As we know, Louisiana is, has been, and probably will be in a fiscal mess, year after year, until and unless we identify and then fix the problem.
For the past ten years, and at times prior to the start of the Bobby Jindal administraton, the budget has been unbalanced until the magic, smoke and mirrors took over to create a false balanced budget, financed often with one-time money.
Can the Louisiana Republicans finally get major cuts to the budget as the fiscal hawks have demanded for years? How much of a budget hole is there? Why did the Louisiana legislative fiscal session, called last month to fill an almost one-billion dollar hole, fail without anything to show for its efforts? Did Governor John Bel Edwards have a firm plan? Can we really blame the Republicans for its lack of unity as the Governor has done with the special session fizzle or were the Democrats just as divided?
Has the Louisiana legislature become a battle-ground of anger and acrimony, based, in part upon political philosophy and to an extent, whether willing to admit it, or not, race? Essentially, this was the first question asked in Bayoubuzz’s interview with The Advocate’s Reporter, Elizabeth Crisp, who covers the Louisiana legislature.
As we have come to expect from the left, caricature and oversimplification make for lots of red meat thrown to the unthinking masses, but it’s a lousy method for valid understanding of public policy ramifications.
Just such as example comes from a leftist opinion writer named David Leonhardt on the pages of the New York Times. In a recent piece, he attempted to use Louisiana’s income tax cutting during the former Gov. Bobby Jindal years as an indictment against that option, alleging that promises that “tax cuts would lead to an economic boom” didn’t pan out and produced the state’s budgetary difficulty.
More the second act of the speech he gave to kick off the special session recently concluded early, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards’ 2018 State of the State address just can’t let go, a broken record just sounding along.
Today, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards, after completing a failed fiscal session ending last week, embarked upon the regular session today, held annually during the Spring. The fiscal session was called as a special legislative session so revenues could be raised. These revenues or taxes cannot be raised during a regular session. Edwards wants the session to end early so it can engage in another fiscal session at the end of the regular-scheduled spring session to handle the close to one billion dollars in budget shortages.
Below is the transcript of today's speech to the Louisiana legislative session. The speech was streamed live by Bayoubuzz.com with related tweets off to the side.
When Ronald Reagan wanted to push a bill through a recalcitrant House ruled by Democratic Speaker Tip O’Neill (as bad as he was, O’Neill was still head and shoulders above current Speaker Paul Ryan in terms of leadership and ability), he would go on national television and appeal directly to the American voters.
Today is being called D-Day or even the Drop Dead Day when referring to the Louisiana legislative special session being held in Baton Rouge. Conventional wisdom is, if things don’t really jumpstart now, you can kiss the revenue raising session goodbye.
Roughly 11 days ago, Governor John Bel Edwards first gaveled in the fiscal session, to fix what was considered by many, a roughly 600 to 1 billion dollar hole in the budget for the year 2018, starting July 1. However, the session has literally gone nowhere.
On Monday, Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards addressed the legislature and the state in opening another special session to try to plug a fiscal hole.
Today, Bayoubuzz launched its first segment of its daily, twice per day segment discussing the legislative session, "Bayoubuzz Live: Louisiana Legislature", streamed to Facebook and Twitter.
The Louisiana capitol is ready to start its Louisiana Legislature tax chicken dance. On one side of the floor are Governor, John Bel Edwards and democrats. On another side are fiscal conservatives. And, in the middle are a group of lawmakers who believe the state is reaching a moment of urgency.
The question is—who’s going to take the first step and blink as the music is quickly getting ready to start?