Governor John Bel Edwards is trying to spin the budget he’s expected to sign into law as a big win for both him and the state. Here’s a meme that his office sent out trying to promote his budget.
JBE is trying to spin this budget as something that he was all for. He does have a point on that part. After all, the Democrats won the budget battle.
But this meme is just spin. Here’s the truth about all five of these points.
- The budget funds higher ed to what the House set as appropriate. It is not the wish list that the universities have been wanting. Unfortunately, the state refuses to address the fundamental problem of the state having too many 4-year universities for such a limited population.
- The House forced JBE to fully fund TOPS. His attempts to extort a tax increase failed and he got raked over the coals for only funding TOPS 70%. This is like taking credit for taking out the trash after your wife nagged you over it.
- This part is true for the most part. JBE used veterans in the same way Edwin Edwards used to use dialysis patients. He held the threat of cuts if the legislature didn’t approve his budget. It’s a nothing burger.
- This one appears to be false. This was the original plan of the House, but it was defeated when the Democrats won the budget battle.
- The signed budget may not have any new taxes, but it was due to no lack of effort. The House simply defeated any tax increase proposal that came up. Oh, and there is a tax that was approved, the cell phone tax.
What the budget contains is a $100 million spending increase before we head into a “fiscal cliff” caused by the expiration of a 1 cent sales next year. It is insane. State Sen. Conrad Appel points out that the budget also contains some gimmicks involving the postponement of payments to medical providers.
John Bel Edwards is living in a fantasyland when he talks about the state budget. He wants to pull the wool over your eyes. Don’t let him.