Search This Blog


Stuck on stupid IV: Louisiana looters still don't get it

How long will it take these people to get it? Various Louisiana elected officials of the liberal/populist school of thought bemoan the fact that the state isn’t getting what it “deserves,” when in fact it is they and their way of thinking that discourages the flow of monetary resources into the state.

From the indirect cash grant side, several take issue with winners of federal contracts mostly being from outside the state and that less money than they think should from these rebuilding contracts go into the pockets of Louisiana subcontractors and workers. Part of this has to do with the fact that, given the subpar economic conditions in the state largely created by inferior government policy which penalizes business and the more productive and contributing members of society, that Louisiana disproportionately has smaller firms less capable of winning these larger contracts.

But it also has to do with the greater expectation of a handout with lesser expectation of working epitomized by the power unions have in some industries in the state. We must never forget that the sole purpose of a union is to transfer as much money into the hands of its members in exchange for the least amount of work, regardless of the consequences to others.

It turns out that these contractors find it cheaper to bring in their own employees from out of state than to hire unionized employees in Louisiana to do the same work (and maybe do it better). As federal taxpayers, we must applaud this wise use of our resources.

But some of our elected officials can’t seem to get it through their heads that it’s the peoples’ money at stake, not theirs that they can toss to favored constituencies to get themselves reelected. Thus, you have the likes of Democrat state Rep. Juan LaFonta aghast that these contractors actually try to be efficient in their use of taxpayers’ money instead of spreading it around to those union members who have priced themselves out of the marketplace by their greed.

Democrat Gov. Kathleen Blanco seems to express this attitude too, asking Pres. George W. Bush to rescind his waiver of the ridiculous, archaic Davis-Bacon prevailing wage law. It only reinforces in the minds of the public and national policy-makers that Louisiana is infested by people who want to grab as much as possible of the nation’s cash to spend how they want to, using the recent disasters as an excuse.

This credibility problem continues with Democrat Rep. Charlie Melancon’s companion legislation to Louisiana senators’ pork-laden win-the-lottery reconstruction bill, priced by the Congressional Budget Office at $241 billion. He complains that his Republican colleagues in the state delegation haven’t signed on to the bill, not even his Democrat colleague and looter Rep. William Jefferson.

Melancon shows he doesn’t get it when he moans, “All of a sudden, we have people in Washington who have a conscience about the federal deficit,” seeming to think that is the basis of criticism is the amount of money. If he had a clue, he would know that the problem is the bill to some degree amount to a laundry list of backdoor funding requests that really have nothing to do with the disasters (for example). Again, it makes Louisiana look like a bunch of looters using the catastrophes as an excuse; reconstruction requests to be successful must be realistic and must not tax the goodwill of the rest of the country and their elected representatives.

At least House Republicans from the state seem to understand what’s going on. If only an assortment of state Democrats could understand that you need to drop the attitude that they deserve special advantages, and that through respect of taxpayers rather than through raw redistribution politics is the appropriate way to govern. Maybe the latter has worked in this state all too long, but most of the rest of the country left that behind – and Louisiana – long ago.

No comments: