Budget Growth Since 2007 – Fast and Furious
LAWMAKERS OVERSEE EXPLOSION IN FEDERAL FUNDS, FINES & FEES
Each year during the budget debate, legislators talk about the responsible spending included in the budget. In this year’s debate, for instance, a House leader described the historically high budget as “reining in government spending.” But the numbers tell a different story.
Since 2007, the total budget has climbed over 35 percent — an increase of over $7 billion. This includes the recession cuts and short-lived and ill-advised stimulus funds.
Even more telling is the dramatic rise in “other funds” (fines and fees collected by the state) and federal funds. Budget writers (and some in the media) only talk about the general fund portion of the budget, but these other two portions both consist of public money collected from taxpayers.
It’s extremely difficult to get an accurate sense of the state budget, and that’s by design. The chart below gives you some idea of budget growth in all categories over the last decade.