The "mental recession" continues . . . .
A report released Wednesday projects that the cumulative fiscal-year 2009 budget shortfall for U.S. states will more than triple to $40.3 billion as the economic slump cuts into tax revenue. "Lackluster" collections already took a toll on states' fiscal 2008 budgets, leaving states with a cumulative budget shortfall of almost $13 billion as of last July, said the bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures. States whose tax bases are tied to natural resources are doing fairly well. But, overall, the report said, "There is no evidence to suggest that state revenue performance has turned around. In fact, most signs are to the contrary. Many states have reduced their revenue forecasts, some many times."