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“Don’t worry, there’s plenty of money”

Friday, Mar 7, 2014

* Apparently, the House and Senate Republicans are not operating out of the same budgetary playbook

Illinois senators voted along party lines Thursday to adopt a revenue estimate for next year that is about $1 billion less than was used to create the current state budget. […]

The new revenue estimate is lower in large part because much of the temporary income tax increase is set to expire at the end of 2014, midway through the next budget year. At the same time, budget negotiators must cope with increased costs that cannot be avoided, such as for pensions, health insurance for both retirees and active workers and Medicaid. Between the higher costs and less revenue, budget negotiators are looking at a $2.3 billion hole they will have to fill in the next budget.

Senate Republicans all voted against the revenue estimate. Some accused Democrats of hiding revenue to make the budget numbers look worse than they are. They said it was part of an attempt by Democrats to build support for continuing the income tax hike. […]

The same resolution passed the Illinois House on a 112-0 vote. Some House Republicans noted that the figures were based on estimates from the legislature’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, which has provided reliable estimates in the past. Republicans said they were also encouraged that Gov. Pat Quinn’s budget office had estimates very similar to COGFA’s.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 11:59 am:

    I guess the Senate GOP thinks the economy is gangbusters and there will be more revenue available after a tax cut.

    Or maybe they’re just not thinking at all.

  2. - A guy... - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:04 pm:

    Someone still swinging a 2×4 in the House Caucus. Man, this is just plain embarrassing.

  3. - PublicServant - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    The borg queen has lost contact with her senate drones.

  4. - Frosty-The Snowman - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    “Rauner-Rauner-Rauner-Rauner” was the chant that went across the land when the taxpayers of Illinois realized that nothing was going to change in Springfield unless they brought in a hired gun or a bounty hunter.
    “Have money & conviction”—”Will Travel”
    Wire Rauner — Winnetka, Illinois

  5. - DuPage - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:15 pm:

    Maybe the Democrats are estimating a little low. They might be thinking of possible injunctions against SB1 before the cuts actually happen.
    After that the courts may well throw SB1 out entirely, so they will want to keep the income tax where it is. By estimating low they can justify needing to do that.

  6. - RNUG - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:23 pm:

    Senate GOP must know where the bag of magic beans is hidden away if they think the COGFA numbers are off.

  7. - Empty Suit - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    Yeah darn Senate GOPs! We all know how wrong they were about the Governor’s Violence Prevention Program.

  8. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:30 pm:

    All I know for certain is that we suddenly have money for tax cuts to corporations and building museums.

    That has been surprising to learn.

  9. - For Whatever It's Worth - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:32 pm:

    Is this one of those “Laughter” (actually Laffer) Curve deals?

  10. - Anon - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    So Obama is a secret Muslim, climate change is a liberal hoax, and COGFA is hiding money.

  11. - dupage dan - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Senate GOP members: “you are hiding the deck chairs on the port side where we can’t see them”.
    (somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean, April 14, 1912)

  12. - Palm Tree - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:44 pm:

    Dems want to make the budget deficit seem gargantuan, so that no fool would ever think the tax hike can be allowed to sunset.

    Underestimating revenue and overestimating spending helps them do that. So that’s what they are doing.

    The tax increase isn’t going away. It never was. You all know it.

  13. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 12:57 pm:

    –Underestimating revenue and overestimating spending helps them do that.–

    For crying out loud, COGFA has a track record for revenue estimates. Check it out. It’s sterling. Their only miss was the crash in revenues after the bubble burst.

    Where do the conspiracies end for some of these guys?

  14. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    So are the Senate R’s saying the House R’s are not smart enough to know what’s really going on?
    Don’t look at the man behind the curtain.

  15. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    This whole thing is FICTION crafted by politicians during an election year.

    So, naturally the folks losing the political goal these fictional numbers are supposed to represent are going to call the winners dishonest for lying about the fictional numbers.

    Because Illinois and the State’s leadership has been so outstanding a public servant regarding it’s fiduciary responsibilities to its citizens and has for many generations been as spot-on regarding these budgets as a real-life organization with responsible fiduciary responsibilities - we can believe this crap.

    Or believe that it is somehow tethered to some semblance of reality.

    I don’t believe anything these people say or do.

  16. - 100 Miles West - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Frosty, when I was a kid I thought Paladin’s first name was Wire.

  17. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:19 pm:

    –I don’t believe anything these people say or do.–

    I don’t understand what you’re saying. You don’t believe whom?

    Do you think money is being hidden, too?

    Again, COGFA has an excellent track record. You can look it up. They are professionals, not politicians.

    You believe in empirical evidence, don’t you?

  18. - Palm Tree - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:20 pm:

    It’s not a conspiracy. It is a strategy. Don’t pretend like it’s an outrageous assertion. It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to understand posturing.

