Saturday, August 21, 2010

State Debt Beauty List

The Daily Beast has analyzed the debt levels of the 50 states and Kentucky comes in 23rd. The Commonwealth is $14.25 billion in debt. Our GDP for 2009 was $154.94 billion. That leaves a debt to GDP ratio of 9.2 percent.

Compare that to the most debt-laden state in the nation relative to its income -- not California, as I had expected, but Rhode Island. That state is $10.02 billion in debt with a 2009 GDP of $46.5 billion. It's ratio of debt to GDP is 21.54 percent -- more than double Kentucky's. California comes in 32d with a debt to GDP ratio of 7.3 percent.

Massachusetts has the second-highest ratio of debt to GDP: 20.73 percent. That makes Sen. John Kerry look even slimier for evading taxes by docking his ginormous yacht in New Hampshire (which with a debt to GDP ratio of 13.55 percent doesn't exactly need to poach tax revenue from neighboring states.)

Number 51, the state least in debt, goes to Tennessee, with a debt to GDP ratio of 1.95 percent. How is it that the state immediately to our south is in so much better financial shape than Kentucky?

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