This Graph Shows Just How Awful John Bel Edwards Truly Was

Our state legacy media is a set of utterly corrupt institutions which do more to hide the truth from the people of Louisiana than produce an informed electorate, and they did everything they could to keep the people of Louisiana blissfully ignorant of just how poorly the media’s chosen political leader was performing over the past eight years.

The lies began all the way back in 2015 when John Bel Edwards first announced he was running for governor and he was presented as a “moderate” or “conservative” Democrat, when in truth Edwards had a voting record to the left of every single member of the Legislative Black Caucus.

Those lies matter. Edwards was a catastrophe for this state. We’ve discussed time and again how his policies sparked a mass exodus of outmigration among economically-competitive Louisiana citizens, leaving us poorer, lesser-skilled, less-educated, older and less socially mobile as a state.

Earlier today at The Hayride, though, we reposted an article from The Center Square on the results of a study undertaken by the Louisiana legislative auditor of the performance of Louisiana Economic Development, the state of Louisiana’s entity which is supposed to recruit companies to set up shop here and create jobs.

LED under John Bel Edwards was nothing short of a cataclysm. The Center Square article included this graph of relevant performance in job creation among Southern states…

It’s hard to put into words just how bad this is.

It’s not like the numbers at the top of that chart are all that impressive. Two percent employment growth over eight or nine years is actually a fairly weak number, historically speaking. There are headwinds built in, obviously – namely that with an aging population you have lots of people retiring and offsetting younger people entering the workforce, and of course there were the massive job losses associated with COVID-19. Both of those two developments would have made it more difficult to generate truly impressive job growth totals.

But everybody else in the South, even including West Virginia, managed to add jobs. This was the only state in the region to go negative.

That’s a level of performance which is so terrible as to demand accountability for the people responsible for it.

By the way, John Bel Edwards was not unlucky in producing these numbers. He actively created them.


Let’s remember that Edwards came into office having promised not to raise taxes, a lie he exposed almost immediately after his inauguration when he declared a “fiscal cliff” and a giant budget deficit which did not exist.

The “deficit” Edwards claimed was a gap between what Louisiana’s economy was producing in tax revenue and the outlandish amount of government spending that John Bel Edwards deemed necessary. He sent a budget to the state legislature which was grossly inflated, and then he lied to the people of Louisiana in claiming that if he didn’t get the tax increases to pay for it the suffering would be catastrophic.

Edwards trotted out the head of the Department of Children and Family Services to claim that its aging vehicle fleet would begin overheating when summer temperatures increased and there would be small children suffering heatstroke while waiting for Triple-A. Then he claimed that budget deficits at the state’s public colleges would be so severe as to kill college football in the state.

These were stupid lies, but Louisiana’s legislators didn’t have the sand to see through them and laugh them out of the Capitol. Instead, they ramped up the state’s sales tax to generate the highest combined state and local sales tax burden in America, they hit businesses with taxes on business utilities, inventory and all kinds of other things and they destroyed what positive momentum existed in a Louisiana economy already sagging from low oil prices at the time.

The Center Square article notes that Louisiana isn’t just the worst job performer in the South, but that we also performed worse than any other energy state over that same time period. That’s policy-driven as well – Edwards is a Green New Deal communist who attacked the oil and gas industry while attempting to promote wind and solar and other poor-performing energy sources, and most of the oil and gas industry in Louisiana went moribund.

It hasn’t returned yet, though hopefully it will.

It cannot be said enough that Edwards was a pestilence on this state’s economy. As Jeff Landry attempts to rebuild from the eight years of destruction of our job and capital markets, we need to understand the lessons of JBE’s misrule.

And never, ever repeat them.



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