Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Special Session and a Bob Burns Editorial

Just because it is November, doesn't mean we can't welcome back our legislature with open arms. Come the week of November 16th we'll do just that. Reports say that is when lawmakers will return to fix almost a half a billion dollars in shortfalls with almost $300 million of that coming from cuts. This is just the beginning since the full year shortfall is approaching $2 Billion.

Senate President Bob Burns wrote an editorial yesterday in the Republic that in one page lays out the situation we are in. I encourage everyone to read it if you don't quite know what's going on, or even if you think you know what's going on. We're in trouble folks and there is no easy way out of it. A temporary tax won't fix it all, and there isn't enough to cut either. An exert from the editorial does a good job of summing it up in a sentence or two.

To maintain a General Fund budget of about $10 billion over the past few years of this recession, your state government - Republicans and Democrats alike - have depleted our savings, delayed payments, swept funds from other accounts, used one-time federal stimulus dollars, and gone deeper into debt. Our projected ongoing revenues are only $6.4 billion, meaning the budget has a structural deficit of $3.6 billion that will plague us in the future until we enact permanent solutions.

Now, we've hit the wall on short-term budget maneuvers and gimmicks. Those options are no longer available. We will have to cut spending or increase taxes or both. There is very little else of substance we can do at this point.

1 comment:

Thane Eichenauer said...

There are only a few answers, increase revenues by raising taxes, reduce spending, borrow money or sell assets.

There are answers, it is a matter of how soon 51% of the legislature plus the governor are motivated enough to decide which are the answers and how much of each will be adopted.