Monday, December 08, 2008

NC spending less on services even as population expands, including mental health

Its a success! We're spending less money on lots of things, including mental health services!


December 8, 2008
New BTC Brief a must read
Posted at 11:07 AM by Rob Schofield

The N.C. Budget and Tax Center released a very important report this morning. It’s also short and sweet, so don’t not read it because you’re afraid you’ll get lost in Wonkland. Here’s the basic gist:

North Carolina’s per capita, inflation adjusted General Fund spending actually DECREASED over the past decade – from $2,323 to $2,304.

Got that? We’re spending less not more. So much for all the B.S. about runaway spending.

Don’t suppose that could have at least something to do with our collapsing mental health and probation systems.

(From the report itself: from NC Justice Center, NC Budget & Tax Center, compiled by Meg Gray Wiehe: contact 919 856 3192):

"North Carolina has not experienced dramatic growth in general fund appropriations over the past decade. Increases in recent years are better characterized as restoration of recession–era cuts rather than major new investments. As the population grows and costs rise, it is logical that the budget would grow in nominal terms to ensure a continued high standard of living and to meet the needs of the families and businesses. Looking at the budget in terms of per-capita
spending and as a percentage of personal income reveal more about the state’s investments than simply looking at dollar amounts. This data makes clear that cutting back on state spending will not be a matter of “trimming the fat or excess” but rather a matter of making tough choices about the relative importance of state-funded services......

KEY FINDING: General fund appropriations per capita decreased by $19, from $2,323 to
$2,304, between FY99-00 and FY08-09 after adjusting for inflation."


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