While our national debt has reached $17.3 trillion -- 63% higher than when President Obama took office -- do you know the status of your own state's debt? All eyes are often fixed on the national economic outlook but it's important to zoom in on each individual state, where our businesses, jobs, and schools are most closely affected.
A report released this month by State Budget Solutions, a non-partisan public policy organization, reveals the debt facing each state government. It finds that the total combined state debt equals $5.1 trillion, with unfunded public pension liabilities making up 79% of all state debt:
"California leads the pack with $778 billion in state debt, mostly as a result of the state's $584 billion unfunded public pension liability. New York ($388 billion), Texas ($341 billion), Illinois ($321 billion), and Ohio ($321 billion) round out the top 5 states with the largest amounts of state debt."
We encourage you to understand what's going on -- not only nationally -- but in your state, and take steps towards positive change. The consequences of reckless spending are already here and will only get worse. As the report explains:
"Over time, state debt will exact a toll on state budgets. Money once expected to fund vital services like education and healthcare will have to be redirected to debt service, increased contributions to public pension systems, and more."