Sunday, January 12, 2014

Wisconsin Facing Massive $1.5 billion Budget Hole! Cutting our way to Prosperity with no new Revenue Streams Fundamentally Flawed.

It’s encouraging to see others now focusing in on Walker’s inability to fund transportation responsibly.

The GOP mantra to never raise taxes has put up road blocks to each and every solution we have in this state and nation. The fact that they've borrowed and used general fund money to pay for road maintenance in Wisconsin should have sent up red flags for even conservative voters, who didn't seem to notice. Republicans are stuck, and they know it.

I've focused on the transportation fund because I think it showcases the fundamental problem of the conservative ideology and their no tax pledge. They can’t manage anything, especially government, wearing their ridiculous no tax straitjacket. Unfortunately, Walker might get another four year term before reality hits every taxpayer in the state. The GOP can't even replace most of the old gas tax with an equal but new mileage based use tax. 

Jake’s Economic TA Funhouse, my go to guy for numbers, broke it down wonderfully below (see more here):
Good to see a discussion of Transportation funding find its way into an in-depth article from the Journal-Sentinel's Patrick Marley. And while it's buried near the end of the article, I'm going to bring this bit of news up to the front.

The transportation fund will start the next two-year budget cycle with a deficit of about $750 million. That is because the governor and lawmakers relied on one-time funding — much of it borrowed — to help pay for the Zoo Interchange and the north-south portion of I-94 in southeastern Wisconsin.

About $600 million more will be needed from mid-2015 to mid-2017 to pay for those two projects alone.

When you combine it to the $725 million structural deficit we're in for the General Fund, it now means the state is facing overall budget deficits near $1.5 billion with the next budget that have to be filled. So much for the idea that the budget is "balanced" under Walker and WisGOP.

1 comment:

Jake formerly of the LP said...

Thanks for the props, John. I was waiting for the Transportation Fund to be projected ahead, since I had heard the deficit might be that big.

Also worth mentioning is that Transit funding was done by moving funds from the General Fund to the Transportation Fund. The $725 million general fund deficit assumes that won't happen again. If it does, then it's another $220 million that'll have to be made up for.

Revenue matters, folks.