Fun with numbers
Tuesday, May 6, 2014
* From the Illinois Policy Institute…
* If you click here and take a look at a document published by the Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability, you’ll see that the Policy Institute is right about their simple comparison between FY 2012 and FY 2015. Total operating and transfers out spending in FY12 was $34.1 billion, while the same number in the governor’s not recommended (no tax hike) proposal is $34.6 billion.
But, dig down a little for the real story.
* For instance, FY12’s pension fund contributions totaled $4.13 billion, while pension contributions next fiscal year in the governor’s “not recommended” budget are projected to be $6.24 billion - a $2.11 billion jump.
Plus, the state had a $477 million operating deficit in FY 2012, which was down from the $3.8 billion operating deficit the year before, but still pretty darned high. The not recommended budget’s operating surplus for next fiscal year is $357 million - an $834 million swing from FY12.
Compared to FY12, mandated transfers out (debt service, etc.) are about $316 million higher by next fiscal year.
Also, in inflation-adjusted terms, FY12’s $34.1 billion in total spending equals $35.1 billion in today’s dollars. That’s a half billion dollars more than the state is projected to actually spend in the coming fiscal year with the not recommended budget.
* So, increased pension payments, wiping out the operating deficit and creating a small surplus, higher mandated transfers out, plus inflation adds up to $3.76 billion in net budget pressures that didn’t exist in FY 2012. At least by my math.
And they still have to somehow fund the government on net appropriations that are projected in the not recommended budget to be $1.9 billion lower next fiscal year than in FY12, not counting inflation ($25.07 billion in FY12 vs. $23.12 billion in FY15). The difference is $730 million higher when you factor for inflation.
Yes, it’s a real problem.