Monday, January 10, 2005

Deficit?

The state legislature is back in session and the calls for more money are as loud as ever. Predictably, we're going to hear a lot of talk about a budget deficit. This year we're $1.8 billion short.

Or are we?

The definition of a "deficit" in the mind of big spenders is "the difference between how much I have and how much I want to spend."

The state is actually going to collect $1.6 billion in new revenue this year (over last year's spending levels). That's the equivalent of a 7 percent raise. (Most of us would love a 7 percent raise.) It just so happens state spenders want to spend $3.3 billion more this year, resulting in a $1.8 billion "deficit."

Incidentally, inflation for the next biennium is forecasted at less than 4 percent, so the excuse that we're "maintaining current levels of service" doesn't fly.

Don't you just love these guys?

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