• 88°
franklin county times

Budget predictions are hard to believe

By Staff
The Tuscaloosa News
Does Gov. Bob Riley know something no one else on Goat Hill in Montgomery does? Or is he just engaging in wishful thinking?
In his annual State of the State address — his last of eight as two-term governor — Riley told the 139 sitting members of the House and Senate gathered at the Alabama Capitol for the beginning of the 2010 regular session of the Alabama Legislature that his two major budgets will contain no cuts despite the dire economic prospects for the new year.
He even predicted $400 million more, an 8 percent growth spurt, for the education budget, to around $5.8 billion, and a General Fund that will hover around its current $2 billion.
After passing the Legislature following what are certain to be contentious debates, both budgets will go into effect Oct. 1, a little more than three months before the lame-duck governor leaves office after the November general election to pick his successor.
Riley's rosy predictions fly in the face of the Legislature's own calculations, which forecast big drops in tax revenue as the economy struggles to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression.
And dwindling amounts of stimulus money from Congress — you know, that federal largesse that Republicans like Riley love to criticize as irresponsible, while desperately using it to shore up their own fiscal houses of cards — may or may not become available.
House Speaker Seth Hammett, an Andalusia Democrat, seemed a bit taken aback by Riley's pie-in-the-sky rhetoric.
Or as House Education Appropriations Committee chairman Richard Linsdsey, D-Centre, put it more succinctly, Riley “is writing a check that may not be good.”
Meanwhile, does anyone really think that President Barack Obama and his administration will have easy sailing in passing a new stimulus bill in this election year?
The bill hasn't even been formally proposed and could be a political strategic blunder if it ever does see the light of day.
It might be enlightening to ask Riley, who served three terms in the U.S. House as a conservative Republican, if he would vote for that stimulus money he is counting on now if he were still in the House.
Our bet is he would say no.
Sometimes politics verges on a Lewis Carroll fantasy.

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

Galleries

PHOTOS: Tharptown High School Wildcats graduate

Galleries

PHOTOS: Phil Campbell High School students graduate

Franklin County

NEMCC announces more than 400 to spring vice president’s list

Franklin County

UNA releases spring dean’s, president’s lists

News

Roxy holds June 15 concert, plans other events

Franklin County

Free summer meal program available at Franklin County Schools

News

PHOTOS: Red Bay High School graduates celebrate

x