State Budget Rollback to 1999 Equals Surplus Today

I made this point in an earlier post, and got a lot of flak about where my numbers came from and a lot of other predictable partisan complaints.  The Governor recently made the same point, and got a lot of inane responses about nobody living off their 1999 salary today.

But there is really no other interpretation of the numbers possible, and it puts all this end-of-the-world rhetoric to rest.  We were not living in a state of anarchy in 1999.  I was here.  I would have noticed.

Spending in 1999 was $215.6 billion Adjust upward for an 8.6% increase in population and a 34.8% increase in the consumer price index and you get $315.3 billion.  That’s about $100 billion less than the 2009 number

An alternative is to measure state spending as a percentage of GDP, which was around 18% in 1999.  Put that against this year’s estimate for GDP and you get spending of $336 billion, still around $80 billion less than the 2009 number.


About Ron St. John