In order to pretend that he is a fiscal conservative and that the state's economy isn't going down the toilet, Scott Walker has again fallen back on his tried and trued one-easy-step to financial success: Don't pay the bills!
Walker has, for the second straight time, deferred on making the full debt payment that he had budgeted for. As an added bonus, he is compiling the interest owed on it:
Gov. Scott Walker’s administration has put off a debt payment for the second year in a row — this one totaling $101 million — which will cost taxpayers about $2.3 million in additional interest.
The state was supposed to retire about $132 million in debt on May 1, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau. Instead it reduced that amount by $101 million, which will help the state end the current biennium on June 30, 2017, in the black.
However, it will also increase interest on the debt payments by $2.27 million over the next eight years, in addition to pushing principal payments into future budget cycles. The fiscal bureau put out a memo Tuesday based on an earlier estimate that the deferral would total $50 million, but the Walker administration confirmed later in the day that the total was actually $101 million.
Walker administration spokeswoman Laurel Patrick said the restructuring reflects “prudent fiscal management” that was done to take advantage of historically low interest rates in a process used under previous administrations.
She didn’t respond to a request for an explanation about why the state would rather pay more money in interest in the future rather than pay a lower amount now.
“We have a proven track record of keeping the state’s fiscal house in order,” Patrick said. “We continue to efficiently manage state resources and will end this biennium with a surplus.”
Of course, kicking the can down the road is nothing new for Walker. He's done that in every single budget as governor and when he was Milwaukee County executive.
It's also an economic strategy he uses in his own personal life. By not paying his bills, Walker has managed to rack up over a hundred thousand dollars in personal debt, forcing him to sell his house.
And who can forget how Walker comes up with new and increasingly bizarre fundraising emails while he pretends to want to pay off his campaign debt of over a million dollars?
The funny thing is that Walker used to campaign with the line that he would treat taxpayer money like it was his own. It figures that is one of the few times - if not the only time - Walker has ever told the truth and kept a campaign promise.