Rainy Day Funds 'Inadequate,' Economists Warn


State Budget Problems: Staying Focused

While the problems surrounding rainy day funds continue to be debated, some argue that states need to stay focused on today's budgets, not savings to be used in future years.

Gary Wagner, economics professor at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, warns that as the nation continues to recover from the recession, it's time to spend rainy day funds, not add to the reserves.

In hard economic times, the nation needs money pumped into programs to encourage economic growth, he said.

"Every dollar you save, well, that's a dollar that you're not spending," Wagner said. "Someone who isn't working isn't going to save for retirement, and by that same logic, a state that is struggling financially shouldn't save for the future."

McNichol echoes the sentiment. She encourages states with the legislative power to access their rainy day funds to use their funds now if they have not already done so.

"They're called rainy day funds, after all," she said. "Well, it's raining."

ABCNews.com contributor Meg Wagner is a member of ABC News on Campus program in Gainesville, Fla.

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