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Lapdog Adley hypocritically shilling for Edwards

Not only is former state Sen. Robert Adley a toady, he’s a hypocritical toady.

The Democrat-turned-Republican Adley found himself term-limited out of office after 2015, but landed on his political feet when Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards – to whose campaign account his dormant one contributed $2,500 in 2016 – appointed him to the state Board of Commerce and Industry as his designee. This put him right in the middle of changes Edwards mandated to the Industrial Tax Exemption Program, essentially curtailing to some degree local property tax breaks for capital-spending companies.

As such, Adley has become Edwards’ extension and thereby energetically responded to recent criticism made by Republican state Rep. Alan Seabaugh about Edwards’ tax-and-spend plans for the upcoming fiscal year. Edwards wishes to raise taxes permanently to empower oversized government while calling it tax reform.

Seabaugh had said the deficit was Edwards’ fault from overspending, so the deficit crisis the governor had created. Further, he noted that Edwards did not really want to cut any spending, which he maintained should happen given the enormous rise in state expenditures during Edwards’ term.

Adley responded, alleging that the deficit, known as the “fiscal cliff,” came from the policies of former GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal, so Edwards bore no blame. Further, he argued that the rapid spending increase was a good thing, since much of it derived from more federal dollars.

These track a common talking point of the left that tax cuts that Jindal didn’t initially support but eventually backed caused the shortfall. In other words, had these reductions in individual income tax rates at various levels of income not happened, no gap would loom today.

Back in 2008, while Jindal sat on the fence –at first considering it too soon to have immediate cuts – Republican state Sen. Buddy Shaw (who only last week unfortunately died) introduced the bill and fought off determined efforts from Democrats either to sink it or transform it into something counterproductive. And the guy in the Senate who came to his assistance and became a bill co-author was, naturally, none other than Adley.

So, according to Adley, what got Edwards into this problem was Adley himself, who actually appears to have been against tax cuts before he was for these. It turns out in 2007 Adley had helped to put the brakes on a similar, although farther-reaching, bill. Now, he indirectly criticizes what he championed a decade ago, which he had opposed a year earlier. Whether Adley suffers from permanent whiplash by his about faces remains unknown.

Moreover, his implementing Edwards’ orders on limiting property tax exceptions reeks of hypocrisy when understanding Adley’s past relationship with natural gas production and distribution. For two decades, he ran a gas management company that for years received a no-bid contract from state municipalities for services. Perhaps deriving his livelihood this way explains why a couple of years after he gave up company control (although until recently he still was listed as an officer of the corporation), in his last year in the Senate he offered a constitutional amendment to exempt natural gas storage from local property taxes.

It never got out of the Senate, but, had it succeeded, it would have cost local governments around $600 million annually. Yet now Adley parrots the Edwards’ line that firms enjoy too much in the way of local property tax breaks and puts that view into action as his Board lapdog.

In a way, none of this seems inconsistent with Adley’s fiscal policy philosophy during his legislative service. Like the current Republican Sen. Pres. John Alario, they adapt to whoever’s boots they can lick. Simply, their only principle is to have no principles other than to hitch their wagon to whatever ideology seems in vogue, largely dependent on whomever is in power.

Observers should keep that in mind whenever Adley defends Edwards’ big government schemes.

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