The $2.7 Billion State Deficit No One Told You About
Written By: Todd A. Berry, Ph.D | Posted: Tuesday, April 13th, 2010
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.
To many readers, this might come as a surprise. By law, state government is supposed to balance its budget. On paper, it does. However, for more than a decade, governors and legislators of both parties have "balanced" budgets through use of accounting maneuvers, timing delays, and borrowing billions in one-time money.
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