Tuesday, July 7, 2015

New budget figures show cons are not walking the talk

While the budget debate goes on in the State Senate, the Legislative Fiscal Bureau was sending out updates on the 1,500+ page document. And things keep looking worse.

The first is a document that not only goes over the topline numbers for this upcoming 2015-17 budget, and also the outlook for the 2017-19 "structural" budget. You may remember that Gov Scott Walker and other GOP honks were trying to quote a document based on Walker's submitted budget which indicated there might be a structural "surplus" of $499 million in the next budget, a claim I noted at the time was based on out-of-date numbers and fairy dust and would never become reality.

And sure enough, the LFB agrees with me.

Structural budget balance, 2017-19 budget
2017-18 -$189 million
2018-19 -$301 million

But wait, there's more! As it stands right now, the 2016-17 fiscal year has $716 million in lapses set into it, so the structural deficit assumes that those $716 million in lapses will happen in EACH YEAR. This is an insane proposition, and would mean more than $350 million in lapses ABOVE the record amount built into this BS budget. Take the $1.432 billion in projected lapses out of the 2017-19 budget, and you have a deficit well above $1.9 billion. This also assumes that strong revenue growth happens in the next two fiscal years, and that there aren't any recessions or other bad policies that might blunt that growth (you know, like major cuts to the UW System, or thousands of layoffs due to hit in the next month?).

Then later this afternoon, the LFB released a list of 100 non-fiscal items included in the state budget. Feel free to click this and find your "favorites." Hmmmm, I seem to recall a certain candidate for guv that said this a few years back.
"....strip policy and pork projects from the state budget. The budget process should be about funding essential government services based on the taxpayers’ ability to pay." - Scott Walker, 2010
Remember when some people thought Scott Walker would be a "clean government reformer" compared to Jim Doyle? SUCKERS! Kinda as silly as believing that shifting all the power to corporations and away from workers would magically cause 250,000 jobs to be added and balance the budget without further cuts or taxes, instead of thinking that these policies would lead to budget deficits, further cuts, and the worst job growth in the Midwest.

Yeah, I don't really think those predictions from RW bubble-world and AM radio really worked out. So why would you ever believe any claim from Scott Walker or his GOP minions for any time in the next 16 months? THEY ARE WRONG AND FAILING.



    And they're taking us down with them.

  2. I saw a chart somewhere that I can't find now, comparing this projected structural deficit to previous budgets. Have you see that? How does it compare?

    1. Chuck- You can find it on the last page of the document I sent above. If the $490 million structural deficit were to hold, it would be the second-lowest in the last 20 years.

      But these numbers change. 2015-17 was listed as a $684 million SURPLUS in July 2013. That number promptly collapsed after stupid tax cuts that led to revenue shortfalls, as well as increases in expenses that were well beyond what was predicted at the time, and it we ended up with a 2015-17 structural deficit of $1.766 BILLION.

      Don't be shocked if the same pattern repeats, because the $490 million is based on decent revenue growth in these next 2 years, and if FY 2015, 2016, or 2017 falls short....look out beloooow!