    Why do you think Cullerton has already tried to estimate the budget hole at $3 billion? So that people will say, “There’s no way we can fill that hole with cuts alone. We must extend the tax.”

    You can bemoan the conspiracy theorists, but that is exactly what’s happening.

  19. - VanillaMan - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:26 pm:

    Geez word -
    These are the same people who can’t find the $54,000,000 they gave to their voter base. So, what do you think the chances are that these people are suddenly being honest about money?

    How many times do you need to be hit over the head by these people before you start to duck?

    You’ve lost me right after you finished singing, “When You Wish Upon A Star”, Mr. Cricket.

  20. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 1:47 pm:

    COGFA does excellent work. They are one of the best resources in Illinois government, imho.

    There is, however, nearly a $1 billion discrepancy between the CGFA estimate and the IDoR/GOMB revenue estimates. $717 million, to be specific.

    A cynic might ask why they chose to use the CGFA estimates instead over the IDoR/GOMB estimates?

    A cynic might also wonder which revenue estimate Governor Quinn will use when introducing his budget? CGFA’s or his office’s?

    Fortunately, I am not a cynic so I do not have to think about such things.

  21. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:02 pm:

    Oh for pete’s sake. Nobody is hiding revenues. It’s said they we are now to the point where we are impugning the integrity of COGFA. If you are looking for a conspiracy you are barking up the wrong tree. Some of you need to grow up and be adults.

  22. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:03 pm:

    “sad that” not “said they”

    ugh . . . TGIF

  23. - Demoralized - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    Also, the Republicans need to get their act together. If the revenues would have been estimated higher they would have been throwing a fit. You have to be FOR something. Anything. Pick something. You can’t just say NO NO NO to everything. If they don’t like the estimate then what do they think it should be? There schtick is getting old.

  24. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    ===It’s not a conspiracy. It is a strategy. ===

    You are aware that COGFA is run by a Republican and governed by a bipartisan legislative commission, correct?

    If you are not aware of either or both of those, you might wanna stop commenting here about stuff you’re pulling outta your patootie.

  25. - archimedes - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:06 pm:

    It also might be worth pointing out that the CGFA legislative members are 6 republicans and 6 democrats (6 from each house, 12 total).

    CGFA has a lot of earned credibility.

  26. - archimedes - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Oops - Rich beat me to it….

  27. - Rich Miller - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 2:10 pm:

    No worries, arch. It’s worth repeating.

    Those who believe that Cullerton controls the former Republican staffer who runs CGFA to the point where all the commission’s economists and other experts would sign off on a deliberately inflated revenue report need to get their heads examined. Pronto.

    Differences exist all the time between GOMB and CGFA. Almost every year. Sometimes they are small, sometimes they are large.

  28. - Walker - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 3:17 pm:

    ===These are the same people who cannot find the $54Millioon…===

    VMan, these are NOT the same people. These are the apolitical analysts who correct the nonsense put out by the politicians. They do not work for any faction or party.

    Anyone who wants to raise the CoGFA revenue estimate, which is the best available in the state, until proven otherwise, must realize that that would justify greater spending in the budget, not less.

    Is that what the Senate GOP wants? More spending?

    Beyond stupid.

    Those who disagree with CGFA’s revenue estimates better have their data and economic experts all lined up — or they are playing pure politics.

    Those who accept CGFA’s estimate as the best available in this state, are dealing with reality.

    Inflating a revenue estimate, as the Senate GOP is trying to do, leads to more spending when aiming for a balanced budget, not less. Beyond stupid.

  29. - wordslinger - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 3:39 pm:

    VMan, Palm, sorry, you don’t have a rational or coherent thought to respond to.

    Take a breath, take your Ritalin, and maybe you can follow the discussion.

    It ain’t that difficult, if you focus.

    You can do it.

  30. - Under Influenced - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 3:45 pm:

    All praise Leader McCarter, he does math good.

    But seriously, there is only 19…so who cares?

  31. - Formerly Known As... - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 3:51 pm:

    COGFA does great, objective work. They are not part of the “problem” in Springfield, they are part of the “solution”.

    They are one of the few things that actually works very well in our government. I personally rely on COGFA’s numbers more than the GOMB’s and would have no problem with using COGFA’s numbers every single year.

    That said, when I previously criticized our budget process as convoluted for using numbers from COGFA, GOMB and so on instead of one streamlined source, some rebuked such criticisms of our process:

    There has to be a better way of doing things than picking between competing sets of projections rom year to year.

  32. - SAP - Friday, Mar 7, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    So the Senate portion of the party of small government wants to spend $1Billion more that Madigan, Cullerton, and all those other tax and spend Democrats. Jeez, sometimes irony is wasted on the wrong people.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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