Monday, March 18, 2019

Walker now doesn't like debt? That's not what his record shows

Looks like our fair ex-Governor has finally found a (symbolic) job.
The Center for State-led National Debt Solutions (CSDNS) today announced its selection of former Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker to serve as National Honorary Chair. This summer, CSNDS will launch a 10-state campaign to support the ongoing effort to attain the final 6 states needed to call a convention limited to the proposal of a balanced budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

“If the [Congressional Budget Office]’s projections hold steady, we’ll see trillion-dollar interest payments in 5 – 10 years which will account for approximately 25% of federal revenue, yet Congress has proved unable to rein in its spending,” Governor Walker said. “Where Washington has failed, the states must step up and lead – using their constitutional authority to solve the problem.”

Given the dire threat America faces and Congress’ refusal to address it, momentum is building for the states to take constitutional action. Under Article V of the U.S. Constitution, it takes 34 states to call a convention to propose an amendment and 38 states to ratify it. Presently, 28 of the 34 required states have called for a convention to propose a balanced budget amendment.
There is a lot of absurdity here.

Some of that absurdity is due to Walker's horrendous record of debt with the Wisconsin DOT. Here's a recent bit of information from WisDOT reminding us of the mess Walker left due to his "fiscal conservatism" on road funding.
Total overall budget allocations [for WisDOT] have remained relatively stable from 2005-2007 though 2018-2019
• The budget allocation for debt service has increased 95% over that time period
• This increase has reduced the budget allocation to other program areas
WisDOT also notes that paying off debt took up an increasing amount of expenses since Walker took office in 2011, and is projected to keep growing in the next 2 years as a result of past borrowing.

That record debt in WisDOT accumulated because Walker refused to raise taxes or fees while costs of construction continued to go up (and it still wasn’t enough to prevent all of the Scottholes that have come up in recent years). And you can bet the Koched-up oligarch group that Walker will represent will want similar idiotic levels of disinvestment as their solution to balancing the budget.

The other reason it is absurd for Walker to talk about the US debt is because Walker vocally backed the GOP’s Tax Scam that is a major reason those long-term budget problems and higher interest payments exist. That includes a claim from Governor Dropout at the end of 2017 that Wisconsinites would get over $200 more a month due to the Tax Scam. As you write your check to the IRS over the next 4 weeks, is that how it worked out for you?

The Tax Scam is certainly adding to the deficit, as a CBO report from earlier this month indicated that the country’s budget deficit had risen to $537 billion in the first 5 months of Fiscal Year 2019.

Our year-too-date deficit is $146 billion (37.3%) above where we were at the same time last year. Most of the increase in that deficit was due to increased spending of $142 billion in Fiscal Year 2019, but tax revenues were also down $4 billion, which is something that shouldn’t be happening in a time of economic growth and 2% inflation.

And the GOP Tax Scam is the reason why those revenues are down, especially on the corporate side.

Change in tax revenues, Oct-Feb
Individual Income Tax
FY 2018 $648 billion
FY 2019 $628 billion (-3.0%)

Corporate Income Tax
FY 2018 $74 billion
FY 2019 $59 billion (-19.2%)

The only reason that receipts are close to FY 2018 levels are due to the following:
· $21 billion more in payroll taxes for programs like Social Security and Medicare
· $14 billion in added tariffs
· $8 billion from the one-year excise tax on health insurance providers in 2018 (it is not in effect now).
· $10 billion in reduced tax refunds. Keep your eye on this one going forward, as the IRS says refunds were still down by $5.3 billion as of March 8.

On the expense side, some of that $142 billion increase is due to more expenses falling in 2019 due to the last October 1 falling on a Monday ($44 billion). The rest of the $99 billion is
· Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid $35 billion (+4.3%)
· Military $24 billion (+9.5%)
· Interest on the Debt $20 billion (+15.0%)
· Everything else $20 billion (+3.8%)

So what does Scotty want to see cut out of that? C'mon kiddo, enlighten us!

And doesn't our Dropout Ex-Guv know that we can use the Internet to find information, which tells us how miserably and recklessly he and his fellow Republicans have been when it comes to deficits and debt? And how their absurd "no tax increase" stances have kept Wisconsin well behind the rest of the country for job growth over the last 8 years, while our roads, schools and services have declined?

1 comment:

  1. The anti-democracy agents pushing this Constitutional Convention will not freely admit that, once convened, said convention would be free to discard the alleged reason for the gathering and move instead to radically alter the form of government.
    "...the processes for impaneling the convention, selecting the delegates, setting the convention’s voting rules, and determining what issues the convention would consider and how much of the Constitution it would seek to rewrite are a mystery. That means that under a convention, anything goes. There are no rules, guideposts or procedures in any of these areas."