The Locker Room

When the seed corn is bad

Posted by Joseph Coletti at 11:20 AM

Gov. Bev Perdue's announcement yesterday that the budget gap is not going to be $3.7 billion was great video, though "over the top happy" might rank with "sheroes" as an example of the need for a thesaurus.

But $300 million of that reduction was already announced last week.

The revenue estimate for FY2012 is $600 million higher thanks to gains on economy-based taxes, not decisions from the governor and the former Democratic majority. The other $100 million may be from extra revenue collections this year, though that hasn't been made clear.

The decisions of the governor and former majority are why the governor and current majority still have to overcome a $2.7 billion budget gap. Instead of using the $1.6 billion in one-time federal money and the $1.3 billion temporary tax hikes in a responsible way to ease the transition to more effective government, they chose to prop up the status quo programs.

Now, the governor wants to veto S13, which would take other funds to further shrink next year's gap, to support Golden LEAF, which has "operated often as a political slush fund."

This does not bode well for fiscal discipline in the budget she will present next week.

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