You can count the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities on Team Lebenthal.

The operating deficits most states are forecasting for fiscal 2012 are the result of the post-recessionary weak economy and have been erroneously conflated with longer-term issues such as debt, pension obligations and retiree health costs, Iris J. Lav, senior adviser at the Washington research group, and Elizabeth McNichol, a senior fellow, said in the report today.

“Overheated claims about state and local budget problems not only are inaccurate, but also could lead policy makers to take unwise steps such as allowing states to declare bankruptcy or forcing them to change the way they report their pension liabilities as a condition for issuing tax-exempt bonds,” Lav said in a press release accompanying the report’s release.

‘Fiscal Meltdown’ For States Exaggerated, Says Group

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