A Lesson On The Tyrannical Art Of Intimidation
Armed with threats of “unimaginable, catastrophic devastation” and looming “life and death” possibilities, Governor John Bel Edwards did his best to terrorize reluctant legislators and the electorate into supporting his outrageous tax and spend policies. Either enact roughly $3 billion in new tax revenue immediately or face the “unimaginable.” Edwards went on…
These are not scare tactics. This is reality — an unstable state budget will not only hurt children and working families in our state, it will devastate communities, businesses and local government as well.
I don’t say this to scare you. But I am going to be honest with you. No more tricks. No more smoke and mirrors.
Then, in an unconscionable move (trick) to bully and emotionally blackmail legislators into raising taxes rather than cutting excessive and wasteful spending, the Edwards administration reinforced their foreboding threats of suffering. Just 2 hours prior to Edwards’ statewide tax and spend speech his administration announced the temporary cessation of all TOPS payments until Edwards gets his tax increase. This unethical ploy was likely intended to frighten the electorate into demanding legislators raise taxes immediately. However, it was later announced that halting TOPS payments was a “precautionary measure” and all TOPS payments will resume at 80% next week with colleges absorbing the other 20%. Talk about “no more tricks, no more smoke and mirrors”? What a shameful trick to play on the citizens of Louisiana.
During Edwards 8 years in the Louisiana House of Representatives (2008-2016) he chaired the DHC, VAC and served as Democratic Minority Leader. It appears obvious that Edwards knew or should have known as much as any legislator about the State’s financial problems, but in 8 years Edwards did nothing to resolve the problem of waste, fraud and mismanagement. Even now Edwards chooses to ignore the real problem of overspending while crying for an unprecedented tax increase at a time when Louisianans can least afford it. Edwards’ tax and spend posture looks a lot like old fashion political patronage which once ranked Louisiana as the most corrupt State in the country with over 403 convicted public officials.
Across the aisle from the tax and spend crowd we find State Treasurer John Kennedy demanding a staff of auditors examine the budget in detail and eliminate the waste, fraud, and mismanagement that he sees in the budget and contributing largely to the problem.
We don’t have a revenue problem, we got a spending problem.
Louisiana State Treasurer, John Kennedy
The Solution To Balancing The Budget?
- Amend or suspend all Constitutional allocations and appropriations currently restricted so spending can be adjusted to balance the budget. Requires a 2/3 vote.
- Cut all spending across the board 3.1% to 3.8% (no exclusions). This will eliminate the current 2015/2016 deficit at the rate of roughly 03.5 cents per dollar or $3.50 per $100. This is not trimming to the bone, but cutting a little fat.
- Examine the entire budget for FY 2016/2017 and identify the waste, fraud and mismanagement that is rampant throughout the budget. Using the State Treasurer’s advice as a starting point, selectively cut the waste, fraud and mismanagement and the budget will be balanced. Our FY 2015/2016 budget should be roughly $21.66 billion and not $24.6 billion a whopping $2.94 billion difference in overspending. Our FY 2016/2017 budget should balance nicely after it is reeled in and restructured.
- The price of oil is forecast to recover by Q4 2016. We should begin to see a budget surplus as oil revenues return and people return to work. These revenues should be used to replenish our savings, not expand government spending.
For a fuller explanation and factual details as to how and why this is very feasible, read this article: John Bel Edwards: No New Taxes
Legislators need to distinguish themselves by stepping forward and voting to cut spending.
NO NEW TAXES, CUT SPENDING AND BALANCE THE BUDGET!