I have yet to see anyone who has anything kind to say about the budget John Bel Edwards has put forward before the legislature, and for good reason. It is a great example of WE’RE ALL GONNA DIE politics and a very poor example of actual policy.
For example, Stephen Waguespack took to the radio in Shreveport and the absolute nicest way we can describe his interview is to say he was very miffed indeed.
If you want to know just how bad Edwards is at lying, look no further than this analysis by Tyler Bridges, a man who can regularly be counted on to be the Edwards Administration’s stenographer.
— Tyler Bridges (@tegbridges) January 24, 2018
Here’s a bit from his piece in The Advocate today.
In announcing a 4.6 percent rate in December, Edwards said, “Louisiana’s economy continues to improve, and we are making tremendous progress in putting our people back to work.”
What Edwards didn’t mention on Tuesday is that, despite the sharply lower unemployment rate, the number of employed workers in Louisiana in December — when the latest figures were released — was up only slightly compared to when Edwards took office in January 2016.
Moreover, the unemployment rate has dropped just as much, if not more, in neighboring states, although nationally Louisiana has dropped from the 46th highest unemployment rate when he took office to 37th in December.
That is a dose of truth we here at The Hayride did not expect coming from The Advocate at all, much less Bridges.
More broadly, economists question whether the state’s top elected official can claim credit for such trends. As Jim Richardson, a longtime LSU economics professor, put it: “Governors have little control over the number of people employed in the labor force over the short term.”
And Richardson is absolutely correct. If anything is putting people back to work on the scale that the nation is seeing, it is the confidence the market has in Donald Trump, and Trump’s all-out blitz on the regulatory state has done more good for the economy than Edwards will ever be able to achieve.
Of course, you also need to recognize that government does not create jobs. The government can only do so much to make the job-creating environment better, as Trump has done with the regulatory reforms and the incoming tax reform’s effect will only do more to boost the job market and the employment rate.
Edwards is clinging on to any positive news coming from the state because he knows his policies do anything but help the business environment. He raised taxes once and he wants to do it again. He has no intention of making responsible cuts to the state budget, and as a result, the business environment is going to suffer greatly if he gets his way on taxing businesses and their customers.
And, he should know good and damn well that he is not inspiring jobs to be created in Louisiana because $6.5 billion couldn’t convince Amazon to even consider Louisiana for its HQ2.
One more thing, by the by: There is no doubt Edwards knows he’s lying about anything and everything he can when discussing the budget because, as the Amazon story above points out, Edwards tried to convince Amazon that Louisiana had low taxes while at the same time planning to raise taxes on business in the upcoming legislative session.
The man is so irresponsible with facts that not even Tyler Bridges and The Advocate are really buying it. Think about that.