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Investigation: The 50 States Racked Up $1.2 Trillion in Debts

By Adam Andrzejewski

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Investigation by Adam Andrzejewski originally published by and

More than two-thirds of U.S. states do not have enough cash to pay their bills, and all 50 states hold a collective $1.2 trillion in debt, according to a concerning report from Truth in Accounting, an organization that seeks to educate people with transparent government financial information.

The Financial State of the States report for 2022 reports on financial conditions in each state. Their report found that while 49 of the 50 states have balanced budget clauses in their laws, many states skirt those provisions because they have “not included the true costs of the government in their budget calculations.”

Of the 31 states that don’t have enough cash to pay their bills, New Jersey, Connecticut, Illinois, Hawaii, and Massachusetts are the top five worst off. This calculation is based on the taxpayer burden, the result of dividing the total amount needed to pay a state’s bills by the total number of people in that state. New Jersey has the highest taxpayer burden in the country, at $62,50 per taxpayer. Connecticut and Illinois are not far behind, at $58,300 and $57,000, respectively.

The number of states that can’t pay their bills has actually gone down in recent years, from 40 states in 2018 down to 31 now. Total debt, on the other hand, has increased 26% since 2020 to $1.2 trillion.

These deficits are largely driven by unfunded retirement liabilities. States shortchange retirement liabilities to use that cash to “balance their budget,” a practice that according to Sheila Weinberg, CEO of Truth in Accounting, “has resulted in a $699 billion shortfall in pension funds and a $665 billion shortfall in [other post-employment benefits] funds.”

As the cost of borrowing increases in a higher interest rate environment, states need to get a handle on spending and balance their budgets before it’s too late.

By Adam Andrzejewski – The #WasteOfTheDay is brought to you by the forensic auditors at

This article was originally published by RealClearInvestigations and made available via RealClearWire.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

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