Every year at Annual Town Meeting, we pass an article that authorizes the Treasurer with the approval of the Selectmen to borrow in anticipation of revenue to meet short-term cash needs. In all the years I've been going to TM, this has been controversial once, when some bad feeling spilled over from another article. But what if there were no loans to be had?
The town would miss payroll, furlough workers, and wait for liquid tax receipts to come in. The suddenly unemployed workers would tighten their belts, and you can bet they wouldn't pay their taxes on time.
The private sector is even more sensitive to the absence of credit. Its ex-employees would be holding onto every dime, too.
Writ large, California is already in this situation.
State Treasurer Bill Lockyer issued a statement a day earlier saying because of the national financial crisis, California "has been locked out of credit markets for the past 10 days."The crisis is picking up speed, and that's not good. When the Bushists tell me the sky is falling, I'm skeptical. But they aren't the only people pulling fire alarms these days.