Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Walker/Fitzgerald Brothers didn't balance the budget after all. What they didn't tell you; massive cuts to come.

Cognitive Dissidence brought to my attention this amazing fact about Walker’s much touted “balance budget,” via Politifact (they do great research only).  
In 2010, when he ran to succeed Doyle, Walker made an explicit promise, on his campaign website: To "require the use of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to balance every state budget, just as we require every local government and school district to do." We examined Walker's first budget, the 2011-13 biennial budget, to see if he lived up to his promise to balance the budget using GAAP.

There's a chart every two years in the state budget demonstrating the bottom line under GAAP. The chart in the Walker administration’s Budget in Brief shows that the 2011-13 budget was not close to balanced by that standard. In fact, the state would have been left with a deficit of $3 billion by 2012-13 under Walker's budget. That compares to the $2.9 billion GAAP deficit he inherited at the end of Doyle's term, the state's financial statements show.

Walker"s critics didn't highlight those numbers -- it was not in their interest to call for even more cuts in the state budget.

But they will call for more cuts, which will continue the long fast slide into third world status. Frankly, I’m not sure how even fanatical Walker supporters will like the cuts to come.

But like Sen. Alberta Darling promised a reporter after being asked what would happen if the budget cuts didn’t work; it's not that the ideology of tax cuts failed, it's the need for more spending cuts.  

I emailed my unflinchingly conservative friend this story, and here's his typical inflexible answer:
"So, what's your point we are still in a better position as far as revenue is concerned. I'd sure like to see the cuts after the smoke clears." 

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