Economist Says Governor’s Budget Address Has ‘Inconsistency’

February 15, 2018
David Merriman is an economist with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

David Merriman is an economist with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

University of Illinois

Governor Bruce Rauner delivered his fourth budget address to the General Assembly Wednesday amidst an ongoing fiscal crisis in Illinois.

The state owes nearly nine billion dollars in unpaid bills, despite enacting an income tax increase over the governor’s veto last summer.

David Merriman is an economist with the University of Illinois’ Institute of Government and Public Affairs, and author of the IGPA’s Fiscal Futures Project, which looks for ways to put the state back in good financial health.

Illinois Public Media’s Brian Moline spoke with Merriman and asked for his thoughts about the governor’s budget address.

"It's very hard to see how the budget adds up with relatively minor cuts, no cuts really in spending proposed, no revenue increases, it's hard to see how that gets to be a balanced budget," Merriman said.

Merriman said he was hoping to hear the governor more realistically deal with the state's long-term fiscal problems.

"We shouldn't be talking about it one year at a time, but a long-term plan to slow the growth of spending," Merriman said, "and also to not write off any kind of broadening of the tax base and restructuring of the tax system."

Story source: WILL