NJ Residents Getting Buried By State Debt [AUDIO]
State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan advocate for state budget reform has released a new study revealing that state government debt amounts to $13,425 for every American and $37,486 for every private sector worker in this country.
It's even worse in New Jersey, which is among the five worst states for debt.
The analysis looks at state debt per capita, per private sector employee, and the percentage of private sector gross state product (GSP). In each of the three categories, New Jersey, Hawaii and Alaska are among states with the five largest debt figures. At the other end of the spectrum, Nebraska has the lowest total in each of the areas.
The largest per capita debt figure for all 50 states is Alaska, where each person's share of their state's debt stands at $31,141. New Jersey ranks 5th with a per capita debt of $29,252.
Private sector workers are at increased risk as they are the ultimate tax base for reducing state debt. Using figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, State Budget Solutions determined that Hawaii has the largest debt per private sector worker at $83,815. New Jersey ranks 5th again with debt per private sector worker at $77,376.
"Unfortunately New Jersey for the past few years has been postponing paying bills and passing them on to future generations," says State Budget Solutions president Bob Williams. "At some time the bill is going to come due whether it means in lower credit ratings or whether it means you simply can't borrow money anymore."
State Budget Solutions also calculated state debt as a percentage of private sector GSP. Hawaii's debt stands at 79.21 percent of its entire private sector GSP, the highest percentage of the 50 states. New Jersey is again right behind Ohio with its debt representing 59.69 percent of private sector GSP.
Williams says, "It is the individuals and families who will ultimately bear this horrific financial burden if state governments do not get their budgets under control."
A spokesman for New Jersey's Treasury Department says, "Though the study's debt numbers seem greatly inflated, the research nevertheless illustrates why the Governor had to make the tough choices that he made on pension and benefits, debt and state spending. Governor Christie won pension and health benefit reforms that reduced pension and health care liabilities by $123 billion, and slowed the growth in bonded debt to a fraction of what it was in the eight years before he took office."