Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Good News for Missouri

Moody's has decided that Missouri's triple-A bond rating will not be downgraded in the event of a failure to raise the Federal debt limit. The ratings of several other states would face a downgrade, however.

Since I moved to Missouri almost 13 years ago I have been impressed by the fiscal probity of its state government, no matter which party held sway in Jefferson City. Admittedly, the other two states I had lived in were New York and West Virginia, the latter of which had a substantial share of its political class in Federal prison, under Federal indictment, or facing Federal investigation.

So you can imagine how stunned I was the first time I received a check from the state when it had accumulated too large of a surplus. I discovered later that this check was due to the Hancock Amendment, which has been an effective bulwark against the profligacy that afflicts so many other states. Some commentators actually argue that the Hancock Amendment will lead to the state's bankruptcy when the opposite is surely the case.