Should States Declare Bankruptcy?

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The federal deficit is disturbing, but Washington can print money. The states have to balance their budgets, and the total of shortfalls around the country adds up to $82 billion. Nobody wants to raise taxes and even massive cuts, which threaten the sick, public schools and infrastructure, aren't likely to make up the differences. What about bankruptcy? Currently it's against the law, and even talking out loud might disrupt the municipal bond market. Forget about any federal bailout. The conservative movement sees a chance to shrink government once and for all. We hear which states are the worst off and how their decisions might shape the United States for years to come. 



  • Matthew Murray - Professor of Economics, University of Tennessee
  • Bruce Cain - University of California Washington Center
  • Ray Long - Illinois Statehouse Reporter, Chicago Tribune
  • Emily Ramshaw - Assistant Managing Editor, Texas Tribune
  • John Weingart - Associate Director, Rutgers University's Eagleton Institute of Politics


Warren Olney


Sonya Geis, Katie Cooper