A week before Christmas, an important report appeared on a Wisconsin government website. There were no press releases from Madison politicians. No headline news stories.
Yet no public official, taxpayer or citizen can afford to ignore the report’s bottom line: According to its just-released financial statements, state government closed its 2008-09 books with a $2.71 billion deficit in its general fund.Gee. No trumpeting from the (D) folks? One wonders why.
Oh, it gets worse, all right.
True, this year’s deficit is the largest ever reported. But it is the fifth consecutive year that the GAAP shortfall exceeded $2 billion and the ninth that it has topped $1 billion. We have not had a recession every year since the late 1990s. This recession didn’t really get underway until early 2008.
Even more troubling than the size of the deficit is its trend. Since 1999, the shortfall has grown in every year except one: $830 million in fiscal 1999, $1.21 billion in 2000, $1.48 billion in 2001, $2.24 billion in 2002, $1.93 billion in 2004, $2.12 billion in 2005, $2.15 billion in 2006, $2.44 billion in 2007, $2.50 billion in 2008, and now, $2.71 billion in 2008-09.Yes, I know Tommy Thompson's name, and the names of the Moron Republicans who aided and abetted his schemes. One was such a turd that he eventually vacated his District and ran off to Sun Prairie. Even the people up there couldn't stand him any more.
For the other "Republican-or-Die" types: that Tea Party stuff was, and still IS, very real. Don't come to our doors with fundraising hopes. Your votes on the budgets of Thompson are public record, remember?