It’s a sensible rule, and we hope that squabbles within the GOP-controlled Legislature can be resolved without doing damage to Governor Walker’s tax cutting plans.
But just in case there are legislative Republicans who are feeling susceptible to arguments that taxpayers might get back too much money for their own good, we’ll say this as plainly as possible: Nothing positive is to be achieved by government keeping more of the taxpayers’ money than it needs.
On the contrary, that is a recipe for guaranteed expansion of government and its supposed “needs,” to the detriment of taxpayers. Always has been; always will be.
The proffered excuse for Madison holding onto more of other peoples’ money than it can find a way to spend under the current state budget is the wish to avoid a squeeze in the next two-year budget period, which doesn’t begin until July 1, 2015. Anything can happen between now and then. Revenue collections could continue to grow faster than anticipated, as they’ve been doing, or they could slow down. Either way, here’s a handy 12th Commandment that could help stiffen Republican spines: “Never spend more money than you can reasonably expect to have.” Problem solved.
Last week, State Representative Dale Kooyenga explained why the “structural deficit” objection to Walker’s tax cuts is a straw man that will get in the way of future revenue growth. Kooyenga should know. He’s a CPA.
Two final thoughts for wavering GOP lawmakers: Devising a budget paid for with taxpayer dollars isn’t supposed to be easy, and people who want government to control more taxpayer dollars aren’t the ones who vote for Republicans.