US States Budget Crisis

Detroit water and sewerage workers reject concession demands

By Jerry White, 26 March 2013

City workers at Detroit’s giant wastewater treatment plant overwhelmingly voted to reject a contract pushed by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Council 25.

The attack on public education in Chicago

By Alexander Fangmann, 25 March 2013

The announcement of plans to shut down 61 schools in Chicago, Illinois marks a new stage in the social counterrevolution in America.

US Senate budget proposes $975 billion in spending cuts

By Kate Randall, 25 March 2013

The Democratic proposal contains $975 billion in spending cuts, including $275 billion in new cuts to Medicare and Medicaid.

US “sequester” cuts shut 149 air traffic control towers

By David Brown, 25 March 2013

Sequester cuts are forcing the closure of 149 air traffic control towers in mid-sized airports.

Detroit Democratic politicans promote racial politics over emergency manager

By Larry Porter and Bryan Dyne, 25 March 2013

Detroit’s City Council and union bureaucrats declared that the financial takeover of the city was racist, even though the emergency manager himself is black.

Striking teachers, students and parents rally to defend education in Cleveland area

By Phyllis Scherrer and Samuel Davidson, 25 March 2013

Teachers, parents and students in Strongsville, Ohio rallied last week as instructors concluded the third week of their strike.

Detroit Water and Sewerage Workers denounce contract

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 March 2013

The six-year sellout agreement is aimed at locking in place the automatic deduction of union dues from workers’ paychecks.

Detroit teachers and city workers:

Reject the concessions contracts! Mobilize against financial dictatorship in Detroit!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 22 March 2013

This statement is being distributed to Detroit teachers and workers at the Water and Sewerage Department, voting on contracts today.

Massachusetts: One state through the sequester lens

By John Marion, 20 March 2013

The sequester cuts will hit research jobs as well as a wide range of social welfare programs.

Detroit emergency manager threatens municipal bankruptcy

By Lawrence Porter, 18 March 2013

One day after being named Detroit’s emergency manager, Kevyn Orr threatened to use the bankruptcy courts to impose drastic cuts.

New Detroit emergency manager owes back taxes

By James Brewer, 18 March 2013

In a revelation by the Detroit News, Orr is found to have two outstanding liens on his Maryland home.

Teachers, school staff continue strike in Cleveland, Ohio suburb

By Phyllis Scherrer, 18 March 2013

Teachers entered the second week of their strike in Strongsville, Ohio, as a federal mediator called for talks.

Politicians, media hail appointment of emergency manager for Detroit

By Lawrence Porter, 16 March 2013

The selection of Kevyn Orr as emergency manager is aimed at escalating the assault on the working class of Detroit.

Detroit’s emergency manager: Who is Kevyn Orr?

By Shannon Jones, 16 March 2013

Detroit’s new emergency manager is a ruthless defender of corporate interests

US sequester cuts target jobs, vital social services

By Kate Randall, 15 March 2013

The sequester will result in hundreds of thousands of layoffs, benefit cuts to the long-term unemployed, cuts to nutrition and mental health services, and reduced funding for research, disease prevention and national parks.

A financial dictator for Detroit

By Joseph Kishore, 15 March 2013

The new financial manager, bankruptcy lawyer Kevyn Orr, will have vast powers and one essential task: to escalate the attack on the working class.

Obama calls for deeper cuts as Republicans, Democrats propose budget plans

By Andre Damon, 13 March 2013

Less than two weeks after the start of $1.2 trillion in budget cuts, President Obama has pressed Democrats to agree to far deeper cuts in social programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.

Detroit workers denounce threat to impose emergency manager

By Usman Clemens, 13 March 2013

There is growing anger among workers and youth over Michigan governor Rick Snyder’s impending appointment of an emergency manager over the city

Obama, Republicans conspire to attack Medicare, Social Security

By Andre Damon, 8 March 2013

President Barack Obama has initiated what commentators called a “charm offensive,” including dinner with Paul Ryan, aimed at a “Grand Bargain” with the Republicans.

The Detroit City Council begs Snyder, “We can do this without an emergency manager.”

By Lawrence Porter, 8 March 2013

On March 6 the Detroit City Council voted 7-1 to initiate a legal appeal of the decision by Michigan’s governor to name an emergency manager for the city of Detroit.

