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posted: 5/20/2014 5:01 AM

Lawmakers get an 'F' on budgeting

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The starting point, the most elemental step in corporate (or governmental) budgeting is forecasting revenue. Without that knowledge all subsequent calculations are suspect. If one of my MBA students suggested building a budget before forecasting revenue I would give them a failing grade.

Although Democratic members of the Illinois House are not my students their recent actions -- voting for segments of the next Illinois state budget before deciding if the temporary tax increase will be extended -- deserve censure and condemnation. It is easy to add spending elements to a budget. Spending makes the proposed recipients of those funds happy. But reality -- that nasty demon lurking in the backyard near the garden of common sense -- demands that before we promise spending joy we must verify revenue sources.

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Illinois certainly can't borrow more money to balance the budget; our politicians have already ensured that by causing our pension crisis. So although this grade will not go onto any transcript, I must award the Democratic members of the Illinois House an "F."

Gary Midkiff

Buffalo Grove

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