Florida’s Debt Analysis – Time to Erase The Debt?

State Budget Solutions has issued its analysis of debt held by each state. Florida is over $65 billion in debt. Florida’s state debt is 20.53% of the total Gross State Product (GSP).

State Budget Solutions finds Florida workers owe $21,709 each in debt to the state with every Floridian owing $7,079. Even with this taxpayer debt load it appears that the State Board of Education (FBOE) wants even more money. The FBOE wants an increase of funds for public education of 4.4% in 2013.

According to CBSNews.com:

The State Board of Education voted Tuesday [October 9, 2012] to seek a $643 million, or 4.4 percent, spending increase next year for Florida’s public schools and colleges.

The board during their meeting Orlando also approved other legislative requests and a new five-year strategic plan that envisions minority students narrowing – but not fully closing – their achievement gap with white students.

The total $15.6 billion spending request for the budget year beginning July 1, 2013, includes $9.88 billion in basic funding for kindergarten through 12th grade. That would be $322 million, or 3.37 percent, more than is currently being spent. The increase for community and state colleges would be $100.5 million, or 9.43 percent, for a total of $1.17 billion.

The overall 4.4 percent increase equals the state’s estimated growth in general revenue next year.

The Government Accounting Office (GAO) report State and Local Fiscal Condition 2012 notes that growth in local and state government expenditures on education and public welfare are serious problems. Since 1971 state and local expenditures on education are the largest and fastest growing.

The Weekly Standard reports nationally, “The numbers [see above chart] reflect the change in the total number of people employed and the total number of people on the two largest federal welfare programs, as well as Social Security Disability Insurance, between 2008 and 2012,” the minority side of the Senate Budget Committee comments. “The employment figure was derived using the total non-farm and seasonally adjusted number of people employed in December of 2008 (134.4 million) and the number of people employed in September 2012 (133.5 million) as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The numbers of people on food stamps and Medicaid were derived by comparing the number of program beneficiaries in 2008 (as reported by each agency) and the expected number of program beneficiaries in 2012 (as projected by the Congressional Budget Office).”