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Democrat con job another try at embarrassing Jindal

In line with what Democrat plans appear to be in reference to HB 841, are they going to take another shot at Gov. Bobby Jindal or do something responsible?

HB 841 is an extension of Louisiana legislative Democrats’ mission to make Jindal look heartless by making him act against a bill that would allow more people to draw longer unemployment insurance and change its nature into a welfare entitlement program rather than insurance. They hope to get it to Jindal where he casts a veto on it, even as they know this will happen and will sacrifice other salutary parts of the bill and waste precious legislative time on it.

SB 335 by state Sen. Lydia Jackson has turned into a similar kind of vehicle. Democrats, pushed out of the Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committee this bill which would prevent scheduled tax cuts that began this year for which roughly 20 percent of all tax filers (meaning more like a third of all taxpayers) of which the majority also are the biggest payers until 2012. It’s not like they didn’t have any help, however, because they actually are outnumbered by Republicans on this panel. While a couple of the GOP members were absent (and one such claims he would have voted against it), others of exceptional unreliability (such as Robert Adley, who until recently was a Democrat but had authored legislation to put these cuts into place) and of impeccable tax-cutting credentials (such as Buddy Shaw, who steered home a major income tax cut last year) all present went for the legislation which now goes to the Senate floor which has a Democrat majority.

Like HB 841, the Jindal Administration has declared this to be a dead bill walking with a promised veto. In addition, the House leadership looks fairly askance at such legislation, and the body has an effective majority of conservatives. The bill’s backers claim the additional money collected will go to offset cuts to higher education and technical schools although the bill can’t promise that, but the House already had restored some contemplated cuts although a majority of that is from money that is one-time in nature. The House leadership’s belief is that the current economic slowdown will reverse in a couple of years where the one-time money wouldn’t be needed. This is sensible enough, although supporters want this money to be partially in addition to what the House wants.

This perspective does make a debatable assumption – whether the $118 million predicted to be realized if directed to higher education and technical schools in fact is so crucial to university funding that it has to be there. Reversing the cuts also will hurt significantly some very needy households, such as those who have high medical expenses. Finally, it displays some great ignorance to the bait-and-switch this would perpetrate on many Louisiana taxpayers (epitomized by the vacuity of Jackson’s remark, “How is going from 65 percent to 65 percent an increase?”) since the 2009 tax season has begun and financial decisions already have been made and implemented by them, making it a tax increase despite the disingenuous remarks by Jackson and her ilk.

(Speaking of stupidity coming out of the mouths of legislators, Senate Pres. Joel Chaisson said the House’s one-time approach, which in part relies upon money estimated to come in from a tax amnesty program, is not good policy on which to restore funding because of the uncertainty of this money coming through – oblivious to the fact that estimates of the money coming in from the change in deduction write-offs rest on just as uncertain of a base.)

But even if the House went along with it, the bill will not make into law. So the decision facing legislators is whether to waste taxpayer time and resources on this. If they do, it only will be to force Jindal to make the veto, as he has made it clear now the bill will be vetoed, its opposition is enough that a veto will not be overridden, and therefore that move will be only to try to embarrass him.

So it becomes the same old story, Democrats in the Legislature more interested in scoring political points than governing responsibly. The only difference is a few Republicans seem to want to join them. Regardless, it changes nothing and if these out-of-touch spenders of other peoples’ money want to do some genuine service to the people of Louisiana, they’ll move on from this attempted hustle of taxpayers.


Anonymous said...

Dr. Sadow,

If you were at the same meeting I was at, you would have realized that this effort to pass SB 335 was a bi-partisan effort. If Jindal is embarrassed (doubtful)don't blame it on some partisan effort because it wasn't.

I was there.

Anonymous said...

Dr. Sadow's mind is made up. Let us not confuse him with the facts.