Wyoming Liberty Group
Current budget draws school Rainy Day Fund down to zero
All the hand wringing about the budget shortfall so far has focused on spend-as-usual government operations paid for with funds from traditional state spending accounts and augmented by a Rainy Day Fund raid. But the state has other accounts with an even bigger and more immediate problem: the K-12 education accounts. These accounts, just like the traditional accounts, are running short of cash. Governor Mead’s solution to the 2017-18 shortfall is to—wait for it—raid the school Rainy Day Fund!
Maureen Bader spoke with Doug Randall on KGAB about the non cuts in the current Wyoming budget and the need for budget reality in the upcoming legislative session.
Maureen Bader and John Birbari discuss Wyoming’s economic forecast and budget shortfall and what to do about it on KVOW Riverton Radio.
When politicians justify handing out public dollars for private benefit, they use the word investment to spin this spending into something more palatable to voters. However, state directed spending in the economy is nothing more than economic central planning in disguise. To stop the growth in central planning in Wyoming, we must bring the state’s role back to that of an umpire, rather than a participant, in the economy.
During Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal’s visit to Wyoming in November 2015, he discussed his strategy to put Louisiana’s fiscal house in order. His basic philosophy of government is that we can grow the American economy or we can grow the government economy, we can’t do both. If we want to grow the American economy we must shrink the government economy. This economic growth strategy worked in Louisiana and it will work in the Wyoming too, if given the chance.
Supporters of Medicaid Expansion, including Governor Matt Mead, express an unwavering belief that the federal government will actually fund this entitlement as promised. Yet Washington’s promises often become unfunded mandates. Even before the end of this year it is likely that Congress will cut federal funding for Medicaid Expansion and leave states holding the bag.
A Rainy Day Fund Raid with a Twist of Sour Lime
Wyoming stands at a fork in the road. Throughout the 2000’s, politicians played Santa Claus with a severance tax bonanza. Saving some of that windfall in a variety of savings accounts mitigated this pork-fest.
Now, as the minerals boom turns to bust, many of our elected representatives look covetously at those savings as a way to shield themselves from the difficult choices involved in limiting government to a level remaining taxpayers can afford to fund.