Raymond C. Scheppach

Federal Stimulus Dollars, State Deficits — and Federalism

By: - June 12, 2009

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) provided a significant infusion of federal funding to states that already has had some positive effects. Namely, the money released so far has helped limit state budget cuts and tax increases, which in turn has had a positive economic impact. Despite this, the depth and extent […]

The Economy, the Stimulus Package and the States

By: - March 23, 2009

The best estimate, though likely a conservative one, is that states will face budget gaps of about $250 billion over the next 2.5 years, through fiscal 2011. Because of balanced-budget requirements, states on their own would have no alternative but to cut budgets and raise taxes to close this gap. Both of these actions, however, […]

States, the Federal Deficit and the ‘T’ Word

By: - November 10, 2008

Most of the focus during the credit crisis has been on the $700 billion liquidity package and the other federal funds that have been necessary to stabilize the United States and world financial markets. Soon the focus will shift to the $150 billion to $300 billion economic recovery package, which is being prepared in the […]

Commentary: It Could Get Worse Before it Gets Better

By: - October 10, 2008

Last December many states began to see declines in revenues as a result of the slowing economy. The August and September employment reports, which showed losses of 85,000 and 157,000 jobs, respectively, along with an increase in the unemployment rate to 6.1 percent, marked a dramatic acceleration in the downward revenue trend. Until that time, […]

Will The 2008 Election Improve State-Federal Relations?

By: - July 9, 2008

Here’s a crucial question for the presumed presidential nominees – Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama – and all the candidates for the next Congress. Are you happy with the status quo in federal-state relations? States have long served as laboratories for creating and testing policies and programs that drive positive change nationally. Yet […]

A Historical Perspective on State Leadership and Innovation

By: - May 13, 2008

As executive director of the National Governors Association (NGA) for the past 25 years, I have seen firsthand what can be accomplished when governors speak with one voice and act collectively to benefit citizens in their state. Since NGA was “born” 100 years ago this week-when President Theodore Roosevelt hosted the first meeting of the […]

Commentary: The Economic Downturn: An Opportunity For Governors?

By: - April 2, 2008

Most governors recognize that they have the best political job in America. Most also would concede that the job is more satisfying when the economy is strong and revenues are growing than during an economic downturn, when cutting budgets becomes the major task. But even a recession can present opportunities for governors to make improvements […]

Commentary: A Compact for Post-Secondary Education

By: - December 17, 2007

High-quality post-secondary education is crucial to ensuring America’s competitiveness in the global economy. U.S. colleges and universities equip our students with advanced critical-thinking and adaptive skills to generate new knowledge and solve problems. While America’s public post-secondary education system is still highly prized, many countries around the world are not only improving on our system, […]

Commentary: Time to think global in testing U.S. students

By: - November 19, 2007

Today, it’s less important how students in Iowa or Oregon compare to those in Alabama or Virginia on a national test. What matters most is how students in North Carolina or Texas compare to those in Denmark or Russia, and so on. In short, educational protectionism is outdated and ignores the realities of the 21st […]

Commentary: The Constitution Had it Right

By: - September 24, 2007

When this nation was established some 230 years ago, our founders put in place a federalist system that divided power between states and the federal government. Section 8 of the Constitution details the powers of the federal government, making clear that its primary role concerns national defense and foreign relations. The 10 th Amendment, which […]

COMMENTARY: How States View the President’s Opening Health-Care Bid

By: - March 5, 2007

President Bush, in his State of the Union address, put forward two major health-care proposals. The first called for equalizing the tax treatment between families and individuals who receive employer-paid benefits and those who purchase health insurance directly; the second proposal relates to state-federal negotiations regarding Medicaid funding. Both proposals present an opportunity for states […]

Commentary – Universal Health Care: Stopping the Leadership Pendulum

By: - January 12, 2007

The goal of attaining universal health care in the United States has been elusive, in part, because the pendulum of national leadership continues to swing back and forth between states and the federal government. When the federal government’s deficit is small and there is no overriding foreign policy crisis, health care leadership often swings to […]