Gov. Mitch Daniels, writing in The Wall Street Journal:
Most governors I've talked to are so busy bailing that they haven't checked the long-range forecast. What the radar tells me is that we ain't seen nothin' yet. What we are being hit by isn't a tropical storm that will come and go, with sunshine soon to follow. It's much more likely that we're facing a near permanent reduction in state tax revenues that will require us to reduce the size and scope of our state governments. And the time to prepare for this new reality is already at hand.
The coming state government reset will be particularly wrenching after the happy binge that preceded this recession. During the last decade, states increased their spending by an average of 6% per year, gusting to 8% during 2007-08. Much of the government institutions built up in those years will now have to be dismantled.
The choice state governments face, he says, is between "a major downsizing or consigning themselves to permanent decline. Wishing for an improbably huge boom while chasing your own tail through self-destructive taxes won't prove much of a strategy." So some of seem likely to get the small, saner government we've asked for by the simple fact of states hav