Why is the UAL growing? Friday, Jan 23 2015 

debt

La. Taxpayers

The January Lege Fiscal Office report on the various issues affecting the state’s existing and impending fiscal woes reports that the Unfunded Accrued Liability (“UAL”) in the state’s retirement system increased by 6.4% in the latest fiscal year (July 1, 2013 – June 30, 2014) by $1.3 Billion to $20.3 Billion. ( See report here on page 4.)

Why is this important?

The state constitution mandates that the entire UAL be paid off by 2029.  If the UAL remains static, it means that the lege will have to appropriate $1.45 BILLION annually to straight-line amortize the UAL.

How did UAL increase?

The stock market in which the retirement systems invest the reserves has rebounded to above the level prior to the 2008 depression.  Bobby Jindal claims that the state has fewer employees than when he came into office in 2008.

What caused the UAL  increase?

Answers and solutions needed

How this increase in the UAL came about must be determined by the House and Senate Retirement Committees that have oversight responsibility.  Otherwise, there is no reason to expect it will not occur exponentially in the future.

Additionally, the committees must come up with specific solutions to prevent further increases in the UAL.

If you agree that the taxpayers deserve to know answers and solutions, contact the members of the committees. They are listed here and here.  By copy of this email, I’m asking each of the members for answers and solutions.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

A specific solution to La.’s chronic fiscal & economic problems Tuesday, Jan 20 2015 

wishful_thinking

Not getting the job done!
“Significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Einstein

It is abundantly clear that those we have elected to lead our state only solutions to Louisiana’s chronic fiscal problems are “faith-based” rather than secular.   That is, their specific solutions fall under the headings of “trust me” “hope” and “prayer.”

Nobody has asked for my solutions to these problems.  Given the vacuum of leadership, as a citizen of this state I have a right and a responsibility to offer suggestions to those we elect to lead our state and local governments.

Suggested solution

This is both a short-term and long-term fiscal solution as well as making Louisiana the most economically-attractive state in America.  The plan finally rejects the fiscal polices initially put into place by Governors Huey and Earl Long.

This is not a pick and choose list.  It’s an all-or-nothing list.

–Repeal ALL of the tax exemptions in the state constitution (Homestead, Industrial, Sales and Use, Personal Income Tax, etc.) and ALL   in the statutes.

–Repeal ALL of the constitutionally-mandated state payments to local government, i.e., supplemental pay for police, fire and deputy sheriffs.

Revenue sharing with local governments will be unnecessary because there will be no state-imposed Homestead Exemption to reimburse.

–Rollback ALL (state and local)  tax rates to level at which the existing taxes will only bring in the amount projected for FY16 (begins July 1).

This NOT tax neutral; it is revenue neutral.  In other words, some taxpayers may pay more, but most will pay less.

–Allow local taxing entities by a 2/3s vote of the governing board to roll-forward mileage up to the previously-authorized (by the voters) tax rates to pay for local services including the debt service on local bonds currently paid by the state.

–Constitutionally, prohibit state revenues from being spent on local functions, including capital construction and Non-Governmental Entities (“NGOs”).

If an NGO is important to the local government, they will have the revenues to fund them.

–Eliminate the Department of Economic Development that administer the special tax exemptions which will no longer exist and the slush funds used to bribe businesses to come to Louisiana.

A small marketing unit under the Lt. Governor to advertise to businesses, individuals and tourists how tax-friendly Louisiana has become.

–To provide budgetary flexibility, repeal all constitutionally-dedicated funds and constitutionally-prohibit the enactment of statutorily dedicated funds. This   will allow the lege the freedom to set real priorities.

The above actions will free up enough state money to eliminate or make manageable the impending revenue shortfall, plus adequately-fund essential state functions such as higher education, healthcare and highways.

Because Louisiana will have the most business-friendly tax code in America, future revenue growths to operate state and local government will come expanded economic development not higher taxes or reduced services.

Your turn

If you bothered to read my suggestions, rather than shooting them or the messenger down, propose your own OVERALL solution.  I’ll be happy to post it on my website.

To all the elected officials in Louisiana: Lead, follow or get the hell out of the way.  Failing that, don’t ask me to vote to elect or reelect you.

For mere citizens like me: Present the above plan to everyone who asks for your vote this Fall.  If they don’t support it; ask for their SPECIFIC OVERALL plan.

Our very way of life in Louisiana depends on our holding our public officials accountable.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill
 

Time for holding Team Jindal accountable is NOW! Monday, Jan 19 2015 

mushrooms

We the people as view by leges

In December of 2013, Team Jindal entered into a $4 Million plus contact (later increased by more millions) with the out-of-state consulting firm Alvarez and Marsal (“A&M”) that guaranteed at least $500 Million in savings in the state budget in 4 months.

State Treasurer John Kennedy regularly pointed out that state government is extremely top-heavy in management. In some cases, we have one person supervising one person.  A year later, we have seen  no evidence of A&M addressing that issue or proving Kennedy wrong.

Questions to be raised

The 2014 Regular Session began on March 10, 2014, but some of the suggested A&M savings were not revealed until the end of April, 2014.  In fact, most of the alleged savings were not released until after the 2014 session concluded.   Which and the extent of savings to mitigate the revenue shortfalls in the Fiscal Year ’15 budget were never revealed to the public.

In February, the leges will have Bobby Jindal’s proposed budget for Fiscal Year ’16 that starts on July 1.  We know that it contains at least a $1.4 Billion revenue shortfall.  What we don’t know is whether that is net the $500 Million in savings suggested by A&M.  In other words, was the revenue shortfall actually, $1.9 Billion, but reduced by the $500 Million in A&M savings?  Or will the shortfall be reduced from $1.4 Billion to $900 Million with the savings included.

The above questions should be the first asked when the House Appropriations Committee begins reviewing Jindal’s proposed budget next month.  Last year Jim Fannin, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee, refused to hold hearing on the budget until after the 2014 Session begin.  Let’s hope he doesn’t make the same mistake this year.

It’s time for the leges to stop treating us taxpayers like mushrooms by keeping us in the dark and covering us with manure.  We want and are entitled to answers about how to fix the state’s chronic fiscal woes.  Where are they?

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

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