Mayor of New Orleans Mitch Landrieu has done his fair share of griping over the past year. Meanwhile, the City of New Orleans has been engulfed in debt and violence. Here are three ways Landrieu has been whining instead of cleaning up the Big Easy.
1. Landrieu’s ‘New Orleans is a victim’ sob story. When it was announced that Super Bowl XLVII would be held in New Orleans, it was all cheers from the Landrieu administration who said it would be the economic boom that the city needed. Fast-forward to 2014 and Landrieu has done nothing but complain about the “robbing” of New Orleans, specifically the Super Bowl revenue that the city was allegedly robbed of. According to Landrieu, state tax laws have been stealing from New Orleans all along, claiming that the city’s general fund only made a net profit of $500,000 thanks to the Super Bowl. “Here’s the truth: Most of the benefit went to others and to the state. Even though the Super Bowl is a multimillion-dollar event, this city’s general fund, your bank account, only netted $500,000, barely breaking even for the army of police, fire, EMS, sanitation, public works, permitting and other city employees who work day in and day out to make sure everything went off without a hitch,” Landrieu said.
But, all stories have two sides, especially when it comes to Landrieu. What the New Orleans mayor conveniently left out was that the city’s economic netted impact from the Super Bowl was $480 million for the region, according to a study by the University of New Orleans. Landrieu’s “plan” to remedy the robbing of New Orleans from its “fair share,” is not exactly a plan. It is more of the same solutions, including investments and tax hikes. And as politicos know, both of those are code for “spending.”
2. Landrieu’s insistence that tax increases will fix all of the city’s problems. Landrieu is viewed as a moderate Democrat, by the national press, much like his sister Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-New Orleans). However, all of Landrieu’s recent solutions to New Orleans’ lack of money comes from the old liberal playbook: taxes, taxes and more taxes. For the residents of New Orleans, those who have not been taxed out of the area yet, tax increases is the last words they want to hear. But, that did not stop Landrieu from seeking three tax hikes in the legislative session this year. The local cigarette tax Landrieu fought for, with the help of Rep. Helena Moreno (D-LA), was turned down twice by legislators. The other tax hike that failed was one which would have raised the hotel tax from 16.44 percent to 18.19 percent, which would have given New Orleans the second highest hotel tax rate among top tourism cities, right after New York City. The only tax hike to pass the legislature and to go before New Orleans voters is one that will raise property taxes to pay for the city’s firefighters pension fund and the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). If approved by voters, Landrieu will have successfully whined enough to collect the maximum allowable amount of money to “refine the NOPD.” Because everyone knows that when you pour more and more money into corrupt systems, they get better, right?
And what may be most interesting, is that throughout this entire cry for tax hikes, Landrieu has been growing his Mayoral Office since 2010, almost $1.1 million in promotions and raises to his Mayoral appointments. As the Lens outstandingly reported what the Times Picayune refused to, 50 Landrieu appointees have received $776,000 in salary increases, split about evenly between promotions and raises and though the budget has dropped, the spending has increased every year, and yet Landrieu has nothing to show for it.
3. Landrieu’s cry for federal government help. Following the Bourbon Street shooting, which left 1 woman dead and 9 others in the hospital, Landrieu said his number one priority was keeping New Orleans safe, vowing to get to the bottom of the shooting. However, that is not exactly what Landrieu has done. Instead, Landrieu held a press conference, asking that the federal government help the NOPD, asking the feds to “get back in the business of fighting crime.” Landrieu said the federal government has spent millions of dollars creating police in foreign countries, but has left American cities in the dark, requesting that the feds switch back to the COPS program which would fund local police forces. So on top of those hefty property tax hikes Landrieu needs to “refine” NOPD, he also needs the federal government to stage an intervention in the city. Because no one can save you like the federal government.
And this does not even mention that while Landrieu was begging for help, he left out the fact that the NOPD had a sketchy way of handling the shooting. The shooting was around 2:45 a.m. in the 700 block of Bourbon Street, according to NOPD. A whopping 34 hours after the shooting, information from the NOPD about the shooting was still limited. It actually took about 38 hours after the shooting for NOPD to provide a press release to the public with specifics on the shooting. But, this is besides the point. What Landrieu is essentially asking for is a bailout, much like the $300 million one Detroit has gotten, another city drowned in debt and violence that has coincidentally been run by Democrat mayors for years.