Unless our state officials and the watchdogs who follow spending in state government are trying to fool us, it appears that Massachusetts is facing a deficit that might actually reach $1 billion before all is said and done for the next fiscal year.
This means that spending, presently, is outdistancing anticipated income, to the extent of $1 billion.
It means that the state will have two choices in the next budget making round – either raise taxes or cut expenses, both, or one or the other.
Because there is no appetite to raise taxes among lawmakers, the $1 billion must be bridged with cuts as well as with the possible use of the remaining $500 million in the so-called rainy day fund.
Bottom line – this will greatly effect cities like Lynn and towns like those all around us.
The end of everything we have known is quickly arriving.
Perhaps the biggest single item on the cutting block will be the vast amount of money the state spends to insure public employees, and this includes what all the cities and towns pay for employee health insurance.
Our guess is that expenses like these will be cut in half at minimum.
In addition, probably as many as 20,000 state jobs will be eliminated – just like that.
Because there is no money to pay for these offices and their employees.
This is very likely the last year the city will enjoy what we consider full municipal employment and police and fire departments that have been untouched by the down economy.
What will happen to the school department is too disturbing to think about.
It is likely all contracts will be called into question – as a contract isn’t a contract if there’s no money to pay for it.
This is the type of year we are facing.