MacIver News Service | August 16, 2011
[Madison, Wisc…] Despite efforts to curb the increase in government spending here, Wisconsin’s past spending spree has left it with a serious debt problem according to a new report.
“While our state budget is moving in the right direction, it is clear that the budgetary excesses of the past still haunt us to a degree,” said Robin Vos (R-Rochester), chairman of the budget-writing Joint Committee on Finance. “Wanton spending on the state’s credit card left us with bills we’ll be paying for years.”
A recent report by the Tax Foundation ranked all 50 states by how much interest payments on their debts amounted as a percentage of direct spending in 2009, the most recent year a complete picture is available for all the states.
Wisconsin’s Fiscal Year 2009 budget numbers ranked as the seventh worst in the nation, with debt payments accounting for 4.96 percent of the budget.
“Fortunately for Wisconsin taxpayers’ there is a new approach in Madison–one of fiscal responsibility,” said Vos. “As evidenced by the recently passed state budget, we’ve now controlled spending and borrowing and paying our bills from the previous budgets. Wisconsin’s ranking on this list will improve.”
Maine held the dubious honor of having highest interest payment as percentage of direct spending at 9.58%. Tennessee’s FY2009 budget was in the best shape, with the Volunteer state posting the lowest percentage of interest payments, at 1.12%.
Click here for more from the Tax Foundation.