What we need for the future—badly—is better automatic stabilizers to prevent the kind of state/local budget crises that have provided so much economic undertow throughout this recession.It strikes me that this is the kind of issue that a couple of United States Senators could easily get a whole lot of credit for. It's a very boring topic, which means that taking it on would produce "Serious Legislator" points. As far as I can tell, it's not an inherently ideological issue, which has two advantages: something could actually get done in the next two years, and also whoever takes it on will get lots of "Bipartisan" love from those who like that sort of thing. And for prospective presidential candidates, there's always the chance to work with Governors of good fundraising states such as California and New York, not to mention the possibility of holding field hearings in Iowa and New Hampshire. Against that is that it's a deeply dull subject...well, you can find some interesting people who were laid off by the states, or whose taxes were raised, but there's no way of getting around the fact that it's about state budgets.
Oh, and it's also both very important and, it seems to me, fairly easily solvable. Hey, Senators -- anyone ready to step up to the plate on this?