To pay for highways, buildings and environmental programs, state government slid 87% deeper in long-term debt over the past 10 years.It isn't for me. I don't expect to be around to pay off this debt. Hopefully my kids will have the opportunity and good sense to get away, too.
According to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau, the state had $8.28 billion in general-obligation, transportation and environmental debt in mid-2006; the same debts totaled $4.41 billion in 1996.
The 87% increase was three times the U.S. inflation rate over that period.
Figures show that debt rose the most - by $1.8 billion- under Thompson between 1996 and 2001, when he resigned to become a cabinet secretary for President Bush. Debt increased by more than $1.5 billion in Doyle's first three years.
Todd Berry, president of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, said the growing debt is another risky budget decision governors and legislators have made to benefit themselves politically.