Monday, November 26, 2007

Wisconsin: Another Day Older and Deeper in Debt

The State of Wisconsin should adopt Tennessee Ernie Ford's "Sixteen Tons" as its theme song.

To pay for highways, buildings and environmental programs, state government slid 87% deeper in long-term debt over the past 10 years.

According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state had $8.28 billion in general-obligation, transportation and environmental debt in mid-2006; the same debts totaled $4.41 billion in 1996.

You can call that 'an 87% increase,' or you can say that 'it damn near doubled.'

Principal and interest payments on general-obligation bonds will exceed $700 million for the first time this year; and payments on transportation bonds will cost an additional $174 million.

Don't you just love this steaming-pile explanation?

Schmiedicke said incurring more debt allowed Doyle and legislators to protect public schools, aid to local governments and the transportation infrastructure. It also freed up state aid to control increases in property tax bills, he added.

Let me translate:

"Protect" WEAC, the RoadBuilders, and local co-conspirator Spend It Now gummints, not to mention AFSCME employees of those locals.

Wisconsin has the largest deficit of any state, under the so-called generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP, system of budgeting, Berry noted. Berry said the state's annual deficit under GAAP - which reflects the imbalance between future spending commitments and expected tax collections - is $2.1 billion

Not to worry!

...state officials discount the GAAP budgeting method. Wisconsin is unique because it promises to return $6 out of every $10 collected in future taxes to local governments - a cash-flow cycle that GAAP goes not take into account, officials said

That's a crock, folks. GAAP is GAAP is GAAP, and just because the State is sending money to the locals doesn't make it a rose.

Face it: it's the SPENDING, STUPID!!!

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