In 2006, gubernatorial candidate Walker issued a press release condemning Governor Jim Doyle as a liar:
DoyleLie: Our budget is balancedIn 2010, gubernatorial candidate Walker expanded upon his belief that using GAAP is the right way to balance a budget, running on the promise to:
WalkerTruth: Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) shows a $2.12 billion general fund deficit
DoyleLie: We created more than 140,000 new jobs
WalkerTruth: Doyle was using number that had not been seasonally adjusted; the actual number is just under 70,000 new jobs
Require the use of generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) to balance every state budget, just as we require every local government and school district to do.On the second point, earlier this week Governor Walker went on to claim:
The governor also said he believed he could achieve his stated goal of creating 250,000 jobs in his four-year term, though he acknowledged ongoing concerns about the "fiscal cliff" negotiations in Washington and uncertainty about costs connected to the Affordable Care Act.Let's see how these stack up after the cheese doodle...
"We're just under 100,000," he said Wednesday morning.
The generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) basis of budgeting, if you're unfamiliar with the term, principally differs from the typically-quoted cash basis deficits/surpluses in that it accounts for the cost of future commitments made today in today's accounts rather than when the cash actually goes in or out in subsequent years. Hence it reflects the cost of kicking-the-can-down-the-road: e.g. collecting a tax this year to build a new road next year shows up positively in this year's cash-basis accounts, but is neutral by this year's GAAP accounts since the tax revenue is offset by the liability of the commitment to pay for the road.
The state of Wisconsin produces both sets of accounts. The cash (budgetary) basis Annual Fiscal Report for FY2012 (i.e. the first full year of Walker's budget, July 1st 2011 - June 30th 2012) came out on October 15th and Walker immediately touted:
We’ve focused on managing the state budget wisely and, because of this, Wisconsin finished the fiscal year with a positive fund balance of more than $342 million.The AFR showed that the general fund balance rose a quarter billion dollars from $85,567,000 to $342,088,000 during the year (page 12).
However, the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for FY2012 came out on Friday, and tells a very different story.
On page 165 you can see that the GAAP general fund balance at the end of FY2012 was... minus $2,211,006,000.
So, to recap:
Walker, October 16th, 2012: "Our budget is balanced".
Walker's Department of Administration, December 14th, 2012: Generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) show a $2.21 billion general fund deficit.
On the "just under 100,000" jobs claim, Politifact detailed where that came from, since Walker's spokeswoman filled us in (scribeboy goes into more detail in his diary today). It turns out that it's from the Quarterly Census of Employment and Wages (QCEW).
QCEW is the survey preferred where possible by state economists and the preliminary, unverified numbers of which Walker produced at the last minute before the recall election to show that job creation during his term so far was merely catastrophic as opposed to being of apocalyptic proportions.
In December 2010, the QCEW showed that there were 2,270,985 private sector jobs in Wisconsin. Two week ago Walker's Department of Workforce Development produced preliminary, unverified QCEW numbers for April, May and June that show that in June 2012 Wisconsin had 2,357,475 private sector jobs. Doing the subtraction gives the 86,490 jobs created since Walker took office.
The only problem is that, unlike the monthly CES employment statistics, there is no seasonally-adjusted version of QCEW: all of its numbers are unadjusted, so you can only directly compare values some multiple of 12 months apart. Politifact's methodology for keeping track of Walker's 250,000 job promise is to take QCEW values up to the latest December, then add the change in CES seasonally-adjusted values within the current year. Doing this gives +27,400 since December 2010.
So, to recap:
Doyle, January 17th 2006: "we created more than 140,000 new jobs"
Walker, January 19th 2006: "Doyle was using number that had not been seasonally adjusted; the actual number is just under 70,000 new jobs" i.e. Doyle had inflated his jobs figures by 100% by using seasonally-unadjusted numbers.
Walker, December 12th 2012: "We're just under 100,000," and specifically at 86,490 per his spokeswoman.
Actual seasonally-adjusted number is 27,400 through to October, or 32,600 through to June for the same time period he's using, i.e. Walker had inflated his jobs figures by 165% or 216% by using seasonally-unadjusted numbers.
Since Walker said of these claims of Doyle's "No One Can Beat the World Champion Lies Jim Doyle Told Tuesday Night" and that they were worthy of entry to for the Burlington Liars' Club World Championship Liars' Competition, I trust that Walker will be submitting his own, even greater whoppers to the competition this year.
On page 3, we find that the Wisconsin Retirement System remains one of if not the best-funded state retirement system in the country:
The Wisconsin Retirement System (WRS) is a pension plan administered by the Department of Employee Trust Funds (DETF). The WRS provides coverage to all eligible employees of the State of Wisconsin and other participating local units of government. The most current actuarial valuations of this pension plan indicated that the WRS was funded at 99.9 percent of liabilities for the 581,893 participants of the WRS. The State’s contribution to WRS represents approximately 30.0 percent of total contributions required of all participating entities.On page 18, in the Independent Auditor's Report, we find that they did not audit the WEDC and were made to rely upon self-reported numbers for some strange reason:
As discussed in Note 1B to the financial statements, the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, a newly created legally separate body corporate and politic, is reported as a discretely presented component unit of the State for the first time for fiscal year 2011-12. Condensed financial statements for the Corporation, presented in Note 22 to the financial statements, were developed from unaudited financial information provided by the Corporation, and we were not engaged to audit this information as part of our audit of the State’s basic financial statements. Other auditors have been engaged to audit the Corporation’s financial statements, but the audited financial statements were not available as of the date of our audit opinion.On page 21 we get the truth about where Scott Walker's cash surplus came from:
The State's total long-term debt obligations (bonds and notes payable) increased by $567.6 million during the current fiscal year which represents the net difference between new issuances, payments and refundings of outstanding debt.i.e. Walker bought his cash surplus headlines with our money - in fact without his profligate borrowing a, er, Budget Repair Bill would have been required. In particular, the "debt restructuring" of Act 13 and Act 32 (the latter is the 2011-13 Budget) is costing us $149,174,160 in interest payments.
Don't forget that two months ago when the cash basis accounts were reported he said:
Wisconsin is in much better shape. Because of our actions, the next generation will not be buried under a mountain of economically crippling debt.I think I might submit that one to the Burlington Liars' Club.