors and nursing homes.
As for education, 275,000 jobs could be eliminated nationwide due to budget cuts - which would pretty much wipe out the approximately 300,000 jobs saved by the stimulus bill.
Here in New York state - as many as 15,000 teachers could lose their jobs.
Here’s my question to you: What services are you worried your state will cut?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Scott in Freeport, Illinois writes:
Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, teachers. Anything that's doesn't affect the political cronies' paychecks!
Mark in New Jersey writes:
I am worried that they will fire the teachers rather than the useless administrators. I am worried that they will lay off police officers... Really, I am afraid they will have to review services we need, rather than the ones we have built up over the years with full medical plans and extortion-like pensions.
I'm not worried what they will cut. I'm worried they won't cut enough. As long as my road gets plowed, a fire in my house gets put out, and the police come when I call 9-1-1, they can cut everything else.
Steve in Virginia Beach writes:
I'm not worried. We fired the tax-and-spend clowns in the last election and threw their out-of-control-spending budget in the trash can along with their 17% income tax increase. Our budget is now balanced with only modest cuts in many areas and many incentives for companies to increase our tax revenues through job creation.
Rob in North Carolina writes:
I teach in a North Carolina county that is cutting over 100 teaching jobs and half a million dollars for teacher’s assistants. This does not include the other 99 counties.
Instead of cutting teachers, fire fighters, and police, let's first cut the governors staff, legislative staff, and administrative expense accounts. That's where an honest politician would start.
Jeff in Houston writes:
Education. They will always cut education. In Texas, Bubba got have his football, his pick-up, his beer, but he don't need to know how to read. Our esteemed governor has done a good job at making sure Texas children stay uneducated and obedient to Republican authority. And oh yeah, we will likely cut some of the benefits for those annoying sick kids and disabled people.