“Bill Gates says that state budgets are riddled with accounting tricks that disguise the true cost of health care and pensions and weighted with worsening deficits — with the financing of education at the losing end.”
As Gates asserts, there is no true balancing going on. Think of all the school districts in Minnesota, including Red Wing, that promised retiree health care benefits, yet never funded the obligation. (Some cities and counties as well.) Consequently, in 2009, Red Wing, like many other school districts sold bonds, and in our case, to the tune of $13,000,000. But for all the previous years we were told the budget was balanced. These obligations unfortunately were “off the books.”
As our legislature tackles the deficit this year, ask yourself, what is hidden or disguised?