WAFB-TV has the story of the latest adventure in Responsible Government by our hillbilly caudillo…
According to officials with the Louisiana Governor’s Office, Louisiana’s midyear budget deficit more than doubled overnight, and Governor John Bel Edwards is holding a news conference at 11:30 a.m. to discuss.
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Richard Carbo confirms that when lawmakers left the Capitol on Thursday evening, only $67 million needed to be filled with new taxes or cuts. He also confirms that House Bill 54 by Representative Chris Broadwater (R) Hammond will not bring in revenue in time to help the current budget. HB 54 was supposed to generate $75 million this year by requiring advance sales tax payments from retailers.
So, instead of the $67 million hole, there is a $142 million hole that must be filled before the special session ends on Wednesday.
You can see this in one of two ways.
Either it’s an admission that this governor and the legislature is grossly, criminally incompetent at making budgetary projections – and if you choose that option it’s understandable given that bills like HB 54 which deal with how and when taxes are collected couldn’t possibly be expected to produce projected revenues on the government’s schedule. Companies hit with inconvenient changes in the tax code which have the effect of disrupting their cash flows cannot be expected to perform according to expectations laid down by bureaucrats at the Capitol – life doesn’t work that way, and if they really believed they’d get $75 million out of that tax it just shows what kind of people we have running things.
Or it’s a different thing. And what that different thing might be is John Bel Edwards is perturbed over the reticence of the Republican House of Representatives to generate sufficient two-thirds majorities in order to pass his demanded tax increases – yesterday it was a Herculean effort to pass a $16 million tax increase on cigarettes and Edwards’ proposed tax hike on alcohol is stalled with less than outstanding prospects to move forward – and therefore he’s looking for a little bit of an “oomph” to pressure those legislators to raise taxes on their constituents to feed his beast.
And the “sudden” revelation that Broadwater’s fantasy $75 million won’t materialize now creates an “emergency” which must be alleviated by the use of More Of Your Money.
Expect Edwards to demand that House bend over for him on the alcohol tax, and a few other of his money grabs which have earned a flat “no” so far, or else we’ll have a fresh round of emotional terrorism about developmentally disabled children being fed to swamp predators and the end of college football this fall. You don’t even need to watch the press conference to know that’s what’s in store.