A Tale of Three Surpluses

AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee

Earlier this month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced that his state had posted a $21.8 billion surplus in the 2021-2022 fiscal year that ended on June 30. It was the highest surplus in state history and more than 21% over the state budget for the fiscal year. DeSantis says the surplus is due to his state being free and open.

“Despite the headwinds created by the Biden administration’s policies, Florida is in a strong fiscal position because we preserved freedom and kept our economy open,” DeSantis said in a statement. “Our responsible policies have allowed us to make record investments to support our communities, promote education, protect the environment, and provide record tax relief for Floridians, all while building record reserves to protect the state against the reckless fiscal policies from Washington.”

DeSantis isn’t the only governor keeping his state’s fiscal situation in the black. This week, we also learned that Virginia posted a surplus, too.

“While I am pleased that our additional revenue can be reinvested in Virginia, the commonwealth’s general fund revenue surplus confirms that Virginians have been overtaxed for way too long,” Gov. Glenn Youngkin said. “As inflation hits another 40-year high, I’m proud that our budget provides almost $4 billion in tax relief to Virginians, the largest tax relief in the commonwealth’s history.”

“We have a lot of work left to do to recover from the pandemic, but Virginia’s economy is demonstrating promising economic and company growth with major companies such as Boeing, Raytheon, and LEGO moving their headquarters to Virginia,” Youngkin added.

There’s another state that also posted a surplus. Back in May, California Gov. Gavin Newsom said his state had a record $97.5 billion operating surplus—which Bloomberg says is because “high tax rates on its wealthiest residents mean he has more cash to fund liberal priorities such as education and health care.”

No wonder people are fleeing California.

Related: Gavin Newsom Runs Ads in Florida Trying to Get Folks to Move to California for More Freedom

California’s surplus is reportedly “bigger than the entire 2020 spending of any other state except New York and Texas,” but Californians had little time to celebrate. Unlike Youngkin, who believes that his state’s $2 billion surplus proves that his constituents are overtaxed, Newsom thinks his state’s surplus is a sign he needs to spend more. A lot more. In fact, the Associated Press reported days after the announced surplus that Newsom’s plan to spend that money “would likely push the state toward a ‘fiscal cliff’ next year that could require billions of dollars in budget cuts.”

According to the nonpartisan Legislative Analyst’s Office, Newsom’s latest budget proposal would put the state $3.4 billion over a constitutional limit on spending this fiscal year and more than $20 billion the following year.

“The Governor’s May Revision does not have a plan to address this roughly $25 billion requirement,” the Legislative Analyst’s Office wrote in a report released Monday. “As a result, the state would very likely face a significant budget problem next year, which could require reductions to programs.”

There’s a clear difference between how Republicans see a surplus and how Democrats do. That California is already predicting fiscal problems despite a $97 billion surplus tells you all you need to know.



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