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Conservatives, rest easy: no spoiler scenario

Dude, get some rest.

Recently the invaluable The Hayride’s editor Scott McKay published some musings about next year’s governor’s election. In it, he admitted that he suffered disturbed sleep over the possibility that an outsider non-conservative candidate could win that contest.

He sketched a scenario where somebody not ideologically conservative like wealthy businessman Jim Bernhard – in the past rumored as a candidate for statewide office and who briefly fronted Louisiana’s Democrats – would get in the contest as an independent, use a theme of government dysfunction (part a consequence of the state’s populist history and political culture, part a reflection of events over the past three years where Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards has insisted on continuing this despite electoral and societal trends heading in the opposite direction) and declare himself the antithesis to that, dump a lot of money in the race, and find a way to win, acing out a conservative.


Overspending, overtaxing thwart LA budgeting

To answer the question posed by a recent news article, no, Louisiana’s budget isn’t really sound.

That disagrees with the sentiments of Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards, who after the Legislature voted to reinstitute for seven years 0.45 percent of sales tax at the beginning of the month – keeping Louisiana’s the highest aggregated in the country – asserted fiscal problems solved now and so he couldn’t wait to start spending on raises and doling out largesse. And that’s the very reason he’s wrong.

Of course, since Edwards promised a permanent resolution where revenues kept up with expenditures but instead he produced a temporary solution that detracts from economic growth – according to Pelican Institute numbers the increase will shave $156 million off the state’s annual gross domestic product and cost over 2,500 jobs – he has to paint stripes on a zebra and call it a horse. Simply, Louisiana’s fiscal structure sets it on auto-pilot that, with politicians’ cooperation, produces eternally spending escalation faster that revenue growth.


Policies, not history, indicate Edwards' fate

My Baton Rouge Advocate colleague got it right, but for the wrong reason.

At the beginning of the month, Mark Ballard wrote a piece arguing that Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards faces some headwinds in gaining reelection next year. A review of his accomplishments and the numbers certainly bear that out.

Edwards mostly has flopped on his agenda and can tick off only two things of significance achieved in his 30 months: Medicaid expansion and criminal justice reform. At best, the voting public will perceive the former as shooting par. Some have benefitted from that redistribution of wealth, but the extra taxes raised to pay for it and contrasted with the rapidly escalating health insurance costs borne by those paying those additional taxes will resent the burden placed upon them – courtesy of the same law. More likely, in net terms it will cost him votes.