Jon Bel Edwards, on the job as Jindal’s replacement, in one week, is trying to be consistent with his campaign statements, and has thrown out ideas that he now supports. He has not yet offered his budget, which the Louisiana legislature will dissect and either work with him, or not do so. And of course, Edwards can return the favor.
Ultimately, it is in the legislature’s court leaving Edwards with line-item veto power.
So, where does all of this leave us voters, pundits, everyone else?
Jim Brown, Jeff Crouere and I, only hours after the Jon Bel Edwards press conference made the effort to solve the state’s problems during our online discussion, but, we failed. But, we did raise our voices, part in jest and yes, in frustration, that there are no easy answers, but plenty of blame to go around.
Brown, who was a public and statewide official for 28 years opined that Edwards never should have offered a laundry list of ideas, this early into his administration, with so much emphasis upon the revenue-raising side rather than cutting.
Conservative radio talk show host Crouere agreed and said that perhaps we should be looking more to the rainy day fund for this one time fix, but surely we can cut more.
One of the major voices demanding that we cut government spending is that of Treasurer John Kennedy, who appears to be running for US Senate. During our discussion, in jest, I suggested that since Kennedy believes we have so much lard to eliminate, how about cutting half of his office’s funds and tell us where to cut next.
No way, say Brown and Crouere—we should raise his salary and his office staff, even perhaps four-fold, for he is the only sane voice to be heard.
In reality, again we have a problem, the worse in Louisiana’s history. There will be plenty bleeding, especially if oil prices continue to tumble. The budget gap represents roughly one-tenth of the current state budget and our woes are in two-folds—short-term $750 million due by June 30 2016 and a long term fix for next fiscal year, starting the next day July 1. Oh, did I tell you that right now, it looks like we’re going to be about 2 billion dollars short with an oil slick of oil price drops ready to induce even more fiscal pain.
There are no simple answers, but there will be a lot of ideas and emotions and blame thrown around before it is all over.
Do enjoy the video of our discussion which occurred only hours after Edwards unveiled his budget game plan. It gets testy, so you can well imagine what the legislature will be like over the next few months.
I can hardly wait.
Bring in kennedy
Kennnedy is running fforr us senate…cut hhs,
Here’s four things