Saturday, July 21, 2007

Local, state government outlook dark: let's build more freeways!

The fiscal outlook for state and local governments is bleak, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office.

"In the abscence of policy changes, large and growing fiscal challenges for the sector will begin to emerge in the next few years," the GAO says. The graph below shows projected revenues.

Agency simulations suggest that within the next decade current expenditures will outstrip available receipts resulting in a deficit....This deficit -- worsening throughout the projection timefram under an unchanged policy scenario -- indicates taht state and local governments will need to make tough choices on spending and tax policy to meet their budget requirements and promote favorable bond ratings."

Message to the Wisconsin State Legislature: approving $1.5 to $2 billion road projects -- as is happening with the North-South I-94 reconstruction project and may happen with the Zoo Interchange reconstruction project -- without a design plan, a final budget or a funding plan is simply nutso under the best of circumstances and close to criminal under the conditions we are facing now.

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