Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Balanced Budgets For Dummies

It is no wonder the Scott Walker campaign has changed their talking points to the miniscule changes in 3rd grade reading proficiencies this week - a new report about Wisconsin's projected budget shortfall just came out.

Hint: It's horrible news for Mr. "I Balanced the State Budget."

The Wisconsin Legislature's budget office is projecting a $1.8 BILLION budget shortfall for the next budget cycle.

It isn't a final number - which will come out in October - it could be better than expected. It could also be worse.

It is a fact that Jim Doyle had a $3 billion deficit when he left office - a figure that took him 8 years to reach. It was also probably the main reason he didn't seek re-election.

Scott Walker made that budget failing one of his main campaign bullet points. (Well, and the 250,000 new jobs promise he can't talk about anymore.) After cutting more funding to public schools than any other state, slashing technical college funding by 30% and tearing the state apart - Scott Walker finds himself 2/3rds of the way back to Jim Doyle's shortfall - and he did it in less than 4 years!

Imagine what he could do with another term.

As it looks now, the Wisconsin legislature is headed back to another Budget Repair Bill, which is either going to slash more spending or raise revenue through a tax increase. Walker's "rainy day fund" could help cover the shortfall - but will take a vote from the Legislature and the optics of that are terrible.

In an interesting defection from the usual wall of Republican silence, Senator, Rob Cowles was quoted as saying: "We should have done a better job — that's it." In reference to the tax cuts Walker ordered last spring which more than a couple Republicans thought were too expensive and would create such a shortfall.

Scott Walker had a campaign to run and couldn't be bothered with details like that. When it comes to his job or his campaign, we all know what Scott Walker's priorities are.