As we move closer toward the so-called fiscal cliff, the Tax Foundation has put out a map of the United States with estimates of how much each state relies on funds from the federal government. The measure is federal funds in state budgets as the percentage of each state’s tax revenues. Utah’s federal share is 31.55 percent. Take a look:
While Utah depends less on federal funds than many other states in this measure, the fiscal realities for Utah of federal financial recklessness fiscal mismanagement are ominous. By simple math, Utah is going to lose a significant portion of funding from the federal government whenever D.C. politicians decide (or are coerced by outside economic/political forces) to address their deficit and debt problems. In Utah (and across the nation), those funds provide education and nutrition for children (NCLB), basic health care for low-income families (Medicaid/CHIP), income to live on for seniors (Medicare/Social Security, and economic activity that creates jobs for Utah families of all income levels.
Is Utah prepared to respond when (not if) they lose these ongoing sources of funding? If not, we’d better start preparing, before it’s too late.