APPEL: A Phony Premise For Poor Policy Choices

NOLA.com published an editorial Sunday morning once again demanding that the legislature tax our people in order to fund the existing structure of Louisiana’s government. Just to be clear, there was not a single word in this piece about eliminating any of our well-known waste in spending or the reform of heavily funded elements of government to produce any results.

Instead┬áNOLA.com┬árelied upon the same tired talking points that have been adopted by the governor. According to the governor’s talking points the Task Force on Structural Changes in Budget and Tax Policy in response to HCR 11 of 2016 has released its report and it clearly points only to increasing taxes on our people as the answer to our problems.

Let me make this clear: these talking points are built on a phony premise and they fly in the face of the intent of the legislature which commissioned the study. To validate my point the below portion the preamble of enabling resolution is clear:

“to make recommendations of changes to the state’s tax laws in an effort to modernize and enhance the efficiency and fairness of the state’s tax policies for individuals and businesses, to examine the structure and design of the state budget and make recommendations for long-term budgeting changes, and to report to the legislature by September 1, 2016, and to urge and request the governor to support and implement initiatives for structural change introduced in upcoming sessions of the legislature intended to bring about long-term improvements to the programs and services of state government as well as cost savings through more efficient and effective state operations”

The intent of the legislature was based upon a mandate to have a balanced analysis of revenue AND spending done by a committee of experts . Instead, as is so oft the case when the governor controls the agenda, the entire report only recommended taxes and the Task Force, almost without exception in its deliberations, deferred even discussing any spending or policy reforms at all. To an independent observer one would conclude that the Task Force’s name should have been the Task Force on Raising Taxes!

So now we have the governor and many in the media who rely upon a flawed report to convince the people that there is legitimacy in just raising massive revenue to support state programs and policies that are always ranked dead last in the nation; supporting only raising taxes without any coupling of reform of these bad practices.

I am literally sick of this phony business. Louisiana must be reinvented from the top to the bottom. Anyone who supports increasing revenue to fund the status quo is the problem.

So media, your credibility is at stake. When will you stop just buying the governor’s talking points and start demanding to hear ANY kind of plan from the governor to change Louisiana? Do not ask me to raise taxes beyond where we are until I have SOME idea, ANY idea that we are just not funding failed policies so that the governor doesn’t have to take political risks!

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