After US sequester, Wall Street demands cuts in Medicare and Social Security

By Andre Damon, 6 March 2013

As Democrats and Republicans move to make $1.2 trillion in sequester cuts permanent, Wall Street is clamoring for more cutbacks.

Democratic backers of austerity pose as opponents of emergency manager in Detroit

By Lawrence Porter and Shannon Jones, 6 March 2013

Sections of the Democratic Party in Detroit are posturing as opponents of the impending appointment of an emergency manager by Republican Governor Rick Snyder

Obama signals cuts to remain in place

Sequester initiates new austerity drive against US workers

By Barry Grey, 4 March 2013

Obama and the Democrats continue to pose as opponents of the sequester cuts even as they maneuver with the Republicans to make them permanent.

Sequester cuts: A new stage in the assault on the US working class

By Andre Damon and Barry Grey, 2 March 2013

The across-the-board cuts in health care, housing, education, public transit, jobless benefits, nutrition assistance and other vital services establish a new base line for even deeper cuts to come.

Michigan governor moves to appoint emergency manager in Detroit

By Shannon Jones, 2 March 2013

An emergency manager would have virtually dictatorial powers to void union contracts, cut services, sell city assets and privatize city functions.

Fight the bankers’ dictatorship over Detroit!

By the Socialist Equality Party, 2 March 2013

The problem is not the lack of resources, but the monopolization of society’s wealth by the rich.

Obama combines sequester cuts with demagogy

By Andre Damon, 27 February 2013

The unstated agenda is to deliberately create a crisis atmosphere in order to claim that the only way out is an assault on the basic social “entitlement” programs.

Sequester to spearhead historic assault on US social programs

By Andre Damon, 25 February 2013

Whatever the outcome of the political theatrics in advance of the March 1 deadline, the sequester crisis marks a new stage in the ruling class assault on the social conditions of working people in America.

Protests erupt over lack of emergency medical care in Chicago

By Jeff Lusanne, 22 February 2013

The recent spate of violence in Chicago has prompted protests calling for the reinstatement of adult trauma care at the University of Chicago Medical Center.

State of the City speech

Detroit Mayor Bing defends layoffs, pay cuts

By Shannon Jones, 16 February 2013

In his annual State of the City address, the Detroit mayor defended the policies of his administration, which have left a trail of wreckage across the city.

California’s 2013 budget promotes the privatization of education

By Gabriel Black, 15 February 2013

Under the cloak of a small increase in school funding, the budget opens the way for the dramatic expansion of charter schools.

Pro-charter school organization attempts public school takeovers in Los Angeles

By Dan Conway and Itza Cantu, 15 February 2013

The “Parent Revolution” organization manipulates parent discontent to charterize struggling Los Angeles public schools.

Unpaid furlough days dictated for 600 Detroit city workers

By James Brewer, 13 February 2013

More drastic measures were announced by the unelected financial advisory board in Detroit.

Cuts in education, health care and state jobs in Pennsylvania budget

By Samuel Davidson, 11 February 2013

Pennsylvania governor Tom Corbett is seeking deep cuts to basic programs and tax breaks for business.

Detroit to close 51 parks

By Shannon Jones, 4 February 2013

The cuts to parks are just the latest in a series of attacks on jobs and basic services such as firefighting, street lighting and bus transportation.

Massachusetts governor releases budget proposal

By John Marion, 1 February 2013

Deval Patrick’s proposed budget targets the working class to fund public transit and education “reforms.”

Downgrade of Illinois credit rating prelude to attack on retired workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 30 January 2013

The ratings agency Standard & Poor’s dropped Illinois’ credit to worst in the US, paving the way for Democrats to launch an assault on retired workers’ pensions and health care plans.

Sacramento moves to close 11 public elementary schools

By Julien Kiemle, 30 January 2013

The closing of 11 elementary schools in Sacramento is part of a broader assault on the right to education.

New report details explosive growth of poverty among Detroit children

By James Brewer, 26 January 2013

A report issued this week entitled “State of the Detroit Child” quantifies the city’s catastrophic social crisis.

Mass opposition to Philadelphia school closures

By our reporters, 25 January 2013

Supporters of the Socialist Equality Party received an enthusiastic response at a public meeting of about 300 when they called for opposition to all school closures.

Closed fire station costs Detroit resident her home

By a WSWS reporting team, 23 January 2013

The Detroit Fire Department took 21 minutes to respond to a fire because nearby stations were either closed or browned out, a result of the cuts to public services in Detroit.

