Monday, October 7, 2013

The Scott Walker Budgeting Mirage.

It's not just that I think Scott Walker is burying us in debt and future deficits, but just by conservative standards alone, this guy doesn't come close to measuring up. Republicans should be running for cover, but instead, are in the tank for this loser. 

This report should put Walker on notice and give an aggressive Mary Burke campaign great material:
CapTimes-Mike Ivey: Gov. Scott Walker has honed his reputation as a fiscal
conservative, taking credit for closing a $3.6 billion spending gap left from the Jim Doyle administration. But a new report from the non-partisan Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance shows the state has actually been borrowing more money to balance the books … $ 2.05 billion in borrowing, with $1.64 billion of it paid for with general fund revenues.

The main reason for the borrowing increase is Medicaid … Walker has only added to the problem, some have argued, by rejecting $4.4 billion in federal Medicaid assistance, linked to Obamacare, over the next decade. Due to the increases, Medicaid expenditures now account for 15.1 percent of total state general fund spending. That’s a record high and up from an average of about 10 percent during 1985-2003.
Walker also kicked the can down the road figuring out what to do with transportation funds, so right now, he’s taking it from all state taxpayers:
WISTAX notes that general fund dollars are also funding transportation, a relatively new phenomenon. The Walker budget shifts $213.7 million from the general fund and $44.5 million from the petroleum inspection fund to pay for transportation needs. It also pays for the debt service on another $200 million in transportation borrowing with general fund dollar."

“These are dollars that, in the past, would have funded schools and local aid, among other programs,” WISTAX says.  WISTAX is not the only observer to note that Walker has continued a trend of increased borrowing.
That's not all:
Milwaukee columnist Bruce Murphy recently took the governor to task for posturing as a budget-balancer while actually increasing the amount of state borrowing and long-term debt.

Conversely, K-12 school aids … the lowest percentage since 1996.

Under Walker’s 2013-15 budget, debt service will climb even higher, claiming 5.26% of general fund dollars in 2014 and 4.88% in 2015 … target has been 4%.

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