Thursday, March 14, 2013

Big Surpluses? Walker will Borrow $1 Billion for Transportation to avoid Tax Increase. Good Idea?

How ridiculous is it to borrow $1 billion for road construction, when raising taxes or instituting a user fee of some sort would be a longer term solution? Very ridiculous. And that’s what Scott Walker has decided to do, borrow money just to staying true to his belief system that steers clear of tax increases. What about the next biennium?

So spending money we don’t have, with interest, instead of making road construction self-sustaining, is okay with conservative voters?
jsonline: Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget would borrow more than $1 billion over two years, the Legislature's budget office reported Thursday. The vast majority of that money - $994 million - would go toward shoring up the state's sagging transportation fund, which faces rising demand from major projects at a time when its traditional sources of revenue are shrinking.
When you have an ideology that paints you into a corner over and over again, isn't it time to ask yourself what needs to change? I guess not:
Members of the Legislature's Joint Finance Committee had raised concerns about the borrowing in Walker's budget. "I'm not comfortable with the level of bonding," Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) said. "It's inconsistent with the message I ran on and the majority of this body ran on."

The co-chairs of the Finance Committee, Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), have also said they would like to see less borrowing in the budget.
They can’t do anything at all! Nothing. Just borrow, like they did when Paul Ryan and the Congressional Republicans spent like drunken sailors. See where that got us?
So far, Republicans have not spelled out how they might reduce bonding. Walker's transportation secretary, Mark Gottlieb, noted in a recent interview that legislators will have two options if they want to cut borrowing - finding new revenue or cutting back the highway program.

Making the problem worse, the state is anticipating a decrease of $21 million over two years in transportation aid from the federal government.  
Even worse, instead of a self-sustaining fund for road building, Walker wants the flexibility of draining the general fund dry for his campaign contributors. That source is endless, or would be with a few more draconian cuts.
Walker wants to push the cost of transit programs out of the transportation and into the general fund. That would save the transportation fund $106.4 million in this budget, and far more in future ones. 

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