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Prudence requires rejecting LA spending cap hike

Conservatives in the Louisiana Legislature can’t flinch at the chance to keep state spending at a more sensible level.

The Wuhan coronavirus pandemic bonus tax revenues for states, from record increases in federal borrowing sustained by Washington Democrats that force-fed an expanded money supply through the economy, has made state coffers flush last year, this year, and likely the next before it fades away – although this action also eroded the value of those dollars by triggering record price inflation that hardly has moderated. This has produced for last year, this year, and forecast for next year extra dollars to the tune of two and a quarter billion for Louisiana.

Naturally, politicians have plans for that. Around a third has to go to nonrecurring spending that includes mandatory paying off unfunded pensions and replenishing the Budget Stabilization Fund, with the remainder to a few select uses. Both Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and legislative leaders have offered to use the balance for capital outlay projects.


BC politicians may change, imprudence remains

Bossier City elected officials may change, but their stupid policy-making remains the same, reminding citizens that it will take awhile to reorient city policy in a better direction.

This week, a smooth-talking and highly-paid bureaucrat, in cahoots with a private contractor, and bullied by clueless chief executive and a councilor who benefits monetarily from the bureaucrat’s agency, conned the rubes that populate the Bossier City Council into putting city ratepayers, and maybe taxpayers, on the hook for tens of millions of dollars over the next 40 years in a highly speculative venture out of which it will own nothing, for reasons which have nothing to do with the city’s basic obligations to its residents.

The bureaucrat, Caddo-Bossier Port Commission Executive Director Eric England, finally closed the highly-advantageous deal for the Port by a 5-2 vote of the Council. This deal commits the city to pay an estimated $62 million to the Port so the Port can finance building of a water distribution and treatment facility that the city will run but the Port will own, within the next 40 years as long as the city authorizes even one drop of water to run through the system.


LA should appoint, not elect, insurance boss

 The time has come to eliminate one more opportunity for political aggrandizement and reduce the potential for corruption by making Louisiana’s commissioner of insurance an appointive rather than elective office.

Republican state Sen. Kirk Talbot has offered SB 208 for the legislative session soon to start, which would accomplish this. The commissioner would be appointed for a six year term, maximum two, by the governor from a list of three nominees by a committee of legislators, designees of other elected state executives, and representatives of related interest groups. It would apply after inauguration day, 2024. Because of a constitutional provision addressing statewide elected officials, two-thirds majorities would have to assent.

Louisiana goes overboard with its statewide elected officials, with its seven among the most of the states. Elected insurance commissioners aren’t common, with only nine other states having these and in a few instances their functions are combined with others.

That few states elect theirs makes sense when comparing the advantages and disadvantages. Certainly, elections bring a popular mandate to performing the job, but ideally the job largely comprises of administration without much chance to make policy that largely the Legislature dictates. If elected, where policy may be influenced by this official would have a bias towards lower rates, since voters overwhelmingly, if not unanimously, prefer lower rates over higher. However, this can prove problematic if a commissioner can and does influence rates to go too low that discourages policy-writing that either leaves gaps or forces the state to step in regardless at higher costs to other ratepayers or taxpayers.


LA dilatory response to waste huge bucks

In his zeal to keep from diminution Louisiana’s welfare state politics that have given it one of the worst qualities of life and economic development in the union, Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards will cost state taxpayers hundred of millions of dollars over his administration of Medicaid in the next 14 months.

That stems from his choices in unwinding the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic extended Medicaid spending. Three years ago when the pandemic descended, Congress declared that it would increase its allocation to the states by 6.2 percent beyond its normal share paying for the program, to last through the last quarter after the president declared the pandemic over. Democrat Pres. Joe Biden, needlessly delaying congressional termination to let the gray train keep rolling in order to try to boost votes for his party’s candidates last November, didn’t do so until the end of last year.

This resulted in an over one-quarter boost nationally to Medicaid rolls. States probably preferred this, as the best estimates are that at the 6.2 level states actually made more despite the expanded clientele.