One in ten Washington, DC public schools to be closed

By Adam Sagitov and Nick Barrickman, 23 January 2013

The DC education chancellor released a finalized list of 15 public school closures slated for this year and next.

Report documents mass poverty in California

By Thomas Gaist and Marc Wells, 21 January 2013

The social situation of working people in California is even worse than the picture painted in a recent report.

California prison overcrowding set to worsen as governor raises state cap

By Julien Kiemle, 16 January 2013

The barbaric conditions that characterize California's prison system will only worsen as Democratic Governor Jerry Brown announces his plan to raise the cap on the state's prison population.

Thousands line up for aid

Police shut down housing voucher distribution in Detroit suburb

By Shannon Jones, 14 January 2013

Thousands seeking housing assistance overwhelmed the human services center in the Detroit suburb of Taylor early Saturday morning.

Wall Street Journal demands “discipline” for Stockton, California “deadbeats”

By Kevin Kearney, 14 January 2013

A recent article by the Wall Street Journal demands deeper cuts in Stockton workers’ pensions and benefits as part of municipal bankruptcy proceedings.

Tens of thousands of distressed Michigan families losing welfare benefits

By Debra Watson, 9 January 2013

Thousands more Michigan families who are unemployed or underemployed will abruptly lose welfare under a new law.

Mental health care cuts hit rural Wisconsin

By Gary Joad, 7 January 2013

A mental health facility for inpatient care and its companion outpatient care clinic have been shuttered in Cumberland, Wisconsin.

Court rules California city can halt pension payments

By Thomas Gaist, 4 January 2013

A ruling last month rejected CalPERS' efforts to force San Bernardino to continue its payments to the pension fund.

Wage freezes, school cuts in Connecticut budget

By John Marion, 27 December 2012

Connecticut’s public schools and social services, along with state workers’ wages, are targeted in the new fiscal year.

Michigan legislature enacts new attacks on workers, democratic rights

By Lawrence Porter, 22 December 2012

The Republican-controlled state legislature has passed a series of reactionary measures in its “lame duck” session.

Chicago diverts taxes to investors, plans privatization of services

By Alexander Fangmann, 19 December 2012

Two recent reports reveal the extent of redistribution of city tax revenues to corporate interests while cuts to services deepen.

Massachusetts governor outlines new round of budget cuts

By John Marion, 13 December 2012

The Democratic governor of Massachusetts, a close friend of the president’s, is calling for major cuts in social programs to close a state budget gap.

Michigan enacts right-to-work law

By Andre Damon and Jerry White, 12 December 2012

The inability of the UAW and other unions to mount any serious opposition to the anti-worker law reflects the political bankruptcy of these organizations and the erosion of support among workers for them.

Washington DC parents and teachers express outrage over schools plan

By Ed Hightower and Nick Barrickman, 8 December 2012

At a public meeting held by school authorities, parents and teachers spoke out against the consolidation of the district and the shutting down of 20 schools.

Washington, DC chancellor announces closures of dozens of public schools

By Nick Barrickman, 19 November 2012

The planned closures, consisting of mostly elementary and middle schools, would largely fall on the impoverished southeast section of the city.

California: Pension fund brings lawsuit against Compton

By Julien Kiemle, 7 November 2012

The California Public Employees' Retirement System filed a lawsuit against the city of Compton after it stopped paying its contributions to the fund.

Chicago mayor threatens to cut pensions of teachers and city workers

By Alexander Fangmann, 15 October 2012

In a speech to the city council, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced plans to lead an assault on teacher and public worker pensions by spearheading statewide pension “reform.”

New York Public Library backs off 42nd Street reconstruction plans

By Sandy English, 6 October 2012

After vehement opposition, the New York Public Library has altered plans that would have changed the character of the main research library in mid-Manhattan.

Poverty rises dramatically in Michigan

By Debra Watson, 5 October 2012

Poverty in Michigan increased a staggering 66 percent since 2001, the largest such increase of any state in the country.

Democrats, Republicans plot post-election assault on Medicare, Social Security

By Kate Randall, 3 October 2012

Discussions are underway in the US Senate to forge a deal on sweeping cuts to social programs in the aftermath of the November 6 election.

