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Intergovernmental Relations In a Time of Transition and Uncertainty

Evidence of serious problems in the American intergovernmental system is everywhere. Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Ten.) recently called for an exchange by the federal and state governments of responsibilities for education and health policy to solve critical state financial problems. News stories report municipal bankruptcies and that state and local governments have laid off more than 700,000 employees during the past two years.


Mon Dec 24 2012


The State Budget Crisis Task Force, co-chaired by former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker and former New York Lt. Gov. Richard Ravitch (D), documents serious long-term issues. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has found that state and local revenues have shrunk to the point that federal grants represent a bigger percentage of total revenue than any single self-raised tax revenue source. Those same governments' healthcare expenditures will ultimately become almost 50 percent of their budgets.

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