California Named Worst-Run State in the Country

by Cassy Fiano on November 30, 2012

It’s time for 24/7 Wall Street’s annual rankings of the best- and worst-run states in the country.

The best-run? In order, North Dakota, Wyoming, Nebraska, Utah, and Iowa. All of these states had low debt per capita, low unemployment rates, and are business-friendly. They also all have Republican governors.

The worst-run states in the nation are Rhode Island, Illinois, Arizona, New Jersey, and — for the second year in a row — California!

California is 24/7 Wall St.’s “Worst Run State” for the second year in a row. Due to high levels of debt, the state’s S&P credit rating is the worst of all states, while its Moody’s credit rating is the second-worst. Much of California’s fiscal woes involve the economic downturn. Home prices plunged by 33.6% between 2006 and 2011, worse than all states except for three. The state’s foreclosure rate and unemployment rate were the third- and second-highest in the country, respectively. But efforts to get finances on track are moving forward. State voters passed a ballot initiative to raise sales taxes as well as income taxes for people who make at least $250,000 a year. While median income is the 10th-highest in the country, the state also has one of the highest tax burdens on income. According to the Tax Foundation, the state also has the third-worst business tax climate in the country.

Spending is high, taxes are astronomical, and they have the second-highest unemployment rate in the nation. California has less jobs each year, and a third of all welfare recipients live in California. Mary Katharine Ham contrasts California with Texas, pointing out that Texas not only beats California economically. Children are doing poorly in California and thriving in Texas academically — California’s test scores remain among the lowest in the nation, while Texas boasts scores often above the national average.

Pay attention: California is the future liberals want to bring us to.

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