Detroit water workers go on strike

By Shannon Jones, 1 October 2012

Some 950 workers at the Detroit Department of Water and Sewerage struck Sunday morning over massive attacks on jobs, pay and benefits.

California raids special funds in attempt to fix budget

By Allison Smith and Rafael Azul, 10 September 2012

The administration of Governor Jerry Brown and the Democratic Party controlled legislature are intensifying the practice of raiding special funds, including some that provide vital services to Californians.

Michigan governor signs bill attacking school employee pensions

By Shannon Jones, 7 September 2012

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder signed legislation this week requiring public school employees to contribute more toward their pensions and eliminating paid retiree health care benefits for new-hires.

Democrats slash California workers’ compensation

By Don Knowland, 5 September 2012

California’s Democratic governor and legislators, with the collusion of major unions, have gutted the compensation and medical benefits of injured workers.

Tens of thousands lose cash welfare assistance in Michigan

By Debra Watson, 3 September 2012

Sixty thousand individual welfare recipients have been removed from Michigan welfare rolls since last fall.

Legal Aid forced to lay off 750 workers in US

By Alan Gilman, 27 August 2012

Eight percent of the lawyers and support staff will be laid off from the federal legal services nonprofit due to congressional budget cuts.

New Orleans universities plan huge cuts as state funding shrinks

By Tom Hall, 22 August 2012

The University of New Orleans and Southern University at New Orleans are planning deep cuts to compensate for declining state funding.

Michigan cuts teacher health care, pensions

By Mitch Marcus, 21 August 2012

Last week the Michigan state legislature passed a bill that strips retirement health care from all newly hired teachers and greatly increases the cost of their pensions while setting in motion plans to altogether eliminate them.

Detroit to cut 81 percent of water and sewage jobs

By Esther Galen, 13 August 2012

Mayor Dave Bing and the Detroit Water Board have announced support for a plan to cut 1,600 jobs

California cities facing bankruptcy

By David Brown, Don Knowland and Kevin Martinez, 9 August 2012

Following the announcement earlier this month that San Bernardino, a city of 210,000, will file for bankruptcy, more California cities face the prospect of becoming insolvent.

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to cut 280 teachers and staff

By Samuel Davidson, 9 August 2012

The Pittsburgh school board voted last month to approve the layoff of 280 teachers and support staff as part of the plan to close seven schools this fall.

Kentucky legislature raids need-based college grant funds

By Ryan Rahilly, 4 August 2012

The Kentucky legislature commonly takes money from the lottery system, which by state law is supposed to feed need-based financial aid.

SEC investigation into Miami’s fiscal corruption provokes crisis

By Matthew MacEgan, 3 August 2012

The City of Miami is on the brink of declaring a financial emergency to make cuts to social services and city employee benefits.

New Pennsylvania budget cuts education, social programs

By Samuel Davidson, 26 July 2012

While cutting programs and services needed by the vast majority of Pennsylvanians, the budget provides massive tax breaks for corporations, especially Shell Oil.

Bipartisan war on public employees

Detroit mayor imposes 10 percent pay cut, layoffs

By Patrick Martin, 20 July 2012

Mayor Bing took action under a “consent agreement” with the state government that gives him authority to dictate wages, benefits and working conditions to city workers.

New report foreshadows post-election assault on pensions, social programs in US

By Jack Hood, 19 July 2012

The State Budget Crisis Task Force―a body set up by former New York Lt. Governor Richard Ravitch and ex-Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker―has issued a report aimed at preparing public opinion for an unprecedented attack on social services and public employees after the November elections.

Detroit financial advisory board approves huge cuts in worker pay

By David Brown, 14 July 2012

The World Socialist Web Site spoke to a local fire chief about the impact of the attack on city workers, including a 10 percent pay cut on top of previous layoffs, to the department.

Another California city files for bankruptcy

By David Brown, 13 July 2012

Three California cities declared bankruptcy within two weeks, marking a new trend in the nationwide attack on pensions.

Stockton bankruptcy signals attack on US pensions

By Tom Eley, 12 July 2012

The attack on retired public sector workers’ health care and pensions marks a new phase in the social crisis.

Scranton, Pennsylvania mayor cuts public workers to minimum wage

By Naomi Spencer, 11 July 2012

Declaring last week that the city of Scranton, Pennsylvania had run out of money, Mayor Chris Doherty announced that all city workers would be subjected to a pay cut down to $7.25 an hour, the federal minimum wage.

