Thursday, 28 July 2016 12:16
Governor Edwards Louisiana budget, a Pyle of surprise, surprise
Written by 
Rate this item
(0 votes)

gomer 5As a mechanic/Marine used to say, “Surprise, surprise, surprise:” Gov. John Bel Edwards’ office won’t have to lay off staffers after all. And the credibility gap attached to the Democrat’s rhetoric continues to grow.

All throughout the first part of the year, Edwards predicted doom and gloom to Louisiana’s budget that only enormous tax increases could balance. He kept insisting that, instead of making unilateral modest spending reductions of around five percent across most agencies, he largely could not cut his way to balancing last fiscal year’s budget, prompting a special session prior to this year’s regular session to hike taxes. Concerning this year’s version, he kept asserting that a cut-first strategy would gut vital programs that demanded more tax increases in another special session. After that, even though he voted for and signed $2.4 billion worth of tax increases in a 13-month span, he still talked about the disappointment of not gulping down more taxpayer dollars to stave off cuts a recalcitrant Republican-led Legislature forced upon him.

These included around $700,000 reduced from the Governor’s Office, which received over $9.1 million in funding this year, compared to last year, a 7.7 percent drop (over the original figure; that declined a bit through mid-year cuts). Edwards moaned about how this meant some staff reductions, where already the governor had budgeted some $200,000 fewer for personnel.

But, lo and behold, the presumed gap between actual funding and alleged necessity disappeared when faced with this imperative. Seven vacant jobs went unfilled, with other staffers taking on these responsibilities. He reduced contracts for legal and technology services and cut supplies and other expenses.

In other words, he corroborated an argument made by many legislators. Perhaps best demonstrated by GOP state Rep. Mike Johnson during just a few minutes of questions and answers over the budget of the biggest spending agency, by far, in Louisiana, the Department of Health, plenty of opportunity exists in the budget to shave off expenses here and there. Had all agencies only replicated the nearly 8 percent cut from Edwards’ bailiwick with their just their general fund and statutory dedication dollars, this would have obviated every single penny of tax increases passed in 2016’s First Extraordinary Session.

Across-the-board cuts typically don’t constitute the best way to put government on a diet – rank ordering programs and then slicing away the least needed works more efficiently – but do illustrate that agencies can find marginal savings from administrative expenses and repositioning tasks without sacrifice of service provision when push comes to shove. But they will take these steps only when policy-makers insist.

Edwards didn’t, but Republican legislators boxed him into that. Taxpayers owe them a debt of gratitude and should insist upon more of the same, and that he get with this program, over the next three years that he occupies the Governor’s Mansion.

(Bayoubuzz Note: The engineer/Marine spoken about above is Gomer Pyle) 

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

Login to post comments
  • Despite 5th plea, Schiff says House Intelligence Committee pursues Flynn's documents
  • Facebook Live: Discuss harm of Trump budget proposal on Louisiana coastal economy, restoration
  • Governor Edwards welcomes Pence with Medicaid, budget, Louisiana coast wishlist
  • World Premiere tonight in N.O. Bilderberg, the Movie

flynn2Despite General Michael Flynn’s announcement via his counsel that the General and former head of National Security, would take the 5th Amendment in Congressional proceedings, the Intelligence Committee will pursue information, regardless.

Read More

560 usgs land loss map 2The efforts to rebuild the Louisiana coast has suffered a major and immediate setback, assuming that Congress goes along with the most recent budget proposal from President Trump.

Read More

penceToday, Governor John Bel Edwards welcomed Vice President Mike Pence to Louisiana as he Veep is attending a event with top Louisianqa Republican officials. Along with the welcome, however, is a wishlist of requests including an item of recent vinctage involving the current Trump budget which tears a hole into the funding for the Louisiana coastal restoration. 

Read More

bilderbergIt is always an honor when a movie premiere is held in New Orleans and tonight is no exception. At 7:30 p.m. Bilderberg, the Movie will premiere at the historic Prytania Theatre, 5339 Prytania Street.

Read More

BB Menu


Sen. Appel talks budget, economy


Dead Pelican

Optimized-DeadPelican2 1 1