* The Illinois Policy Institute has a new post entitled “Understanding why the new budget fails Illinoisans.” Here’s point 5…
It sets up Illinois for another unbalanced budget in 3 years
Illinois’ budget will still end up underwater in just a few years, even with $5 billion in tax hikes.
Even if all the 2018 budget’s assumed savings are successfully implemented, the state will be back to deficit spending again by 2021 based on conservative projections of the state’s revenues and expenditures.*
Pension costs could rise due to new actuarial assumptions or a downturn in the stock market. Department spending on core government services could eat into planned budget balances. Tax revenues could fall as more people leave to avoid paying the 32 percent income tax hike.
Deficits will occur because the budget doesn’t fix the state’s true problem: out-of-control government spending.
So, what’s that asterisk about? This…
*The Illinois Policy Institute assumes both revenues and expenditures will grow 2 percent annually. If the presumed savings ($1.1 billion of pension savings and $814 million of “unspent appropriations”), revenues or additional expenditures (up to $700 million in additional annual debt service to pay down the backlog of bills) are off in any way, the state could be deficit-spending as soon as fiscal year 2019.
Good point. But if our governor actually proposed and then worked to pass a legitimate and reasonable budget for once, he could get in front of problems by controlling some state spending. He also doesn’t have to spend all the money appropriated in the new budget. He can choose to not sign leases and contracts, and he can work to lower those and other costs.
That’s what governors are supposed to do, not just sit back and let everything run on auto-pilot and then demand that the General Assembly craft a budget plan for him - and then veto the end product when that finally happens.