A State Runs a Budget Deficit

Louisiana, run by Progressive-Democrats since Bobby Jindall was term-limited out of office, is facing a $1.5 billion deficit as “temporary” tax increases implemented earlier begin to expire.  Jay Dardenne, the center-left Republican Commissioner of Administration, Louisiana governor John Bel Edwards’ chief budget officer, says that “devastating” spending cuts would be necessary absent a renewal of the tax increases or enactment of other tax increases.

Devastating: among those are additional reductions in higher education. This is misleading from a State official whose State already objects to school choice and to successful voucher schools in the K-12 range—because they take money away from badly failing public schools.  Except they don’t.  The State funds the public schools on a per-student basis, but when a student leaves for a voucher school, he takes less than his full allotment of funds with him, leaving the “losing” public school fiscally net better off.

It’s misleading, too, because higher education has an inflated tuition and fee structure supported by all that government funding (the Feds are contributors to this inflation with their own money transfers to the higher ed institutions), leaving those students fiscally net worse off.

Other areas facing spending reductions are tear-jerker “child-welfare” programs and “other” state agencies.  Never mind that these facilities waste the funds allocated with their high bureaucratic overhead and middle-man frictions.  And in the case of welfare (not just child), through uncertain enforcement.

No, the only ones truly facing serious spending reductions are the lobbyists and the Progressive-Democrats’ (and too many Republicans’) cronies.

It’s past time for a $1.5 billion reduction in State spending.  Louisiana needs to leave the money in the citizens’ hands, and it needs to stop competing with the private sector in providing goods and services and in acquiring resources for its own (unnecessary) functioning.

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