With the outbreak of COVID-19, many state and local governments are faced with significant budget shortfalls. During this time, state and local governments have increased spending while receiving less revenue through taxes. States and localities are faced with difficult decisions about how to make up for these budget deficits including cuts to education and essential services. Members of Congress and state governors have asked for additional federal funding to help state and local governments. Opponents have argued that it is not the federal government’s responsibility to bail out state and local governments and states should be allowed to declare bankruptcy. This deliberation looks at the concept of federalism and how local and state governments function. Students will explore and analyze arguments relating to this topic and answer the question:
Should the federal government bail out state and local governments that are facing budget shortfalls?