Forget about the challenges of being a nanny state, Tea Party Republicans have doubled down on becoming a "dead-beat dad" state full of angry fathers who won't let local governments run their own operations. What's happening in Birmingham is just the kind of collapse the GOP wants.
If you want to take a broad view, the trouble really began with the Constitutional Convention of the State of Alabama in 1901. The document that emerged there ... gives towns and counties little authority over local issues. Local taxing power rests with the state, though state lawmakers are loath to wield it today, in an age of anti-tax populism. Last summer, the Supreme Court of Alabama struck down a tax that was a crucial source of revenue for Jefferson County, finally pushing the county over the brink.