the budget debate’s fuzzy math

fuzzy.mathLet’s say I ask you for $10, yet you’re only able to give me $9. A reasonably logical person would thank you for the $9 gift. However, according to Columbia logic, I should whine & pout because you cut me out a dollar.

Sen. Lee Bright (R-Spartanburg) introduced a series of amendments diverting extra revenue to our dilapidating roads and crumbling bridges. The state portion of this year’s budget contains an estimated $700 million extra over last year. Remember the state portion is only a 1/3 of the pie. There are Federal Funds and other funds in the mix. One amendment called for 10% of the state funds to go to roads, and two other amendments for 5%, and 1%. All tabled by the rinocrat majority. See the math below if you like.*

They stand on this logic: “You can’t make these cuts, you’re cutting education! It will threaten our triple A credit rating”.

Well, let’s look at the first argument. One of the education line items this year is nearly $2.2 billion, $122 million over last year’s appropriation. These amendments may decrease the proposed increase request, but it’s not a cut. The 10% amendment leaves an increase of $23 million, 5% $69 million, and with the 1% roads amendment this education line would still get an increase of $115 million.

As for the triple A credit rating? Y’all know I don’t like debt, however, since my colleagues continue to borrow and spend, your grandchildren will at least get a decent rate on the inherited debt. But this thing about the credit agencies will frown on general funds being spent on roads is somehow to our disadvantage is a red herring. Many states spend general funds this way.

There’s no logical argument against the fiscal responsible approach to spending what we have on core functions of government like roads. Most politicians would rather spend your money on fluff behind your back, then come to you and say “look at our roads, we have to raise your taxes and increase your debt, it’s our only option”.

The borrowing and tax hikes for roads are coming, so grab your wallet with both hands!

moneygrabber*amendment calculations
10% amendment: $636m to roads, $64m to grow government ($23m education)
5% amendment: $318m to roads, $382m to grow government ($69m education)
1% amendment: $64m to roads $636m to grow government ($115m education)