The Last Regular Legislative Session With JBE As Governor Starts Today…

…and in two months, when this session is over, John Bel Edwards will officially be a lame duck governor. The faster that happens the better off Louisiana will be; Edwards has been a disaster for our state.

We’ve got the least favorable tax climate in the South, we’ve got the worst-performing economy in the South on a pretty consistent basis, we’re at the bottom of crime, outmigration, education, business climate – you name it.

And it’s all gotten worse while Edwards has been governor.

This despite the fact that Louisiana’s state budget has mushroomed from $26 billion when Edwards took office in January of 2016 to $46 billion now, an obscene amount of money which can’t be traced to any measurable improvement in the lives of the people of Louisiana.

Our private-sector economy is no healthier now than it was when we were spending $20 billion less per year on state government. Our population hasn’t grown. We don’t have more Louisianans working. We don’t have more kids in school. We don’t have more registered voters. We don’t have more cops or teachers.

We’re spending all this money, mostly because the federal government is showering us with fiat currency printed out of thin air, and we’re getting nothing for it.

And Edwards is such an utter waste of oxygen as governor that it seems like he prays for hurricanes and other natural disasters to come because that’s the only significant capital which comes into Louisiana.

It’s a terrible situation we’re in.

We’re the least business-friendly state in the South and we’re getting picked clean by our neighbors. Our local police forces in our major cities are overwhelmed and demoralized, and we need the State Police more than ever as a reinforcing force, but it’s down 300 officers from its funded strength thanks to Edwards’ mismanagement and abuse of LSP. Edwards walloped Louisiana’s economy with COVID lockdowns and we’re paying the price for that – other states locked down less and reopened sooner, and lots of business and professional people threw their hands up and left as a result.

The headlines are full of shootings, sex crimes, gross mismanagement of public resources. There is very little success to report.

Worse, our people are starting to believe success in Louisiana isn’t possible.

And John Bel Edwards has zero interest in reversing any of this malaise. He’s the least accessible governor Louisiana has ever had. Edwards spent his entire first gubernatorial campaign excoriating his predecessor Bobby Jindal for chasing national prominence and running for president, but even when he was running around Iowa and South Carolina Jindal seemed more in touch with average Louisianans than Edwards is. Last week Edwards had the temerity to tout a three-month-old poll to claim his record on crime reflects the wishes of the people in this state, when three-quarters of the respondents said the criminal justice system is on the wrong track.

It’s an utterly bizarre, dangerously surreal situation. The governor has run from leadership for eight years because he knows that if he stands up for what he believes in the people of Louisiana will punish him for it. He has to hide from us because he got elected on the basis of a lie – namely, that he’s a “conservative” Democrat. He’s no such thing and he never was. John Bel Edwards was to the left of every single member of the Legislative Black Caucus during his two terms as a state representative, and when he was inaugurated as governor he pulled out all the stops to enact the largest tax increase in Louisiana history.

We’ve been dying as a state ever since.

Our school libraries are full of gay porn, our universities are full of Chinese spies and woke agitators, our district attorneys don’t bother prosecuting criminals and our judges go easy on them when the DA’s do act like they care. We have kids getting murdered, middle-aged people zoning out on drugs as their jobs and futures melt away, whole industries contemplating whether Louisiana holds any promise anymore.

Florida, Texas and Tennessee are booming. They’re showing us what we could be. But we’re nothing like them now, because of the eight years of anti-leadership we’ve gotten from John Bel Edwards.


Our legislature should have done a better job of countering him. But there’s only so much you can expect from a legislature. We haven’t had the right kind of leadership in either the House or Senate – we’ve been stuck with Good-Time Charlies and swamp creatures in charge, and Edwards, even as a Democrat against a solidly Republican legislature, has been able to outmaneuver the majority. Such is the power of a governor in Louisiana.

It would be nice if that would change starting this week. Republicans now have the numbers in both House and Senate to begin cramming conservative policy down Edwards’ throat. It would be nice to start doing that now, in advance of next year when it’s very likely a conservative Republican will replace Edwards and make a major course correction to put us more in line with Texas, Florida and Tennessee. There’s no time like the present to start that process.

That isn’t the history. Historically, a legislative session in the year of a statewide election cycle, like this is, is a very light affair. Odd-numbered years are fiscal-session years, when legislators only can bring five non-fiscal bills. In years like this, usually the desire is to write the budget and go home.

Except we can’t have that this year. We’re falling too far behind, too fast. We need as much reform as we can get, and we need it now.

We need major tax-code changes. We need something done about crime, about insurance. We need to arrest the runaway decline of our culture, and in particular how our educational institutions are failing our kids on that score. We’ve got to rein in government spending.

There are bills addressing all of those things, and in the coming days we’re going to be doing a lot on those subjects.

But today, it’s time to recognize where we are. And where we are is not good. If this isn’t rock bottom, we’d hate to see what is.



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