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Fun with numbers

Wednesday, Feb 5, 2014

* From Illinois Watchdog

[Rep. John Bradley’s] panel has already said the state will have about $34.4 billion to spend next year. The current state budget spends $36 billion. But Illinois has $42.6 billion in bills.

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka’s office said there are $6.6 billion in unpaid bills either at the comptroller’s office or inside state agencies.

Lawmakers don’t know how they will stretch $34 billion to cover $42.6 billion in obligations. […]

It will likely take a tax increase to make up the rest.

That’s just plain ridiculous.

Adding the entire stack of unpaid bills to next fiscal year’s “must pay” obligation to make the situation look even more dire than it already is and then predicting a gigantic tax increase to pay it all off is fantasy analysis.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 12:29 pm:

    How does he conclude that the $6.6 billion in unpaid bills is not included in the $36 billion of appropriations?

    Did he run that by anyone?

    Who else says there will be a tax increase, other than him?

  2. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 1:36 pm:

    With Madigan cutting taxes all of a sudden, who knows where things will wind up?

    If Illinois is cutting taxes for corporations and doing nothing about the 2/3 who pay no taxes at all, then taxpayers should receive a tax cut as well.

  3. - Gabe - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 1:51 pm:

    That’s IW’s “Citizen Journalism” at its finest. Yount’s phone number is one that always gets a chuckle and an ignore when it comes up.

  4. - Vinny - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 2:51 pm:

    As nice of a guy as Yount may be, this is what most of his and Watchdog’s reporting is-stretching facts to fit a conservative agenda. This is a prime example. Another is that nonsense about how the cold weather emergency somehow proved that most government employees are expendable.

  5. - walker - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 3:03 pm:

    You don’t just add one number to the other, and assume that totals to the revenue we need. The “appropriate” level of outstanding bills at any one time for the state is about $3B, matching the timeliness requirements set to avoid penalties, and the performance of the best private sector organizations. If we want to catch up, we aim for around that number.

    What “panel” is he talking about? The COGFA revenue forecast that is the starting point for budgeting?

  6. - Hit or Miss - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 4:21 pm:

    “the state will have about $34.4 billion to spend next year. The current state budget spends $36 billion”

    Given the above and the move to cut taxes by MJM, there appears to me to be a budget problem even if none of the billions in unpaid bills are paid. As I see it, the options the GA has are increased taxes rather than tax cuts, spending cuts, or some combination of the two.

  7. - Arthur Andersen - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 5:34 pm:

    Quite a bit of his “financial” pieces are painful to read. He had one recently about State pensioners doubling their money in four years or the like.

  8. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Feb 5, 14 @ 5:51 pm:

    AA, I never pay much attention to this dude, but from what I’ve seen, numbers ain’t his game.

    Where are the editors, anymore, anywhere, anyhow?

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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