The five states in the worst financial condition–Illinois, New York, Connecticut, California and New Jersey–are all among the bluest of blue states. The five most fiscally fit states are more of a mix. Three–Utah, Nebraska and Texas–boast Republican majorities and two–New Hampshire and Virginia–skew Democratic.**
I point to three factors. First, states like New York, Illinois and California are saddled with burdensome public sector union albatrosses. Secondly, states like New Hampshire, Virginia, and Utah are very well managed. Third, this is somewhat a factor of demographics – Virginia and Texas have experienced huge population booms (Virginia, ironically, thanks in no small part to government spending/debt), while states like New Jersey are losing people.
All in all, it’s an interesting study, but I wouldn’t make too broad of conclusions.
**The criteria included “unfunded pension liabilities, changes in tax revenue, credit ratings, debt as a percentage of Gross State Product, debt per capita, growth expectations for employment and the state economy, net migrations and a ‘moocher ratio’ that compares government employees, pension burdens and Medicaid enrollees to private-sector employment.”