EDITORIAL: Keep building rainy day fund - Beloit Daily News: Opinion

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EDITORIAL: Keep building rainy day fund

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Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013 10:00 am

Be cautious with any commitments relying on the surplus.

LET’S GIVE CREDIT where it’s due: In just over two years the administration of Gov. Scott Walker has turned Wisconsin’s $3 billion deficit into a $484 million surplus.

That deserves a round of applause.

Getting there was, in a significant understatement, difficult. Wisconsin became the poster boy for political warfare between the parties. The debate over whether the governor and his allies went too far will continue for years.

But the result is undeniable: Wisconsin is in much better shape fiscally than many other states.

SO NOW WHAT? It appears Walker will propose income tax cuts and other investments when he delivers his biennial budget address next month.

The growing surplus allows the governor considerable leeway in making such decisions. And Heaven knows Wisconsin needs a more competitive income tax system, and citizens will welcome such reform.

Our only caution is this: Pay yourself first, by continuing to build Wisconsin’s rainy day fund. Walker has made a good first step with earlier payments and should sock away some more.

The cycle of growth and low inflation has helped build this surplus, but the cycle will turn again some day. Be careful how the surplus is spent to avoid a later boom-and-bust outcome. Wisconsin has seen that before, and it wasn’t pleasant.

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Welcome to the discussion.


  • billtinder posted at 1:50 pm on Thu, Jan 31, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4665

    Yes, I did see the death notice for Bob Burrow and he wil be sadly missed,

    "Your humble servant"

  • FaceTheFacts posted at 9:18 pm on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    FaceTheFacts Posts: 327

    Bill, not sure if you realized it or read it, but we had lost Beloit51 first week of the year.

  • billtinder posted at 10:43 am on Wed, Jan 30, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4665

    I agree Mr Data;
    I think we should get some teachers together and go recall Obama!

  • Mr Data posted at 5:31 pm on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    Mr Data Posts: 3824

    I am no fan of this Governor. BUT having said that, his fiscal strategy has been much more responsible than that of his counterpart sitting in the White House!

    I hope that Walker continues to be fiscally respopnsible and does not embrace or create NEW gasoline and vehicle registration FEES the liberals in Madison want done that will only add to the excessive tax burden we already pay in WI.

  • jmartin posted at 6:45 am on Tue, Jan 29, 2013.

    jmartin Posts: 247

    Ca Medicine Women, I would rather see it go back to the taxpayer from which it came from instead of some feel good liberal give away program that gets no positive results.

  • billtinder posted at 1:54 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    billtinder Posts: 4665

    Gov. Walker's plan would put about $200 extra into the hands of the typical Wisconsin spender. This added economic activity could go a long way towards improving to a stronger Wisconsin economy, which in turn would help future revenues.
    Also lowering taxes in the state, makes the state more tempting to those who might consider investing there or even just moviing there to live.
    I like the way this Governor thinks!

  • amook2 posted at 12:23 pm on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    amook2 Posts: 10

    I'm a bit dubious about planning to spend a surplus which we're projecting will accumulate between July 2013 and July 2015 - especially when Wisconsin carries a very substantial debt load. If there's still money in the till in early 2015, we can discuss what we might want to do about it.

  • CA Medicine Woman posted at 2:57 am on Mon, Jan 28, 2013.

    CA Medicine Woman Posts: 7

    I couldn't agree more. Wisconsin is no more immune to disasters than any other state. One look at New Jersey and New York after Superstorm Sandy, and the way Congress has rejected ANY help for those states, is a tale of caution we should consider.

    Besides, given how this surplus came about, it is unlikely to be duplicated. Save while we can, so we can pay for what we didn't plan for, like another Sandy, one that comes further inland just enough to hammer Wisconsin.

    Or, we can continue the usual GOP pattern, and give everything away, ignoring the fact that tomorrow's events will happen no matter what.

  • froglip posted at 6:08 pm on Sat, Jan 26, 2013.

    froglip Posts: 96

    Sounds fantastic! Are you sure it is ALL real and not the usual accounting hocus pocus that is spread like so much horse manure on the fields with a just enough truth sprinkled in for believability? Not my first rodeo or yours, and I'm NOT drinking the Kool-Aid.


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