Tuesday, 02 June 2015 18:22

Budget veto threats? Governor Jindal, make our day

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Make-My-Day“Make our day”?

Are we hearing the Louisiana legislators mumble these words?

Maybe not now, but, I believe they can and they will.

 Specifically, I’m referring to the budget doomsday scenario, that is inching closer and closer as every minute passes and as the clouds of darkness enveloped the Louisiana State Capitol.

The scenario would be: the Louisiana Legislature passes a budget which is balanced and includes significant cuts and taxes without the tax credit gimmicks Jindal wants them to deploy to save his political face of governing without ever raising taxes .  So, Gov. Bobby Jindal then vetoes the budget, as he has often threatened.

What happens?

First, there would be no budget as is constitutionally mandated.

Second, the state higher-education and medical communities and just about anybody and everybody would be apoplectic with outrage. Our colleges, given their need to plan for the future will immediately start cutting to the bone slashing hundreds of millions of dollars.   You could probably kiss the private partner for the University Medical Center goodbye. The country would look at Louisiana as a “state of incapables”, totally unable to manage their fiscal affairs.

The legislature would then engage in their post legislative session override mode where and when the arm twisting, and even moreso, the political cannonballs fly and take few prisoners.

Gov. Jindal, will stand up, take his bow and proclaim his loyalty to Grover Norquist, the God of Taxes.  He would then challenge Republican presidential candidates to do the same.

The Louisiana Legislature would be left to seriously consider an override of the veto.

Please keep in mind, we would be in virgin territory. There would be major debates over the next legal steps.   

For example, in an override session, would legislators be able to compromise with the governor?  Or, would the only business allowed--be override or no override?

Assuming the latter, what if the Louisiana Legislature then decided it had enough of Gov. Jindal’s selfish foolishness and they muster the votes  to  override his veto.

Then what?

For sure, more chaos, acrimony, name-calling and political threats.  The destruction of the state would be taking place on the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.  This would be man-made, nature would not be so stupid or wicked.

The bottom line is this: Louisiana would have no budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, 2015. There would be no revenues increases. Everything would have to be cut and I believe the governor would be forced to administer those cuts, although you can bet legal scholars would protest that hel doesn’t have the legal authority.

Alternatively, the governor or the legislature could call a special session but the same cast of characters would be obligated to create a budget, if they were able.   The three-second shot clock would be clicking frantically.

So, who would be the losers?

Unquestionably the citizens of Louisiana;    Those Louisiana legislators who want to be elected this fall would need to tranquilize their shaking boots.  But the biggest personal and political loser, bar none, would be Gov. Bobby Jindal.

Nationally, while the rest of the Republican pack would be promoting their respective futures, Gov. Jindal would be facing bipartisan disdain back home.  His political future would be anchored to the budget failures.  He would be Governor Destruction.

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Gov. Jindal is in a no-win situation. There would be absolutely no way America would vote for Jindal as a candidate for the Republican nomination should Louisiana be threatened with bond market drops and the type of worse-case scenario uncertainties.

Is this the future I want for Louisiana?

Absolutely not.   Everybody suffers.  But Gov. Jindal, whose popularity is already in the freezing temperature zone, will suffer the greatest political hit of all.  He would own government meltdown.

The headlines would read that he has single-handedly destroyed Louisiana’s fiscal future simply because he sought the debate stage as a first-team candidate, this summer.

If that is a scenario that Gov. Jindal wants, then sorry, but surely--Make Our Day.



Stephen Sabludowsky



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