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Principled GOP, instransigent Democrats equal "partisan" session

It appears now that the 2006 Second Extraordinary Session of the Louisiana Legislature, which in the hopes of the big government crowd had much potential, will go out with a whimper. A couple of good things like tax credits to reimburse special insurance assessments came out of it (and one bad tax credit where essentially the state will pay people who don’t pay income taxes to have children) but its high level of success (ignoring the fact we had little need for it except for insurance assessment relief) is defined by the fact it did so little to injure the people.

But the legacy of it that big government lovers are trying to extract and popularize is along the theme that Louisiana is becoming like Washington, too “partisan.” For example, words of wisdom from Commissioner of Administration Jerry Luke LeBlanc: “I've been in some pretty heated standoffs but nothing based strictly on party politics like this. It does a disservice to the people of this state to have the Washington model of partisan politics so strong.”

Of course, uttering a statement like this shows exactly that LeBlanc has been in government too long, and it needs translation because all the way from the multi-degreed like me to those who may not have much formal education but a lot of common sense are not going to understand what he means if we look only at the surface of his remark – at least for those of us who don’t see government as the salvation for the great unwashed or as something that better knows what should be done for the people than the people themselves, as believe LeBlanc and his boss Democrat Gov. Kathleen Blanco.

Specifically to this session, we must understand the source of this standoff and ultimate failure to pass legislation – intransigence, on the part of House Democrats and Blanco. House Republicans repeatedly said they were perfectly willing to entertain many, although not all, of Blanco’s plans – if she would cut spending elsewhere (and here’s one place to start, saving about $100 million a year, by changing the reimbursement methodology for state payments to nursing homes; an idea long ago abandoned by Blanco). But Blanco and the Democrats absolutely would not budge, yet now she and some of them are trying to blame the GOP for being obstructionist.

More generally, the Republicans would not deal without spending cuts elsewhere because it simply was bad public policy to allow the additional spending otherwise. This is a concept alien to the liberal/populist Democrats that haunt Louisiana, who believe the best government is the government that governs the most as well as the most intrusively. This is why they see a failure of government to act precisely as a failure, when in most instances, it represents a victory for the people against those who see government as a device to engineer away things they, if anybody else, see as a “problem.”

Therefore, they blame those who don’t want to deal, even if the source of not wanting to deal is a set of valid and lucid principles. Of course, these Democrats never stop to understand that they themselves have a less-defensible set of principles that deserves not to be enacted into policy: thus, obstructionism to preserve liberty is no vice. Or, to put it another way, to Democrats when they block measures to shrink government and to get government out of people’s lives and their pocketbooks, that’s good because it aids government activism, but when their opponents do it to their expansionary agenda, it’s bad and “obstructionist” because it halts their fatuous definition of “progress.”

When they dominated the Legislature, I never heard these Democrats complain of “partisanship” being such a bad thing when they could jam anything down the people’s throats making (the few conservative) Republicans helpless bystanders. Only when you have enough Republicans willing to stand up for principle (smaller, more rational government in this case) that crosses Democrats do the latter suddenly see “partisanship” as a bad thing. So to translate some more, to Louisiana Democrats being “partisan” is good when you have to bend to their will, but it’s bad and undesirable when you can actually thwart their will.

Let there be no mistake: Democrat intransigence sunk this session, despite all the scapegoating you’ll get from Democrats like Blanco and her minions. And, with the assistance of a principled, even partisan, stand by House Republicans, that is a good thing.


Anonymous said...

"...and one bad tax credit where essentially the state will pay people who don’t pay income taxes to have children..."

Do you really believe that a person, any person would have a child just to get a $75 check once a year? YOU really need to seek help, I thought you where just from the rabid right, but you are truly sick...

Unknown said...

The professor is not saying that. What he was just hinting at, I believe, is that already people who but no money into the system by way of income taxes would be able to receive even more money from the state government if they have a kid.

It won't encourage someone who is poor to have another child for $75, but it is just another free handout for someone who should have the sense not to have a child if they already can't support yourself and any other kids they may have. Hey, maybe that means, gasp...don't have sex if you can't pay for the possible outcome.

Unknown said...

But I will say this, I am always for child tax credits across the board, as long as EVERYONE gets them, not just those who are "poor." More money back in the hands of the people as opposed to the over-bloated government is always a good thing.

Anonymous said...

Nick is exactly right! Some people will not see it no matter how plain it is presented because of their perseived bias toward the supposed "right-wing" whatever. It's the ole give me mine mentality in this state that's gone back to the days of the Long's that has(and will) be broken at some point in the future.