Does The State Have A Balanced Budget Or Not?
Journal Sentinel sorts out a discrepancy, but it's a little confusing as to Democrats as to why the Republicans can even begin to say they balanced the budget.
Budgeting is tricky even on a personal level, but it's not rocket science. Right?
Well, if you look at the state budget, it may be balanced, but there's still a deficit (at least when the feds are asking).
An official in the governor's office said Walker's administration has been saying the GAAP deficit is about $3 billion for last year and this year's fiscal year. But on the other hand, Walker and Republican lawmakers say they balanced the budget.
So how does that happen?
According to a story by the Journal Sentinel, it works like this:
For example, a consumer may have money in his or her bank account, but if a looming credit card bill is even larger, then he or she would have a deficit under that method of accounting. This so-called GAAP deficit isn't new to the Walker administration - it goes back years in state government to past governors such as Democrat Jim Doyle who also have said they balanced the budget on a cash basis while the GAAP deficit remained.
The point become relevant to Democrats as they see Walker justifying dropping 53,000 people from state-funded insurance programs.
The 2010 federal health law requires a state to maintain health coverage levels and not drop people from coverage programs for the needy unless the state can show that it has a budget deficit. In that case, states can drop certain recipients with higher incomes - a group that in Wisconsin works out to around 53,000 people.
But Rep. Robin Vos (R-Rochester), told the Journal Sentinel: "We're trying to address the GAAP deficit over time."
Read more of the story by clicking here.