Today, Bob Mann at the Times-Picayune wrote an op-ed trying to attack Republicans for being hypocrites. His charge is that Republicans are only interested in cutting the size of government when Democrats are in charge. Mann claims that Republicans weren’t as interested in spending under Jindal as they are under Edwards.
Here’s the relevant part of his piece:
“We need more revenue, but I’ve not heard much conversation about efficiencies and how we can do things structurally different,” Rep. John Schroder, R-Covington, told The Advocate.
“Is it fair for us to go into a special session without the tools of knowing what spending efficiencies and effectiveness we should have in place?” Sen. Conrad Appel, R-Metairie, asked.
Rep. Cameron Henry, R-Metairie, who chairs the House Appropriations Committee, is the leading opponent of a special session. At one point, Henry seriously suggested balancing the budget by, among other things, slashing the state’s tourism promotion budget.
The head of the state’s top business lobby, Stephen Waguespack of the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry, also opposes a special session. “The Legislature needs to do its due diligence to shift the proposed budget reductions to areas of lower priority, where funding may not be needed until the latter half of the fiscal year,” said Waguespack, Jindal’s former chief of staff, describing something that sounds suspiciously like check kiting.
This would all be quite comical if it weren’t for the dire consequences of all the denial and blame shifting. For eight years, many of Edwards’ detractors enabled Jindal by supporting his irresponsible fiscal policies. These latter-day fiscal conservatives undermined the state’s tax base by slashing income taxes and lavishing business with obscene tax breaks. They raided state trust funds. They stuffed the budget with almost a billion in one-time funding. They gutted higher education and encouraged skyrocketing tuition and fees. They were silent as Jindal turned over the state’s charity hospitals to private enterprises that have probably not, as promised, saved money.
In other words, many of these lawmakers (and Waguespack) had eight long years to speak up about the fiscal policies that have sucked us into our current morass. Funny how they demand efficiencies only after a Democrat has moved into the Governor’s Mansion. Where were these demands to stave off cuts to higher education? When did they insist that Jindal cut the waste instead of raiding theMedicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly or selling off state buildings?
They didn’t because they were too busy sucking up, instead of standing up, to Jindal. Their courage for confronting a governor and their passion for efficiencies blossomed around noon on Jan. 11, the day Edwards took office.
Let me help Bob Mann out here. Here’s an article from The Lens NOLA, certainly no right-wing website, from 2013. It was even written by Tyler Bridges, who again is certainly no right-winger. The title was “‘Fiscal Hawks’ Fly To Jindal’s Right, Denounce Governor’s Budgeting.” The article was about Republicans who opposed Jindal’s budgets.
Guess who two of the leaders of the “fiscal hawks” were? State Reps. Cameron Henry and John Schroder. They came out and opposed Jindal’s use of one-time funds for budgeting.
Here’s also an article from 2012 by UPI about the “fiscal hawks.”
But here’s the thing about the “fiscal hawks”, they were not opposed to increasing taxes in exchange for budget reform.
Finally, you know who else wrote about the “fiscal hawks” back then? Bob Mann and he even used them to attack Jindal.
But it wasn’t just the “fiscal hawks” who criticized Jindal on the budget from the right. Back in 2012, our publisher Scott McKay was complaining in The American Spectator about Jindal’s budgeting.
While many Republicans only believe in small government on election day, there are some who actually do believe in it. Thankfully, there are some who have been consistent on the budget. If anything, they’re too spineless.