Recent remarks by the leader of Louisiana’s legislative Democrats, state Rep. John Bel Edwards, not only confirms he acts as one of the biggest gasbags in state politics, but also in the process tried to sell a bill of goods no informed and thinking person would buy.
Edwards snared an invitation to speak to the media, no doubt as a tactic to make his campaign for governor anything else but moribund, and proceeded to unload a slurry of drivel. He claimed the current budgeting practices of Gov. Bobby Jindal were designed to forestall a day of reckoning which the next governor would have to address, mainly because of around $1 billion in funds that he alleged would not reappear next year. He said he would address this by jettisoning what he called outdated or ineffective tax breaks and by expanding Medicaid. He railed against “privatization.” He termed himself a candidate of the middle, saying that’s where governance needs to be.
All of which demonstrates that after over six years in office, Edwards doesn’t seem to know much about how Louisiana’s fiscal system works, covers that ignorance with large doses of disingenuousness, and thinks he can fool a lot of people a lot of the time. The “one-time money” claim illustrates all three tendencies. The amount to which he refers is money used that does not come directly from the general fund or directly from dedicated funds to dedicated purposes, yet he made it sound like it dropped from the sky in order to fund continuing operations.