Statistics are no substitute for judgment (Henry Clay)

Fargo beckons. By Carla Fried, writing in The Daily Money.

While many states are confronting severe budget shortfalls and dragging economies, North Dakota has a different sort of problem. It’s stuck deciding how best to deal with a budget surplus. Yes, a surplus. North Dakota’s balance sheet is so strong it recently reduced individual income taxes and property taxes by a combined $400 million, and is debating further cuts.

That’s not exactly what residents of California ($25.4 billion projected budget shortfall for the 2012 fiscal year), Texas ($13.4 billion), New Jersey ($10.5 billion), New York ($10 billion), and 42 more states with projected 2012 budget shortfalls are in line for.

I can just hear the snarky comment formulating in your head right about now — something about North Dakota’s rough winters, and comparative lack of high-brow culture or pro sports teams, no doubt. Duly noted. But if we keep the conversation to economics and fiscal policy, North Dakota has plenty to admire.


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