$107 Billion, 580 Million, 297 Thousand dollars.  ($107,580,297,000.00)
 THAT is how much debt North Carolina state government had racked up by January 2014.   And how has the “conservative revolution” in Raleigh addressed this problem? By spending MORE and MORE each year. 

State Budget Solutions, a right-leaning think tank, has compiled a database of total debt for each of the 50 state governments. According to these good folks, our government was sitting on more than $100 BILLION in debt as of January 2014.  To put it in perspective, that translates to every resident of North Carolina owing $11,032.  And THAT is just in total state debt. We’re not even factoring in what the “honorables” in DC have been doing to us. 

How does our financial situation stack up to other state governments?  North Carolina has the THIRD highest outstanding unemployment trust fund debt balance in America.  (We’re behind only California and New York. ) South Carolina is in 8th place.  Virginia is 47th, and Tennessee is 43rd. fist

We have the 13th largest amount of state debt in the nation.  South Carolina ranks 22nd, while Virginia is 15th.  Tennessee is at 33rd.

Of that total North Carolina state government debt amount, SBS has identified $67,033,140.00 ($67 BILLION) in “Market Valued Unfunded Pension Liability.”  That’s pensions owed to state employees where there are NO fiscal resources available to PAY for them.    In terms of market valued unfunded pension liability, we rank 20th out of 50.  South Carolina is at 24th, while Virginia is at 12th.  Tennessee is at 31st.

From that total $107.6 BILLION state debt amount, SBS finds that — as of January 2014 — North Carolina had $8,936,994,000 ($8.9 BILLION) in outstanding debt.   That’s money the treasurer — and the council of state — has authorized the state government to borrow. In terms of outstanding debt, North Carolina ranks 18th out of 50.    South Carolina ranks 22nd, while Virginia ranks 24th.  Tennessee is at 36th. 

legislatureNorth Carolina’s total debt amount also includes OPEB (other post-employment benefits.) That typically means “health benefits.” According to SBS, that total debt amount of $107.6 BILLION also includes $29,716,000,000 ($29.7 BILLION) in unfunded OPEB. In terms of Unfunded OPEB liabilities, North Carolina has the sixth largest amount in the country.  Virginia is 21st, while South Carolina is 16th. Tennessee is at 31st. 

SBS pegs North Carolina’s total state debt at 24 percent of its Gross State Product — the state level version of the GDP. North Carolina ranks 42nd in terms of per capita state debt.  

The two real options for addressing the debt problem?  Raising taxes or cutting spending.  Cutting spending doesn’t seem to be a serious option for Raleigh.    The “conservative revolution” took charge in 2011.  In 2010,  North Carolina government spent $38.8 BILLION.  In 2011, that amount climbed to $39.5 BILLION.  In 2012, state government spending climbed to $40.1 BILLION.  In 2013, North Carolina state spending climbed to $40.5 BILLION. In 2014, total state spending is expected to reach $42.2 BILLION. By 2015, North Carolina government is expected to be spending $44.3 BILLION.   See where we’re headed? 

This is not a Democrat or Republican problem.  (Though, the alleged conservative party should be making a good faith effort at dealing with our mounting debt.)  It is a BI-PARTISAN failure in leadership.  It is a failure on our part to not reign in our elected leaders.



6 thoughts on “#NCGA: HOW MUCH ?????

  1. This is a BIG problem that neither party understands. You cannot keep spending, in fact we need to be cutting. Democrats have ZERO credibility on spending, debt management, budgets or fiscal responsibility. As you so aptly point out the Republicans, especially RINO Republicans are no better. Where is the responsibility for governing? Thomas Jefferson and the rest of the “Founding Fathers” said it is a crime to pass on debt to the next generation. We have come to a place where it’s not only being passed on to the next generation but upon the grandchildren’s generation as well. This is EXACTLY WHY we need to elect people who are unaffiliated and will do the right thing for our country. It has to start now. NO MORE STUPID. “You can’t fix stupid”, but you can replace them. When parties dictate the candidates, votes, money, and outcomes you end up with a big mess that just gets kicked down the road…. for generations. Stop the insanity http://writeinussenate.info PLEASE

  2. You should fact check your data in this – particularly on UI. Your source is very untimely on their data. You’re going with data from almost a year ago as one of the central claims? This has only been updated and reported by the Governor and the regular news media ad-nauseum over the last year.

    1. Hi Joey. (say Hello to Senator Tucker for us — http://www.ncga.state.nc.us/gascripts/members/reports/member-clerk.pl?Chamber=Senate&SortBy=Member . )

      We’re pointing out information posted in January 2014. It’s seven months later. It’s a little old, but not ridiculously.

      We saw this story => http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2014/08/14/unemployment-debt-drops-by-nearly-$2-billion-a-543572.html#.U_Ela7xdXFk . That’s commendable. The NCGA and the administration deserve a pat on the back for the work so far.

      The problem? No one else is seriously talking about eating into this debt. The unfunded pensions and the health plan are HUGE cans being kicked down the road to the detriment of our kids and grandkids. Some folks on Jones Street, in the words of Speaker Tillis, need to put on their BIG BOY pants and tackle the debt problem. For the sake of future generations.

  3. The solution to our corrupt government spending at all levels will be the coming financial collapse!
    Our national media, The New York Times, the national TV networks, the Federal Reserve, and the corporate business establishment, (Fortune 500, US Chamber of Commerce, Wall Street bankers) are all feeding this: obscene spending!
    See, “Currency Wars: The Making of the Next Global Crisis” and “The Death Of Money : The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System” by James G Rickards.

  4. The largest budget expense of the federal budget each year is the government employees pensions,after that health care, then education, defense is fourth. So if someone in DC had common sense what really needs to be cut?
    Obviously… government pensions, which will be over $1 Trillion annually next fiscal year. Over 1/4 of the US budget and we aren’t even talking national debt which if they stop printing money is really 40% of our budget. SICKENING

  5. While I agree with the options for reducing debt, I’d like to point out the increase in spending for 2012 and 2013 amounts to less than 2% (if I did my math right). Factoring in inflation, you could say that spending decreased during those years. (… and what does that say about teacher salaries during that time.) It looks like 2014 and 2015 might be different stories though. 😉

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