The 207,290,000 Pound Gorilla in the Room that No One Ever Mentions…”

dollar signSo Delaware has a budget for FY 2018. Wow – that was quite a show!! Republicans and Democrats having quite the war on social media (as well as regular media) – each accusing the other of the same thing – taking money from our kids, seniors, teachers, fire departments, and police officers. Looking at Facebook, it seems like the final budget must have been a true “compromise” because my most liberal friends and my most conservative friends are equally upset! As I told one legislator two months ago, “The good news is that you get to tick EVERYONE off equally, so it shouldn’t affect your re-election!!”
The bottom line is that, at the risk of shutting down the entire State government, lawmakers fought tooth and nail over the 229 page budget trying to bridge a $365Million gap. They did so, but it sure wasn’t easy…
Now – speaking of easy – How about a 100% unanimous vote for the Governor’s Bond Bill.
Yes, you read that right – the same group whose completely irreconcilable differences brought our state to the brink of a shutdown over how to tax and spend our money – did not even wince when they ALL voted to add $207,290,000.00 in debt to our balance sheet! (You can read the bill for yourself here, if you like: https://legis.delaware.gov/BillDetail?LegislationId=26195 )
Every year, we borrow 5% of our estimated annual revenue to pay for all kinds of things (schools of course – that way anyone who questions the bill is accused of trying to shortchange our innocent kids). Perhaps that is a reason why there was not EVEN ONE dissenting vote against it. That, and could you just imagine the hysteria if they had to find over a half-billion dollars to come up with to “balance the budget”? I doubt if they would have finished last night!
I don’t know about you, but I have to truly balance my budget. And while there are years that I do borrow money for certain projects (buy a property, a vehicle, kids college, etc.), I do not get the luxury of automatically borrowing an extra 5% of my income each and every year. However, lawmakers do it without even questioning it. It is as if no one has even read our State Constitution regarding State Debt. Here it is for you:
“Section 3. No money shall be borrowed or debt created by or on behalf of the State but pursuant to an Act of the General Assembly, passed with the concurrence of three fourths of all the members elected to each House, except to supply casual deficiencies of revenue, repel invasion, suppress insurrection, defend the State in war, or pay existing debts…”
I guess I am just completely unaware of the vast amount of money it takes to repel invasions, suppress insurrections, and fight wars that we have to borrow money for… Does anyone have the numbers on that? I would love to see them…

I’ll leave the rest for discussion – if anyone cares… The sad part is that I don’t think many people are even aware that we borrow this much money every year; and the sadder part is that I don’t think it would matter if they did know…

3 Comments on "The 207,290,000 Pound Gorilla in the Room that No One Ever Mentions…”"

  1. delacrat says:

    “…[T]o supply casual deficiencies of revenue,” is so vague, as could be construed however they want..

  2. Rick says:

    Is $460M a “casual deficiency?” Keep at it, and you’ll manage to lower our bond rating.

  3. Frank Knotts says:

    Bob I agree with most of what you had to say. But let me point out one thing, the Constitution does say,”“Section 3. No money shall be borrowed or debt created by or on behalf of the State but pursuant to an Act of the General Assembly”. And that act would be them voting on it. So they have acted within the constitution, though they have acted irresponsibly.

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