On Veterans, Washington And The Need For Leadership In Louisiana

I certainly had hoped when I first got into office three years ago that I would not have to ask for special prayers to keep our troops out of harm’s way.  As another Veterans Day is upon us, I ask that you really say some special prayers, maybe take some time to attend a service and dedicate it to the men and women defending our country.  Pray for their families so that they may be at peace during the upcoming holiday season.

As a Veteran, nothing makes me more proud than for people to thank me for my service to our country.  So please do not forget to thank our Veterans, not just tomorrow but anytime you have the opportunity.

I know many of you are excited about the recent national elections.  As I heard the President say last night, something happens to you when you arrive in Washington, and it’s just not as easy as it was during the campaign!

Well, we better hope that the newly elected members can influence the old ones!

Government is in for some changes.  If Washington does not bail out the states next year, it will force state government to downsize.  This will be a very painful exercise.  WHY?  Because a lot of educated people are voters, but I believe they really don’t understand what kind of budget problems loom down the road for Higher Education.  I am already hearing from some Higher Education supporters to support tax increases dedicated to the college systems.

I don’t know everything about politics, but I feel very safe saying that in my district especially there is NO appetite for raising taxes.

At this time we are starving for some leadership.  I have not seen or heard of any plan coming from the Board of Regents.  I hear parochial attitudes will prevent them from doing what’s best for the state.  This is a fact:  without any new money (tax increase) we simply cannot afford the current size and infrastructure of government.  I am committed to work with anyone seeking solutions, and all recommendations are welcomed.  I am impressed by some of the college students in our local community getting engaged in this subject.

With all the talk about the budget and Higher Ed, I certainly don’t mean to leave out Healthcare, because there are an equal number of major issues facing those programs.

I close with this:  as we begin to figure how to make budget cuts that don’t set the state back 20 years, I think it’s incredibly important for you to let all leaders at every level know what your thoughts are about raising taxes.  As I said several months back, many people will begin to pressure our delegation to consider raising taxes.  Increased taxes are not the answer.



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