Wednesday, May 16, 2007

How Much SPENDING Is Doyle Proposing?

Well, it's a lot.

But there's a difference between the numbers tossed off.

In her blogpost, Sen. Vukmir says:

Gov. Jim Doyle made a dangerous tactical blunder by introducing a budget that increases spending by nearly 10% over two years

Odd, because in another blogpost:

...the head of the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, Bob Lang, who was kind enough to venture out of Madison for the budget hearing. He brought along a few fairly simple charts and graphs to help folks get their arms around this complex budget – a budget that Lang showed us increased spending 6.4% the first year and 3.9% the second year.

Reality check. Let's start with $100.00. Add 6.4% to $100.00 and you have $106.40.

THEN add 3.9% to $106.40 and you have $110.54, meaning the two-year increase is 10.54%.

That's larger than Sen. Vukmir's number (albeit not much) and NOT the same as adding 6.4 plus 3.9. Compounding counts, folks.

Especially when you start with a spending proposal of approximately $54 BILLION.

Because 10.54% of $54 Billion (last biennium's approx.) is $5 BILLION, 691 MILLION dollars.

It's $291 MILLION DOLLARS more than a flat 10% increase.

To Sen. Vukmir, $291 MILLION DOLLARS may be inconsequential. It ain't to me...

HT: Wiggy and Backroom

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Your point is true, but it isn’t entirely accurate.

You have to do the math over the biennium, not on an annual basis. For example:

You can look at all budget funds:
2005-2007 – 53,673,369,400
2007-2009 – 58,236,506,300
Total Increase: 8.5%

Or you could take all funds, plus general revenue bonding:
2005-2007 – 53,902,154,400
2007-2009 – 58,988,614,400
Total Increase: 9.4%

Or you could use all funds, plus all bonding:
2005-2007 – 54,268,817,100
2007-2009 – 60,346,104,400
Total Increase: 11.2%

The general revenue bonding plus all funds would be a more accurate way to calculate the increase. Further complicating matters however, one has to keep in mind that a portion of the general obligation bonding has been used as a backfill for fund-transfers. In other words, some general obligation bonding has been used to pay for current road projects and other capital projects.

The actual budget increase percentage could accurately be stated as something less than 11.2% and something more than 9.4% making the “nearly 10%” observation within the range of grenade throwing accuracy that typifies the state budget.

You are trying to assess a budget built on smoke and mirrors as though it tells an honest story. It does not. The state budget is a matter of fiction on the order of Grimm’s Fairy Tales. It is open to any number of true, but frequently inaccurate observations.

I would say that the numbers vindicate Rep. Vukmir. You may disagree, but you really should not have gone to the extreme to label her a Senator. Those would be fighting words in the state capitol.