Revenue increases will more than cover an estimated $1.5 billion budget shortfall over the next two years, according to a report by Gov. Doyle’s budget director.
Assuming average revenue growth which has increased by 5% a year the past twenty years, the state will collect about $1.9 billion more over the two-year budget, which will more than cover the projected deficit, said the Governor’s budget director David Schmiedicke.
More than cover the projected shortfall - I’ll say. If my math is correct the governor’s budget director has taken a projected $1.5 billion deficit and has turned it into possibly a $400 million surplus for the next two year cycle! To realize how extraordinary this announcement is, just put this in perspective with the way President Bush went ga-ga over the recently revised Federal budget deficit projections. Here the administration projected a gigantic $435 billion dollar deficit last year only to re-adjust to a lesser whopping $296 billion deficit - not a surplus by any means. Bush and Rep. Paul Ryan have suggested that the fourth largest deficit in U.S. history is the culmination of increased revenues resulting from their taxcuts to the wealthy. Time for celebration they said.
Comparing the current Bush deficit to Wisconsin’s deficit and re-figuring the $296 billion deficit to have approximately the same results Gov. Doyle accomplished through increased revenues, Bush would have to show a projected surplus of about $80 billion dollars. Don’t hold your breath. What is even more amazing is that Doyle has achieved this through a hostile legislature. Meanwhile, Bush has achieved his record breaking deficits under the guidance and approval of a rubber-stamp Congress.
Not to be forgotten in all the excitement, Gov. Doyle has also announced a healthcare taxcut that may save a family about $240 a year.
The Gazette on Thursday did finally give some ink to the governors recent announcement but downplayed the revenue increase and instead focused on the tax cut. The tax cut is welcome and will help those who pay state taxes on health insurance premiums, but it will cost the state $50 million to implement. Fortunately, Gov. Doyle can offer this tax cut because after all, he is not the candidate who wants to outlaw proposals that can lead to a larger deficit. But the tax cut is minor when compared to the potential impact the governors latest budget projections can have.