LIVE: The constitutional issues of Special Counsel investigation of Russia, Trump and campaign

Monday, 27 June 2016 12:43
Governor Edwards launches tax apology-blame dog and pony show tour
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

Seems that Gov. John Bel Edwards plans to launch an apology/blame tour now that he took some knocks in his first legislative sessions as governor. As we might expect, not much of what follows from it should we believe -- even if we pay for it.

Edwards, along with his new best friend forever Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, look to invade legislators’ hometowns over the next two weeks to spin what happened in the regular session sandwiched by two special sessions. What happened was when comparing the state’s baseline spending – ranked 18th per capita among the states – to expected revenues Louisiana would come up way short in the upcoming fiscal year, and over the course of these sessions taxes went up $1.5 billion (after hikes of $800 million last year), general fund spending increased $800 million or 10 percent, and total spending escalated $2 billion or 8 percent.

Yet somehow that wasn’t enough for Democrat Edwards, who feuded with Republicans, particularly in the House, over raising taxes that left him more than $300 million less than he wanted. So prepare ourselves for the litany of excuses and red herrings to come from him an attempt to warp the reality of the matter.


He will say he entered office staring at a shortfall. Besides the obvious question of how could he complain about this because he knew what he was getting into and nobody forced him to run for the job, it became apparent early on that only cost cutting at the margins interested him and he also exacerbated the problems in some ways; for example, by promoting and wanting to expand the wasteful and inefficient Earned Income Tax Credit and as a legislator had authored a budget rider to inflate elementary and secondary education spending beyond the formula. And he voted for five of the eight previous budgets that put the state in this allegedly bad position, including last year’s.

He will call Republicans obstructionist, by their prevention of any more tax increases and marginal attempts to interject their own ideas for cutting expenses into the budget, implying that he could have done better with more “cooperation” – defined by him as capitulating to his terms – and thereby avoided what cuts did come. If so, that will be a lie.

If Edwards cares to read his job description, he presents a budget to the Legislature. What budget came back to him, which he ratified with his signature pending any forthcoming line item vetoes, in terms of priorities largely replicated what he sent originally, while without many cuts once envisioned because of the tax increases. For example, he initially wrote in far steeper cuts to the Taylor Opportunity Program for Students that became partially restored. He chose the priorities reflected in the end product, thinking if he threatened cut programs like that one popular with GOP legislators’ constituencies that they would cave in and increase taxes more.

He bluffed, and he lost when Republican left less funded some things. As mentioned elsewhere, he broke this budget and now he owns it. He authored and got most of the reductions in this budget. To blame others simply evades responsibility.

And he will bemoan not getting everything he wanted by saying something along the lines that critical needs went wanting. Really? Taxpayers footing the entire $300 million bill for less-than-mediocre students attending college was critical? Or paying almost $50 million annually to reduce people’s incentive to work courtesy of the EITC? Or paying $180 million to make movies? Or paying $136 million to provide free health care for individuals up to the 200 percent federal poverty limit that reputedly Medicaid expansion authorized by Edwards should take care of (although by the end of the decade expansion will become a net annual drain on the budget and in the next decade cost the state $4 billion extra)? And on and on it goes.

Nor does such an assertion consider paring inefficiencies first instead of asking more form taxpayers. Just a cursory investigation of the Department of Health’s activities, which will consume nearly half of the operating budget, reveals areas of cost savings that could provide resources to fund other areas.

So if any “critical needs” go unfunded, these result from poor prioritization on Edwards’ part and poor administration overseen by him. Fobbing this excuse off as the product of others unwilling to ask Louisianans to pay more from their earnings or at the cash register means he thinks the citizenry should pay for his own shortcomings.

But the dog-and-pony show will go on for an administration desirous of expanding government against the grain of a public generally ideologically reluctant to see that. It will keep repeating the same tired and discredited arguments to that end, according to the Goebbels Principle – repeat a lie often enough and people accept it. That’s the whole purpose of this exercise – yet another item for which taxpayers will foot the bill that they probably aren’t crazy about.

Jeffrey Sadow

Jeffrey Sadow is an associate professor of political science at Louisiana State University in Shreveport.   He writes a daily conservative blog called Between The Lines

Website: jeffsadow.blogspot.com/
Login to post comments
  • Cat Fights on the Hot Cement Confederate New Orleans statues
  • Ex-Saints, Bears, Bills, NFL Exec, Jim W. Miller discusses NFL Draft tomorrow
  • Trump's new plan; Curtains on tax returns release; 40% say Trump-Russia; Probing Obama admin
  • Watch Louisiana Governor Edwards talk about CAT Tax failure

catRarely, have I seen few issues that have generated as much raw heat, tension, and passion than the Confederate monuments controversy. 

Just as existed during the real civil war, where brothers battled brothers, social media is the battleground, particularly Facebook, pitting friend against friend.

On one side of the tense divide, there are those who are protecting the New Orleans civil war era monuments.  Burnt in effigy, forever, is the symbol of Mayor Mitch Landrieu for up-ending what the monument protectors consider to be the loving civil society of New Orleans.

Lately, events have turned somewhat militaristic.

Some protectors of the Confederate monuments have been staying vigilant, in person and online, even surveilling during the wee hours of the morning, waiting for the next Mayor Landrieu attack. On Sunday morning, with protections of snipers, masked workers and a dumbstruck audience, the worst of all of the monuments was cut and carried., the Liberty Monument. 

Read More

miller nfl live2 5It’s D-Day or Draft Day tomorrow in the NFL.

More specifically, Thursday represents the first day of the NFL draft 2017.

Read More

 

trump curtainsThe major President Trump news of the day focuses upon taxes, not only the tax cuts he is proposing but his own taxes, which he obviously, refuses to unveil.

 

Read More

edwards play money 1

At a press conference today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards said the CAT Tax did not pass the House Ways and Means Committee.  The Governor, in addressing the media said that "the fate of that bill was decided long before we unveiled it".

Read More

BB Menu

latter-blum2

Sen. Appel talks budget, economy

TRUMP TALK

Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1