WASHINGTON – Everyone is looking to see if the recent federal relief bills have something to help them. CEPR enlisted economist Max Sawicky to see if state and local governments will get what they need. In Save the States, published today by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR), Sawicky concludes the relief falls short. That’s bad news for everyone because state and local governments deliver the public services that make daily living possible.
Sawicky explains, the delivery of state and local public services “really makes the difference between business as usual and heretofore unimaginable social breakdown.”
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There are lessons we can learn from the current public health crisis and past downturns. Sawicky suggests that improvements should include “a well-designed formula” of federal grants to states and localities, which are automatically triggered by recession. “We shouldn’t wait for the next deluge of rain to fix the roof,” says Sawicky.