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‘Structural deficit’ tops $1B in Walker budget

Shawn Johnson

Wisconsin Public Radio

Gov. Scott Walker’s proposed budget would leave a "structural deficit" of about $1 billion, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

The Legislative Fiscal Bureau measures structural deficits by looking at how spending decisions in this budget will affect the next one. It found the structural deficit would go up to more than $1.05 billion by 2021, largely because Walker wants to increase spending beyond what current revenues can pay over the long term.

"If you're just thinking short term, it's not a big deal," said Dale Knapp, research director for the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance. "If you start thinking a little bit longer term, it means that in the next budget, you might not be able to do everything that you want."

Republicans have downplayed the structural deficit in the past, saying economic growth will increase tax revenue and take care of the shortfall.

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