It comes as no surprise that the Louisiana Democratic Party would be elated over the recent claim that Treasurer John Kennedy, who has been dissing democrats and Jon Bel Edwards, in particular, this legislative sessiion could be caught up in a little inconvenience--a slight bit of inconsistency.
A controversy this weekend and today illustrates the angst within the Republican Party as it proceeds through the primary season and enters into Super Tuesday and next week's winner takes all races. The candidacy of Donald Trump has energized the right-wing of the party but is scaring the dickens out of the moderates and many other self-claimed-conservative members of the party.
Some passing thoughts as the legislature grinds through the budget crises
Fix Louisiana’s government first or tax it first?
Those are the competing cries, today.
On Wednesday, Ross Douthat, a columnist for the New York Times, set a new low for his liberal publication. As a supposed joke, Douthat tweeted that the best way to stop Donald Trump was to attempt to assassinate him. He said, “Good news, I’ve figured out how the Trump campaign ends,” and included a link to a scene from the 1983 movie, “The Dead Zone,” which featured an attempted assassination attempt on a deranged political candidate who had visions of running for President.
What are the students at LSU thinking about when they hear the prospects of their semester closing down in mid-term due to the lack of funding?
What should the state legislature do to quiet those concerns at LSU and elsewhere across the state given Louisiana’s severe budget shortfall which has left the state roughly $940 million dollars in the hole for this very fiscal year and the roughly $2 billion shy for next year, starting July 1 2016?
State Representative Lance Harris (RAlexandria), Chairman of the House Republican Delegation, released the following:
“Government should always strive to be less intrusive to citizens and business, spend its money efficiently, and deliver its core functions without raising taxes. This has always been and will continue to be the goal of the House Republicans.
The Governor called the legislature into an "extraordinary" session in mid February. The revenue of the current fiscal year, which ends June 30, had fallen nearly $1 billion below projections. Thus, in order to continue government operations, the legislature would need to find areas of waste, cut certain services, and/or raise revenue.
Treaurer John Kennedy, who is running for US Senate, has issued a strongly-worded statement regarding Moody's downgrading of Louisiana's credit rating. In his statement, he appears to be making a direct attack upon Governor Jon Bel Edwards's administration, former Governor Bobby Jindal, and perhaps the legislature. Edwards who inherited a $950M deficit from Jindal for the remainder of the year and a $2.0 budget deficit for the upcoming fiscal year.
The big nut has been cracked?
The Louisiana House has agreed to raise the state sales tax by another penny of every dollar spent.
"Insanity: doing the same thing, over and over and expecting different results"
As it turns out, that quote was attributed to Einstein in error but the fact that he never said it doesn’t alter the accuracy of the definition.
There are not many choices Louisiana now has to deal with the immediate problem of raising roughly $940 million dollars before the end of the ffiscal year, June 30.
In part 3 of an interview with LSU economist James “Jim” Richardson, who has been the economist for the Revenue Estimating Conference, sales tax is the only vehicle to raise enough money quick enough.
There is no doubt that Louisiana has a horrific budget problem? How long have lawmakers known about the budget deficits? What might they have known during the elections? Are we in a recession? Can our budget deficit be fixed before the end of the fiscal year, June 30, 2016?
So, why, once again, is the Louisiana 's budget on the downswing, rarely ever really balanced, it seems.
Louisiana is on the throes of another major budgetary overhaul, with its elementary education system bleeding, its higher education on a respirator and its healthcare system being read its last rites.
With the massive fiscal crisis facing Louisiana, legislators are looking at an array of solutions. In the short term, we will need a mixture of budget cuts and tax increases.
After the House Ways and Means committee voted to move tax bills forward, without votes, to the full House for debate, Governor Jon Bel Edwards issued this statement:
For the second year in a row, Louisiana has received threatening news regarding the prospects of having credit downgrades. Here is a statement released today by Governor Jon Bel Edwards's office, as the state attempts to solve a $950 shortfall for this current fiscal year and a $2 billion expected deficit for the fiscal year starting July 1, 2016.
The statement from the governor: