Thursday, July 16, 2015

Associated Press fakes KY budget "surplus"

One week ago, when the Gov. Steve Beshear administration announced record state government tax and fee income "revenues," Budget Director Jane Driskell made clear that only half of the ledger had been revealed: "We have now closed the books on revenues and will close the books on the expenditure side later this month. The determination of the budget surplus will be made at that time."

But that didn't stop the overeager cheerleaders at the Associated Press from immediately gushing about a "surplus."

"Kentucky taxpayers got good news and bad news on Friday on the state's budget," the AP reported.

"The good news is the state finished the fiscal year with a $165.4 million surplus in the general fund. But the bad news is the state's road fund has a $20 million shortfall."

The Associated Press has gotten so comfortable carrying water for a failed Beshear administration they've even tossed aside the most basic accounting calculation without prompting. A surplus or deficit is determined by subtracting expenditures from revenues, not revenues from expected revenues. We should have a little more accurate picture of Frankfort's finances when the expenditure total is made public any day now and then far more accuracy in late December when the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report is published.