Good News: Washington Not as Dysfunctional as Oregon, California

Thank you, Oregon girls. Without you we'd be even more depressed.
Whether it's that our banks are failing at the highest rate in the nation or that they're giving loans to O.J. Simpson, Washington has had no shortage of bad economic news lately. In other words: thank goodness for Oregon.

Because according to the Pew Center on the States, our neighbors to the south are officially more dysfunctional than us. At least, economically.

In Beyond California: States in Fiscal Peril, Pew chose six factors that have contributed to the devastating financial crisis in California. All 50 states were scored based on those factors, with California, the dingy watermark, receiving a perfect 30 out of 30. Oregon finished with 26, tied for fifth (worst).

The cause: with a housing slump comes a corresponding slump in timber sales. And with it, a loss of jobs. That cuts into the state's dwindling income tax revenue, Oregon's lifeblood considering it that doesn't have a property tax.

So good news for Washington, right? Wrong. We still scored a disappointing 20. Meaning, although we may not be as damaged as the kid sitting next to us -- the one who starts fires on his desk and smells like lemon Pine Sol and wet dog -- we're still in the lower-third of the class.

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