$3.5 billion budget shortfall goes missing – authorities are baffled

by Dan Lucas

A very big story developed in the last few weeks, and went largely unnoticed. Since last summer we’ve all been hearing about a multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. In recent months, it became the widely-accepted $3.5 billion budget shortfall. With Governor Kitzhaber’s recommended budget that came out on Feb 1, 2011, the $3.5 billion budget shortfall has largely disappeared.

Harry Esteve at The Oregonian ran a nice obituary on February 7, 2011, for the fallen shortfall: “Kitzhaber never mentioned the shortfall in his budget remarks. As a result, the number has all but vanished from conversations about the state’s financial condition, which worries some Democrats.”

The real story is how did so many in the media and government come to accept the “shortfall” as something real in the first place? If it were real, how could it go away so quickly and quietly by the non-efforts of one man?

To read more from Dan, visit www.dan-lucas.com