Higher La. Taxes coming Friday, Oct 16 2015 

taxpayer-screwed

For the last 7 years, Bobby Jindal and the leges have used as an excuse for “kicking the fiscal can down the road” rather than address our structural deficit is that our economy will grow enough to make up for the annual overspending.

That excuse has been shot down.  Thursday, there was a story in the Baton Rouge paper about a forecast of the state’s economy for the next two years.  See story here.

The only fix for the deficit for last fiscal year, plus the $1Billion shortfall in the current budget is to raise taxes.  Taxes cannot be raised during the 2016 Regular Session.   That limits the options to increasing taxes in a special Session prior to the 2016 Regular Session.

You heard it here!

C.B.

Put the cards on the table Friday, Oct 2 2015 

cards

 

I’ve been following the vague plans by the politicians, business, trade, civic, so-called “good-government” groups, etc. for state government post-Jindal Administration.

They have a lot in common.  They all require more money.

Some of the common denominators are: Fully-fund higher education ($800 Million), fund Pre-K($??), fix the highways and bridges ($12 Billion), a pay raise for public school teachers ($??), fund workforce development ($??), etc.

Funding sources

I looked for the funding sources.   They were the usual vague ideas such as “right-sizing” government, more efficient delivery of services, consolidation, avoiding duplications, an improved economy, etc.

Those are the same ideas used by the Jindal Administration to “balance the budget” each year. The net result was the passage of $800 Million in new taxes and fees during the 2015 Regular Session.  Despite that huge increase there is still a revenue shortfall in the neighborhood of $1 Billion for the upcoming fiscal year.

Not mentioned problems

Not mentioned was addressing the state’s anticipated $2 Billion structural deficit by 2019.  Nor were there plans to pay-off the $20 Billion Unfunded Accrued Liability (UAL) in the state’s pension plans due in 2029.  Then there’s the matter of the state debt ceiling and a possible downgrade of the state’s bond rating (higher cost of borrowing) if the structural deficit is not addressed soon.

While higher taxes are the obvious answer to funding these expenditures, none of the pols or groups are directly suggesting increasing taxes.  Most allude to eliminating unnecessary tax exemptions, rebates, credits, etc.  The net result is the same as a tax increase.

Transparency not surprises

It’s time for the pols and others with spending plans to put their cards on the table.

The special session to take more money from the taxpayers is less than five months away.  We shouldn’t be forced to wait until five days (Time for “call” to be issued.) before the special session to learn whose wallet will be flattened.

Some folks may want to rethink their future plans.

C.B.

Lege titles or leaders? Thursday, Oct 1 2015 

Leadership Vacuum

 

 

Reporter Tyler Bridges writes about a quiet campaign that is going on among the members of the La. House of Representatives for Speaker of the House.  While it may appear insignificant to the public, it is distracting from addressing the serious issues facing the state.  See story here.

Unlike nobility, titles are not required to lead in politics. Leadership is not about having a big office, a prominent parking spot, lots of staff, having lunch at the Mansion, campaign contributions, tax-payer funded junkets, the next political office and people kissing your ass.

True leaders usually emerge out of necessity.   Currently, there is a vacuum of leadership in the  Lege and Executive  Branch.

Bobby Jindal was elected governor twice, but he has been no leader.  Speaker Chuck Kleckley has held the title of Speaker, but he was no leader. Neither is Senate President John Alario.  If they were truly leaders, they would have resolved the problems that have plagued the state for eight years.

Instead of running around the state making deals for committee assignments, etc., to gain the title of Speaker, a true leader would use the next three months to develop a plan and the votes to address the chronic fiscal problems facing a state for the last 8 years.

A true leader would be meeting with like-minded members of leges (House and Senate), the lege staff and other experts to develop a plan to fix the state’s chronic fiscal problems.

Perhaps that person might emerge with the title of Speaker, but it would be incidental to their work, not the goal.

We don’t need leges with titles we need leges who are leaders.

C.B.

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