Financial Delusion: The $1.9 Billion Deficit in a ‘Balanced’ Wisconsin Budget

Most Wisconsin taxpayers would be astonished to learn that the State of Wisconsin actually maintains two sets of books–a cash accounting report showing the state’s finances to be in balance as required by the state Constitution, and another set showing Wisconsin state government with a $1.9 billion deficit for 2004. This report shows how big the state deficit is, and suggests that Wisconsin government shift budget policy away from cash accounting principles to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) by adopting specific measures.

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