Friday, January 14, 2011

Experts: Granholm Left Snyder Millions in Budget Surplus

The endlessly-repeated Republican story line about how bad things are in Michigan is starting to fall apart.

Just as the Livingston Press and Argus was quoting far-right economist David Littmann as warning that Michigan is in a "death spiral," and that massive cuts to the salaries and benefits of Michigan public employees were needed, word came of a totally different scenario.

Economists in Lansing agreed on the economic outlook for the state budget this year and projected a surplus. That means that the state will take in more money that it will spend this year, even as other states, including Republican-run Texas, wrestle with multi-billion-dollar deficits.

The state's general fund will have a surplus of $277 million at the end of this fiscal year. The school aid fund will be even better off, with a $523 million surplus at the end of this fiscal year, Sept. 30.

Overall, tax revenues are expected to grow 1.5 percent.

The state still faces a deficit for the following year which will require tough budget decisions, but it is projected to be smaller than earlier thought.

A death spiral? Perhaps for Republican nightmare scenarios.

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