How the Recession is Downsizing Local Government

Budget cuts are dramatically reshaping many local governments. This piece from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution looks at how the recession will restructure governments in the Atlanta area.

Thousands of jobs are being cut across the metropolitan area from a multitude of government agencies, and millions of dollars are being cut from local budgets. What's expected to follow is a significantly downsized government.

"'In most past recessions you have that one year of pain and then you can put things back together. This is going to be very different. We are fundamentally resizing government,' Alan Essig, a former state budget analyst who heads the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. 'If we're not going to increase revenue some sizable amount, all these budget cuts are permanent.'

If you can think of a service provided by local or state government, chances are good that you'll be able to find either a reduction in that service or an increase in what you pay for it, or both. Even at the federal level, with its trillion-dollar deficits, the U.S. Postal Service is proposing a massive cut this spring: a discontinuation of Saturday mail delivery for the first time since daily mail began running in this country."

Full Story: Recession's effect: Shrunken cities, counties

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Comments

Michael Lewyn's picture
Blogger

The irony of taxophobia

The Americans who are most resistant to tax increases tend to favor a smaller federal government. But the inevitable result of taxophobia is a more centralized state, since the federal government can adjust to revenue shortfalls a lot more easily than smaller units of government.

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