State Budget Deficits Keep Growing, Taxpayers to Get Stuck Footing the Bill

Wall Street and the media have been fixated with the debt crises in countries such as Greece, Portugal and Ireland. But we're not hearing nearly enough about a much bigger economy closer to home that's on the brink of disaster. We're talking about California -- the eighth largest economy in the world. And it's not alone.

Years of overspending have pushed many state and local governments across the United States to the brink. Facing huge deficits and massive budget shortfalls, state governments are now faced with drastic and painful decisions. We are already seeing this play out in the massive protests in Wisconsin over public employee benefits and union rights.

But don't think for a minute that you have nothing to worry about if you don't live in California or Wisconsin. Statistically speaking, it's likely that your state may be in deep financial trouble, too. In fact, 44 states are on track to come up short on funding their budgets in 2012.