Thursday, May 12, 2016

"The Obama Economy" isn't why this state is going broke. It's you, Scotty

Just when you think you’ve heard the weakest excuses come out of our Governor Dropout’s pie hole, he surprises you by sinking to a new depth of lameness.
Governor Walker is blaming the state's decision to defer $101 million worth of debt on President Obama.

On Tuesday, the Walker administration announced plans to defer payment on $101 million dollars worth of short-term loan debt that was due May 1st. The state will instead pay that amount off over the next eight years at an added cost of $2.3 million in interest.

The Walker administration has the $101 million on hand, but will move that amount into the general fund to shore up the state's budget balance.

Gov. Walker told 27 News Wednesday he wants to keep that cash on hand to cover any shortfalls caused by unexpected economic downturns in the national economy.

"The bottom line is we have concerns about the Obama economy nationally and we want to make sure Wisconsin's prepared for it," said Gov. Walker. "And the reason we're able to do that is we have the lowest level of bonding in some 20 years. So that put us in a position where we could do this and still have breathing room."
ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? That comment is total bullshit in many ways. Let me reel them off.

1.“The Obama economy”???? The same Obama economy that has added jobs every month for the past 6 years? The same Obama economy that would have given Wisconsin 82,000 more jobs over the span of Walker’s tenure in office if we had merely kept up with it???

The same Obama economy that has all other Midwestern states adding more jobs than we are?

On what planet is the “Obama economy” something Scott Walker should be complaining about? That (along with the success of us brainy book-learnin’ lib’ruls in Madison) is the only thing that’s kept Wisconsin’s economy afloat under Walker’s failed policies.

2. On the fiscal side, the 2015-16 budget already had a $284 million cushion built into it. Why do we need to save more money now? It’s the later years that have deficits built into them (including nearly $150 million next year).

In fact, Walker is doing the exact opposite of what should be done to shore things up for future downturns. The LFB reported that this week’s “scoop and toss” maneuver adds $13.1 million in spending in the fiscal year that starts on July 1, and a $108 million “scoop and toss” from last year added another $18.75 million to the 2016-17 budget. That’s nearly $32 million that we are blowing through next year because of the Walker Administration’s scared and stupid response to avoid dealing with the current deficits.

If you were a governor that was truly concerned about economic times ahead, you would never tie your hands in future years by kicking off debt this way. You would instead pay your debt now, and improve your flexibility for later. In fact, there’s really only one reason you pull a “scoop and toss” in this situation - BECAUSE YOU’RE BROKE AND DON’T HAVE THE MONEY

3. But they actually do have some money. Walker and WisGOP have talked up the $280 million that exists in the state’s rainy day fund, which was built up between 2011 and 2013, mostly due to the gains in the stock and job market under the “Obama economy.”

If the Walker folks were truly worried about the future, they could take some comfort in knowing the rainy day fund could be tapped in case of recession or some other fiscal emergency. I mean, why have such a fund if it’s not going to be used in that case, to lessen the adjustments that would need to be made? In addition, if things were decent on the revenue side for 2015-16, and finished ahead of estimates for this year, we could put more money into the rainy day fund, and give even more of a cushion.

That’s clearly not happening, and in fact, there’s ZERO reason to do the “scoop and toss” game unless revenues are going to come in well below what is projected for this fiscal year. But Walker and WisGOP are clearly trying to hide this fact from the public, and trying to avoid having to deal with an in-year budget deficit until after the November 2016 elections. In fact, it’s notable that Walker/WisGOP ISN’T doing a "wait it out" strategy for this fiscal year, when they have a $284 million cushion, to keep the budget out of people’s minds and hope they could get lucky with better budget numbers in the coming months.

The fact that the Walker Administration used “scoop and toss” before the end of this fiscal year should tell you the numbers suck now. Scotty’s BS about fearing what’ll happen in the economy in the future is an irrelevant crock, because this state’s budget crunch is hitting today. In fact, the Walker Administration’s move, to kick the can down the road to a time when the budget is hopefully not so messed up, is the exact opposite of someone who would be worried about the last year of the “Obama economy.”

4. But there’s also a cynical reason for this "scoop and toss" strategy, in addition to the panic move of trying to hide the in-year budget deficit. If the Walker folks refuse to use rainy day funds that exist to fix the deficit, then that money can’t be spent to patch up underfunded services. In addition, if you kick $32 million in expenses into next year, and add $60- $70 million into the next budget to pay for these one-time stunts, then you don’t have enough funds available for other things. Which makes for a great excuse of further cuts for 2017-19 and future budgets, and selling off of state resources to campaign contributors- a classic “starve the beast” strategy that is straight out of ALEC's "Kansas-model" handbook.

Scotty is hoping to skip town before that shit fully hits the fan, which would make the governor that follows to clean up the mess he and his reckless policies caused (extra bonus if that Guv with his/her hands tied is a Democrat). But much like with Bush’s Great Recession, it appears that the disaster is going to hit before Wisconsin’s Dubya can leave office, which means Scotty will have to face the music on another failure of trickle-down tax cuts and gimmicks like “scoop and toss” not delivering the jobs, revenue, or budget stability that the Bubble-Worlders promised it would.

It is so insulting to have a Governor like Scott Walker who tries to pull an excuse like "The Obama Economy" to cover for his own incompetence. I'm so done with this garbage.


  1. You say it's coming out of his pie-hole but I'm thinking that it's really coming out of his other end. On Wisconsin!

  2. And here's the Wisconsin Budget Project with their take on the $101 million in unpaid debt.

    "In the past, the tactic of delaying debt payments has generally been the result of economic downturns. Yet this is the second straight year that the Governor has found it necessary to push borrowing costs into the future – despite the fact that this is a time of national economic growth. That is not a sign of “prudent financial management.” It’s a sign that state lawmakers were too hasty to use projected revenue increases to justify more tax cuts, without preparing for the possibility that the projected increases might fall short of expectations."

  3. Greatest. Post. Ever. I love this blog.

    Too bad the WIGOP doesn't read it, but if your reading and math skills are at a third-grade level this really isn't the blog for you.

    1. Thank you kindly, Peter! And yes, this is not for the weak-minded dopes who might have actually bought the "Obama Economy" BS.

      \Math is a liberal plot to WisGOP

    2. Jake--much appreciated.

      I have an ancient blog (going back to 2003) that I'm about to add a blogroll to. You are at the top of the list. Absolutely essential reading.