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Charlotte Amalie
Saturday, June 22, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesFISCAL OFFICIAL: DEFICIT DOWN, UNIONS A PROBLEM

FISCAL OFFICIAL: DEFICIT DOWN, UNIONS A PROBLEM

It was welcome news to hear that the projected 2003 deficit has dropped again to an estimated $116 million. This is tremendous, if in fact true. I was so elated that I read the article twice, just to insure that I did not miss something. As it turns out, I did miss something and I still cannot find it.
I am unclear of how additional borrowing, its costs to go to market and interest charges reduce the deficit. I understand that the balance of current bills owed has been reduced through loans and those costs have been stretched out over time. But is it not true that we increased our expenses through additional loan costs?
Maybe I am unclear of what "deficit" means. I thought, although maybe incorrectly, that the deficit is the amount of current expenditures that exceed current revenues. A loan does not increase revenues or reduce expenditures but increases overall debt and expenditures in current market costs and future interest payments . So I thought.
This is the crux of my ongoing confusion. Please, anyone, help me with the calculation — or better, the definition. In this scenario, why did we limit the bond issue to $235 million. Let's double it to $470 million and create an excess for the current year!
The more disturbing realization is that isn't this is the same crime that ENRON has been charged with? Did they not pay current bills with debt and put the loans in other entities outside the general operations of the company? Has the government hired Ken Lay and his minions to assist us with the government bookkeeping and the definition of the deficit?
Let's clearly define the meaning of a deficit so we all can follow along with the ups and downs and truly understand the impact on the government's finances.
John DeLuca
Maryland

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