Congratulations to the state of Tennessee for ranking DEAD LAST out of the 50 states and the District of Columbia in terms of state debt. The state should actually be ranked #1 for having the nation's smallest debt. Nashville Public Radio reports:
The state’s top officials are pretty proud of the recent ranking that shows for its size, Tennessee has less debt than any other state government.
“This obviously puts us in the best position,” says Governor Phil Bredesen. “If you could call it number one instead of 51, I’d appreciate it.”
Tennessee has a long tradition of using cash instead of credit. Bredesen says that has kept the state from feeling the compounded effects of dramatically lower tax revenues over the past two years.
The state has used cash even for capitol expenses like roads and college buildings, when borrowing is standard procedure in many states.
“We’re going to take care of our business and not get on the slippery slope of taking a bunch of these things and seeing how easy it is to pass things off to the future,” Bredesen says.