Bill Weld on Budget & Economy
Former Republican Governor; former Senate candidate (MA)
WELD: I personally have never seen a layer of government that I didn't think had 10% or 20% waste in it, and the federal government is no exception to that. So our opening position will be to look for 20% that we could reduce the size of the federal government.
In contrast, Weld frequently cited his impressive record of fiscal management as Governor. "The truth is that we have abolished wasteful programs," Weld said.
The new governor's first priority was to stop the trauma, and he did so. He forced the 1991 budget he'd inherited from Dukakis into balance, in part by requiring state workers to take unpaid "furloughs," in part by cutting state aid to cities and towns--but mostly by landing an unexpected windfall: a $531 million federal reimbursement for Medicaid expenses. However it was done, it was done: the 1991 fiscal year ended in the black. For fiscal 1992, Weld actually budgeted less money than the year before.
In July 1992, Weld's first full budget cycle came to an end. Total spending had indeed decreased from 1991. Not by much--only 1.7% (about $200 million)--but it was the clearest sign imaginable that the budget meltdown had been confronted and reversed.
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