New York Public Library plan provokes opposition

By Fred Mazelis, 2 July 2012

Scholars and researchers are protesting plans to change the character of the historic central branch of the New York Public Library.

Deep budget cuts in Los Angeles, California court system

By Roseanna Donatello, 30 June 2012

The Los Angeles County Superior Court system, the largest in the country, already sustaining a budget loss of $70 million, has had its budget slashed another $30 million.

Detroit to lay off 164 firefighters

By David Brown, 27 June 2012

Democratic Party Mayor Dave Bing of Detroit has announced plans to lay off 18 percent of the city’s firefighters.

US states carry out European-style attacks on jobs and services

By Patrick Martin, 25 June 2012

Despite claims that the US has avoided European-style austerity measures, state governments are carrying out devastating cuts in jobs and services.

California budget agreement imposes huge cuts in welfare and health care

By Dan Conway, 23 June 2012

The agreement between Democratic Party Governor Jerry Brown and legislative leaders will slash welfare spending and reduce child care coverage and college aid. It is part of a broader austerity campaign that has one the support of the trade unions.

Illinois governor signs bills approving savage Medicaid cuts

By Christopher Davion, 20 June 2012

Illinois Democrats and Republicans worked together to pass a series of bills enacting major cuts to the state’s Medicaid program.

Stockton, California moves closer to bankruptcy

By Kevin Kearney, 18 June 2012

Stockton, California will potentially declare bankruptcy as early as June 25, tearing up the contracts of public employees. This would mark the largest municipal bankruptcy in US history.

The closing of Charles F. Kettering High School on Detroit’s east side

By Walter Gilberti, 13 June 2012

Students and teachers from the closing school spoke to the WSWS at a farewell event on the grounds.

SEIU trade union supports California budget cuts

By Allison Smith, 8 June 2012

With the support of the SEIU, Governor Jerry Brown is attempting to sugar coat massive cuts to social services and increased taxes on the poor, with a token tax on the rich.

Ypsilanti, Michigan to make “dramatic” cuts to services

By Naomi Spencer, 31 May 2012

Ypsilanti, Michigan, like countless other industrial cities across the Midwest, is preparing to decimate basic services.

Unemployed California workers face termination of benefits

By Rafael Azul and Roseanna Donatello, 21 May 2012

California’s unemployment rate has declined from 11 percent in March to 10.9 percent in April because many workers have simply stopped looking for work, according to figures released from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Redford, Michigan schools support staff oppose privatization

By Shannon Jones, 17 May 2012

Close to two hundred people packed a school board meeting in Redford Township, Michigan to protest plans to privatize school bus, custodial and maintenance services.

California governor demands massive new cuts in response to budget revision

By Rafael Azul, 16 May 2012

On Monday, California’s Democratic Party Mayor Jerry Brown called for drastic cuts in health care and government worker pay, two days after the state announced a projected deficit increase of nearly $7 billion for next year.

Officials move to dismantle Philadelphia public school system

By Trent Novak, 3 May 2012

As part of a nation-wide attack on public education, officials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania are utilizing a budget crisis to close 64 schools and drastically restructure the public school system.

California budget crisis continues to grow

By Jack Cody, 1 May 2012

California state controller John Chiang last week reported that the state fell $233.5 million short of revenue expectations for the month of March; $125.8 million of that figure, or 54 percent, comes from a shortfall in corporate income tax revenue.

More drastic service cuts hit Detroit public transportation

By Debra Watson, 1 May 2012

Another round of cuts in Detroit’s bus service went into effect Saturday that will in some cases double the scheduled time between buses on over thirty routes in the city.

Detroit students walkout against school closures and deteriorating conditions

By Lawrence Porter, 27 April 2012

Over 200 students at two high schools in Detroit’s southwestern neighborhood walked out of class on Wednesday to protest school closures, poor conditions, and the growth of charter schools.

Distressed Rhode Island municipalities face bankruptcy

By John Marion, 27 April 2012

Like Central Falls before them, local Rhode Island governments are seizing on the financial crisis and the threat of bankruptcy as a pretext to tear up municipal workers’ contracts.

Kentucky universities to hike tuition

By Ryan Rahilly, 25 April 2012

The University of Kentucky announced Friday it is planning to raise tuition by 6 percent and suspend raises for faculty and staff.