Thursday, May 24, 2012

Walker has given Wisconsin bigger deficits and debt than Doyle

I knew I liked State Sen. Kathleen Vinehout, and she gave me even more reason to like her today. Vinehout took a look at the bogus "Walker surplus" and noticed that a lot of it was based on "refinancing", which is basically re-borrowing to get money up front and then paying it off at a later time. Well the LFB came back with the numbers, and we found out that the Walker Administration's borrowing was more rampant than we ever knew.

The LFB says the Walker boys borrowed more than $558 million over the last 16 months to balance the budget, and that it'll cost Wisconsin taxpayers will have to pay back that $558 million, and add on an EXTRA $158 million to pay off those bills overt the next 20 years. In fact, instead of paying off these $558 million in bills during the 2011 and 2012 fiscal year (which would be on the current budget), these bills will now be paid in future years, and the LFB runs down the costs that taxpayers will now bear in future years as a result of Walker's credit card spree.

2011-12- $9.824 million
2012-13- $44.913 million
2013-14- $98.431 million
2014-15- $98.426 million
2015-16- $83.630 million
2016-17- $83.619 million

TOTAL 2011-2017 PAYMENTS- $418.843 million

You read that right, Walker's short-term cosmetic moves to make his budget seem solvent will cost taxpayers nearly $419 million over the next 3 budgets, which will be money that can't go to schools, universities, social services, and numerous other General Fund programs, or will result in a major tax increase to maintain these services. And the next 14 years is nearly another $300 million in interest and principal payments thanks to this stunt. It's a lot like taking on a huge credit card loan to pay off your bills right now. In the short-term it works, but it'll hurt you a lot later if you don't get any extra money coming in. Sen. Vinehout rightfully called this recklessness out.
“There is a conflict between the popular wisdom the state budget is balanced and the bills are paid and the reality that the state has not paid over half a billion dollars in debt payments coming due. If we want to have an honest discussion about how to move our state forward and cure our financial woes, we must have an honest discussion of what’s happening right now and how these actions affect our financial future."

Even more remarkable is that this borrowing nearly matches what Jim Doyle borrowed over his last 7 years in office combined.
Doyle 2004-2011- $592.8 million
Walker 2011-2012- $558.3 million

So much for the right-wing argument that Walker "fixed" the budget by doing what Doyle wouldn't. In fact, Walker uses another trick much more than Doyle ever did to make his budget seem in balance- lapses. The most recent revenue estimates don't include much of this new borrowing, but it does include another $593 million in lapses between next July 1 and June 30. And if Walker wins the recall election, his administration can arbitrarily decide which areas those lapses could be, which could mean another screw job of the UW System or some other agency Scotty doesn't like.

And Walker's the one who sheds crocodile tears about caring for "the children's future" as a way of justifying the screwing of hundreds of thousands of state employees? WHAT A LOAD OF CRAP. His moves have sent this state further into debt and with higher deficits than we ever faced under Jim Doyle. And unlike 2009, it isn't happening in the middle of the biggest economic meltdown in 75 years, but in a time when almost every other state (except Wisconsin) is recovering and growing jobs.

So is the J-S or State Journal reporting this debacle and destruction of one of Walker's and WisGOP's central claims for why they should be kept, that they balanced the budget without extra borrowing or raising taxes? HELL NO. It's time to demand that they do, and spread this word wide. Our state's economic solvency depends on it.


  1. I am going to print this and post it on the community board. Thank you.

  2. Thanks for the props morninmist. This lil ol post is past 600 pageviews in less than 24 hours. The only people who apparently aren't relaying it are the Wisconsin corporate media.

    But keep it up. They can't ignore it if we make it public enough. Feeling Blue, Seeing Red also has a great post debunking the '3.6 billion deficit' lie- it was never close to that high in 2011, but it sure might be now

  3. Check out this pdf
    Page 39 has budget information for 2012 and 2013. Please reconcile your numbers with those from what Jim Doyle signed.
    2012 -$257.6M and 2013 -$689.5M
    Jim Doyle would have passed the biennium budget before Walker was sworn in. It would cover 2012 and 2013.
    Based on the numbers in the pdf, the estimated budget surplus at the time Walker was sworn in would have been $156M and we know the actual was about $37M. So we know the estimates Jim Doyle used were off by Jan 2012. So it could also be considered possible that the -257.6M and -$680.5M may also be short of the actual deficit Walker would experience. So if Walker had not worked on a budget repair bill, he would be completely under the Doyle budgets and tell me agian, they would by how deep in debt?

  4. Phil- Thanks for the Doyle proposed budget papers. It's good reading. First of all, remember that the 2011-2013 numbers are NOT Doyle's, but Walker's. Doyle's budget ended on June 30, 2011, and those 2-year estimates for 2011-2013 are informational-only, unless you think that no budget would pass under Walker and the same numbers would stay in place.

    Also, you need to remember that the economy (and tax revenues) were in collapse in early 2009 and the Dems and Doyle had to fix with this document quite a bit as a result of banksters destroying the economy. And they still ended up borrowing less in those 2 years than Walker has in the last 16 months.

    Your Doyle 2011 "reduced surplus" numbers are also a bit off, because you may recall the revised revenue estimates in May 2011 showed that Wisconsin had a Doyle/Dem budget surplus of $214.6 million for 2011, and had $636 million in additional revenues for 2010-2013.

    This is also one of many reasons why the argument that Walker had a "$3.6 billion budget deficit" is BS, because the May 2011 Doyle-Dem revenue surprise took care of $636 million of it, and a lot of the rest of it was due to pie-in-the-sky requests that were never going to be honored.

  5. Pardon my ignorance, not being an insider who knows all your abbreviations; what is LFB?

  6. Legislative Fiscal Bureau (LFB), who does the budget calculations for the state legislature.

    How'd you find this post, given that it's nearly 2 years old?


  7. I Googled the question "Does Wisconsin have a public debt?"

  8. Cool. And it's up to about $8.3 billion as of now. Was $6.8 billon when Walker took over in 3011

  9. Where can I go to post a link to the origional data?

    Thanks Rick

  10. If only Obama spent as little as Walker....

    1. There are many things dumb with that short statement...