Surprise! States Running Surpluses

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The doomsayers are out in full force today…which I find puzzling.

After all, the jobs report today, while not overtly positive, was still nearly 200,000 better than the previous month and one would think it could be seen as either neutral or slightly positive.

Yes, many of the jobs added were seasonal and created by the government…but that’s still money going back into the economy and job experience that folks didn’t have before. And, trust me, that’s a good thing for those workers.

And now we get a sign that states, who were seriously suffering the last two years, are actually bringing in more than they were spending.

From USA Today:

The fortunes of many governments could improve dramatically this year if the national economic recovery continues, a USA TODAY analysis found. A flood of federal stimulus money and a modest upturn in tax receipts have improved the health of states after two years of financial havoc.

Revenue has grown faster than spending for three straight quarters, reports the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Tax collections are up, too, although they remain below the peak of 2008.

“The turnaround is here, thankfully,” says North Carolina budget director Charlie Perusse.

Most states, cities and school districts are still struggling to balance budgets whacked in a recession that began in December 2007. But most signs provide rays of hope.

And here’s a look at the states’ spending over the past decade…

Long story short…we’re headed in the right direction. And don’t let anybody tell you differently.