It’s morning in America again. After years of economic stagnation under former President Barack Obama, America is booming. Thanks to President Trump’s leadership, the American economy is growing above 3% annually, wages are rising across the board, and unemployment has hit its lowest point since 1969.
But in my home state of Louisiana, under the leadership of liberal Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards, the story is different. While the rest of the nation prospers, we’re missing out on the Trump boom. While the national economy experiences growth exceeding 3%, Louisiana’s economy in lagging behind at 1%. It’s even worse when you compare us to our neighbors like Texas and Florida.
Over a recent 12-month period, Louisiana actually lost jobs. As these jobs leave for other states, so do our families. In the past three years, we’ve lost over 68,000 residents to other states. Unsurprisingly, U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Louisiana as dead last in the country across 70 different measures of quality-of-life.
It isn’t complicated why this is the case. Just like our country a few short years ago, Louisiana is led by a Democrat who’s more committed to growing government than growing jobs and supporting families.
While Trump cut taxes, Edwards raised them by $7 billion.
While Trump has unleashed our nation’s energy resources, Edwards has unleashed trial lawyers and lawsuits on Louisiana’s oil & gas industry — our top employer and taxpayer.
While Trump has cut regulations, Edwards has grown government and added regulations.
While Trump is prioritizing the needs of our families, Edwards has failed to prioritize infrastructure, early childhood education, and flood recovery.
I first ran for Congress in 2014 because I was concerned about the direction our country was headed under Obama. When Trump ran for president in 2016, I was one of the first members of the Louisiana delegation to endorse him, because I recognized that he is the bold leader our country needed (and still needs) to get on the right track.
Over the past two and a half years, I’ve been proud to work with Trump to “Make America Great Again.” But he can only do so much at the federal level. With our country headed in the right direction, we need to focus our attention on fixing the failed policies that are holding our state back: outrageous tax hikes, unaccountable government, and a hostile business climate that scares away any employer who can’t afford to haggle for special tax loopholes.
And let’s not forget: The 2019 race for Louisiana governor is the pregame to 2020. A GOP win in Louisiana will put gas in the tank for every Republican running in 2020 — especially President Trump. Conversely, if Edwards wins reelection after governing to the left in our deep-red state, we risk losing momentum when we need it the most.
For America to truly succeed, we need leadership in state capitals that embraces and builds upon our president’s successful policies.
This will be the ultimate test of whether we can turn a successful presidency into a successful movement.
I’m running for governor of Louisiana this year to make sure that happens. Louisiana cannot afford another four years that look more like President Barack Obama’s tenure than President Trump’s.
It’s time to start putting “Louisiana Families First.”
This piece originally appeared in the Washington Examiner.