Who Am I to Disagree?

Updated 8/3:

From WaPo:

“Wisconsin’s doing terribly. It’s in turmoil. The roads are a disaster because they don’t have any money to rebuild them. They’re borrowing money like crazy. They projected a $1 billion surplus, and it turns out to be a deficit of $2.2 billion. The schools are a disaster. The hospitals and education was a disaster. And he was totally in favor of Common Core, which I hate!”

I can’t say I agree with much of what Mr. Trump says, but even a broken clock is right twice a day. (I don’t hate common core, but he is right that Governor Walker was for common core before he was against it…) And the WaPo article goes through some material documenting the correctness of several of the assertions.

As Jon Peacock at Wisconsin Budget Blog notes, the apparently small structural budget deficit of $210 million hides an enormous shortfall implicit in assumptions that agencies will underspend (“lapses”) billions of dollars over the next three fiscal years, and return those funds to the state treasury.

[T]he assumption that state agencies will lapse about $2.15 billion over a 3-year period is a convenient way to make the structural deficit look relatively manageable, compared to many of the past structural deficits. However, it also means that the structural deficit figure by itself is no longer a very good indicator of the state’s future fiscal challenges, because that figure leaves out the immense challenge of lapsing so much funding year after year.

Given the fact that typical lapses are between $250-$300 million/year [1], assumptions of something like $700 million year imply that 0.15% of gross state product worth of additional cuts and tax increases will be necessary each of the next three fiscal years, by my back-of-the-envelope reckoning.

And of course, civilian and private employment continue to decline [1]. As a reminder, Wisconsin employment is now below pre-recession peak levels. In other words, Wisconsin is reverting.


Figure 1: Wisconsin nonfarm payroll employment (blue), and civilian employment (red), both in 000’s, seasonally adjusted. Source: BLS and DWD.

More on the Wisconsin economy here.

Update, 8/3, 5PM Pacific: More material which fits under “who am I to disagree?”:


Source: WaPo.

4 thoughts on “Who Am I to Disagree?

  1. Rick Stryker


    Actually, you and the Donald agree on much more than you realize. That the Donald is criticizing Walker is just another sign that Walker’s a candidate that
    conservatives should seriously consider supporting.

    The Donald is not a conservative criticizing other conservatives. Those who have kept track of him know that he plays both sides. Right now he seems to be on the Republican side but that can easily change with circumstances. Let’s go back to an interview with Wolf Blitzer in 2007 the Donald did to see what kind of conservative he really is.

    When asked by Wolf what he thought of Hilary Clinton, the Donald responded:

    “Very talented, very smart. She’s a friend of mine so I’m a little bit prejudiced. She’s a very, very capable person and I think she’ll probably be the nominee. We’ll see but I think she’ll probably be the nominee.”


    “I think she’s a very, very brilliant person, and as a Senator in New York, she has done a great job. Everybody loves her.”

    On John Edwards, the Donald demurred, saying that he doesn’t know him but people like him. He then goes on to blame Kerry and Edwards for losing the 2004 election, saying:

    “..that was a shame that that race was lost because look what we have right now. It’s a disaster. So, you know I would probably be inclined not to like him (Edwards) on the basis that he lost an election that should have been won.”

    But the Donald ultimately blamed Kerry for losing, saying:

    “..and I like John Kerry a lot, he’s a wonderful guy…but I’m so upset that he blew it.”

    Why does the Donald think it so important that Kerry and Edwards should have won? Because, according to the Donald:

    “Well I think Bush is probably the worst President in the history of the United States, and I just don’t understand how they could have lost that election.”

    Lest we take the reality tv star’s criticisms of the Wisconsin economy too seriously, let’s remind ourselves about how he felt about housing in 2007:

    “Now as far as the housing market, I think it’s OK. It’s not terrible, it’s not great–it’s ok. It was great 2 years ago. Now it’s fine, it’s solid. It’s not like in 1990, which was a disaster.”

    The Donald is a conservative, whose criticisms of Walker we should take seriously? Hardly. Menzie and the Donald agree on quite a bit. And Walker’s stature has gone up if he’s drawn the Donald’s fire.

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      Rick Stryker: I don’t think I anywhere indicated that I believed Donald Trump was a conservative. I just stated I thought he was often wrong — but not in his assessment of Walker’s Wisconsin.

  2. baffling

    currently the donald is the front runner for the republican party, as most polls indicate


    the front runner trump has received support from conservative republican party members with statements like

    “When Mexico sends its people,” Trump said during his presidential announcement, “they’re not sending the best. They’re not sending you, they’re sending people that have lots of problems and they’re bringing those problems. They’re bringing drugs, they’re bringing crime. They’re rapists and some, I assume, are good people…”

    “He’s not a war hero,” Trump said of McCain. “He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”

    rick stryker, i don’t think i have ever seen anything written by menzie which could be characterized as agreeing with these recent statements of the donald. these are the statements many in the conservative republican party are rallying around in trump’s support-hence his rise in the polls. these are statements made in the past month. the quotes you provided from the donald are from a decade ago, and probably not a good representation of his current view of the world, assuming you permit people to evolve in their views.

  3. alfonso

    hmm, i don’t think i have ever seen anything written by menzie which could be characterized as agreeing with these recent statements of the donald. these are the statements many in the conservative republican party are rallying around in trump’s support-hence his rise in the polls. this is source for more information about thats http://obatpenyakitlambungbengkak.gov7.net/

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