First of all, it’s not a surplus….yet!

Governor Walker is falling all over himself trying to find ways to give the projected budget surplus back to tax payers. But it is NOT a surplus…it is a projected surplus…not money in the bank or cash on the barrel head…a projected surplus projected by the same people in Madison who projected the short fall in this very same budget cycle just last summer. So were they right then and if not why are they right now? And who’s to say they won’t come up with a totally different projection in six months…well maybe not six months…maybe more like after the fall elections.

Now my personal preference for spending actual surplus dollars would be state education at all levels…because really…I am not going to get much personal benefit out of the 2% savings in my property taxes…but the total if given to education would have some impact. But I digress down the same rabbit hole as the governor.

But what should really happen is we pay as we go…instead of having a $725 million shortfall we should just use the ‘projected surplus’ to pay our way…and at the end of the 2013-2015 budget we just might have an extra $186 million in the bank.

To me, Governor Walkers attempts to return money that we don’t actually have is just a “misguided political stunt”.


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7 thoughts on “First of all, it’s not a surplus….yet!

  1. Thanks Ed,

    The issue can’t be repeated too much for the moment, but you are being awfully kind in describing it as a stunt. This is old fashioned attempted bribes for votes, payment for voter loyalty, bribes made with the recipient’s own money, for which further interest will be due from them later.

  2. To me, Governor Walkers attempts to return money that we don’t actually have is just a “misguided political stunt”.


  3. Thanks Ed.

    Agree with you, non-quixote, and Cat. This is the time for all state Democrats and Republicans to come together on “fiscal conservatism.”

    The federal government’s real borrowing costs are ZERO. Wall Street has manufactured this idea that we borrow from them or China, or somewhere else. It’s all lies. The FEDERAL government prints money.

    Not so with state government. The state deficit does matter and it does impact what the state’s borrowing costs are.

    IMHO, this is just part of a “long con” by Walker and his Wall Street buddies to loot the state pension’s system.

  4. “To me, Governor Walkers attempts to return money that we don’t actually have is just a “misguided political stunt”.”

    Well, it is politics. But saying it’s not a surplus yet is like saying it’s not a deficit yet. It’s all part of budgeting exercise.
    If a deficit was on the horizon the question would be how do we deal with this issue? Since it appears a surplus is on the horizon the question remains the same. And there are many options. I hear you regarding education. As an example the school district where I live is providing a $35 million referendum in the Spring. If I choose yes I am approving about a $200 property tax increase for the next 20 years. I actually trust the locals vote in this case regardless of where it lands rather than State Government trying to decide who gets what.

  5. I found a very interesting blog post (Jan. 14, 2014) on this topic at the website of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance:

    Here is an excerpt:

    “One idea that is probably not on the radar screen of state politicians also deserves mention. Over the past two decades, state budget problems prompted governors and lawmakers to use repeated accounting tricks to “balance” what would otherwise have been unbalanced state budgets. Some of these tricks involved changing the timing of state aid and property tax credit payments to local units of government—i.e., shifting costs from one fiscal year to the next.

    “One good-government alternative for using new-found cash is to ‘buy back’ or ‘undo’ some of these past accounting tricks. These gimmicks permanently increased by hundreds of millions of dollars deficits reported in official state financial statements prepared using general accepted accounting principles (or GAAP). This type of accounting is different from the cash accounting lawmakers use to balance the budget.”

    And I believe this idea is on the radar of Democratic candidate Mary Burke, who has called for paying down some of the “structural deficit.”

    1. There may be some truth to that.
      And the previous deficit was caused by…. (Your opinion here) ?
      Just curious.

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