The state budget deficit is not as big as the governor's claim of $5.4 billion, according to a lawmaker who'll be in the thick of the debate over what he maintains is a much smaller number. Representative Robin Vos , who's on the finance committee, says Governor Jim Doyle "has done a great job of making the deficit seem as big as it possibly can be." Vos says Doyle came up with the number by "taking in the entire wish list of every bureaucrat in state government, and addding them together with what they projected the increases needed to be in order to meet their demands."
The Racine area Republican says Doyle's definition of a deficit is apparently quite a bit different than most. "If we spent $60 billion last year, and our revenues were only going to bring in 59 and a-half, that means we are at a $500 million deficit," Vos explains. "Governor Doyle has determined he wants spending to be at $65 billion, and he has said because we're only going to take in $60 billion, there's a five billion dollar deficit."
Vos listed the waste of more than $100 thousand on failed computer systems as one way to trim a deficit that can be dealt with by controlling spending, trimming waste and inefficiencies — and hopefully not having to raise taxes.