An Open Letter To The Louisiana Legislature

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February 19, 2016

Choice Greetings:

I hope you will take a moment to read this letter through.

Many of you are aware that Louisiana citizens are overwhelmingly opposed to the litany of Governor Edwards proposed tax increases. The solution to the budget deficit must not be new or increased taxes. The solution is embedded in the real problem, overspending. Inflation adjusted, the current budget should be roughly $21.66 billion and no more.

We are currently budgeted (FY 2015/2016) to spend $24.6 billion or $5,347 per capita on 4.6 million Louisiana residents compared to $3,804 per capita just 10 years ago, a 29% increase or $1,543 more on about the same population of 4.6 million. Inflation adjusted, we should realistically be budgeted to spend $4,708 per capita for FY 2015/2016, a difference of $639 per capita or $2.93 billion more than we should be spending.

We must cut spending across the board by 3.5% to solve the problem. This would involve a 2/3 vote to suspend or amend the Constitution and unlock all statutory appropriations and allocations. Then we can fairly cut across the board a mere 3.5 cents per budgeted dollar. This adjustment can be adsorbed across the board without layoffs or harsh consequences.

The legislative auditors have reportedly identified at least $1.7 billion in waste, fraud and mismanagement of our tax dollars by Louisiana Government. The FY 2016/2017 budget in turn should be dissected to remove this $1.7 billion and the budget will be balanced with a likelihood of a surplus in 2017 as oil prices rebound.

Yes, the tempestuous headwinds of political patronage are blowing, but you must not be driven off course by the threats or fear of political retaliation. Your integrity is not a marketable commodity to be purchased by the highest bidder. Your reelection will depend largely upon being able to say, I voted against the tax and spend policies and voted to cut spending.

My friends, we are not being taxed to little, we are spending too much, wasting too much and mismanaging our finances. What I have outlined is trimming the fat, not cutting to the bone. I have published two articles with workable solutions that some of you have read and given positive feedback. If you haven’t read the detailed articles please do so here… New Orleans City News.

Louisianans are counting on you to not raise their taxes. May God’s wisdom lead your forward.

Sincerely,

Bob Chopin
New Orleans City News

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