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.