When Nixon announced $204 million budget cuts in late October, was he supposed to be fixing our budget problems? After cutting $8,141,271 from higher education and $19,462,314 from elementary and secondary education, he announced yesterday that he was creating a $12,000,000 initiative to fund community college job training programs.
Recession? What Recession?
Add in a biotechnology funding program that will cost "tens of millions of tax dollars" and a $15 million dollar giveaway through the Missouri Housing Development Commission, and we really have to wonder what Nixon's objectives are.
Next year Missouri will face a $1,000,000,000 budget shortfall compared to this year. That's on top of everything the state is already dealing with. The scale of the problem is hard to understate.
Watching budgets getting cut is an ugly process, and one reason not to let them get so big in the first place. Another reason is what we're seeing now: Nixon's conflated objectives (no doubt produced by his declining polling numbers) have his budgetary policies working in two opposite directions. The taxpayers end up getting the worst of both worlds.
Missouri's top priority should be balancing the budget, and it should act quickly. Adding tens of million dollars of liabilities the state can't afford is exactly the wrong idea.