Showing posts with label budget deficit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label budget deficit. Show all posts

Thursday, September 24, 2015


I am shocked, just shocked.
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s administration is quietly notifying legislative leaders that Louisiana closed the books on the last budget year with a deficit, but the administration isn’t saying publicly how deep the problem is.

The announcement of the deficit’s size is expected in mid-October, when details are due to the Legislature’s joint budget committee.

State Treasurer John Kennedy estimates the gap exceeds $100 million.

Although Kennedy is the state treasurer, the Republican said he can’t get a firm number from the administration. He said his office has done its own calculations to determine the shortfall is “well over” $100 million.
Jindal claims to have balanced the budget every year he's been in office, but I can't remember a year when the Jindal maladministration has not announced mid-year cuts, except his first year in office when former governor Kathleen Blanco left a surplus of at least $800 million.  This year's so-called balanced budget is a patched together, smoke-and-mirrors farce enabled by complicit members of the Louisiana Legislature that fooled no one.  The governor, along with a majority of the legislators, pledge allegiance to Grover Norquist, rather than adhere to their oaths of office to perform their duties to "support the constitution and laws of the United States and the constitution and laws of this state" and produce a balanced budget.

What is going on when the state treasurer has difficulty getting the numbers from the Jindal maladministration?  And where is the governor?  Out of state campaigning in his futile attempt to seize the nomination as candidate for president of the GOP.   

Wednesday, April 16, 2014


Promoting it as a health care and economic issue, U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu pushed Tuesday for Louisiana voters to decide the fate of Medicaid expansion.

“The governor has clearly put his political future ahead of the future of the state of Louisiana,” said Landrieu, D-La. “Let the people decide what is fair, whether they want to expand and use over $16 billion” in federal funds.

“It’s kind of our last hope to let the people make the decision. It’s not too much to ask,” Landrieu said.
Bobby Jindal won't allow Medicaid expansion in the State of Louisiana, despite gaping holes in the state budget for health care, so will the Louisiana Legislature have the courage to let the people decide? The lawmakers who worry about any association with Obamacare can then wash their hands of responsibility and blame the expansion on the people of the state.
Landrieu said the proposition makes good economic sense. “In order to have a strong workforce, you need a healthy workforce,” she said. She said the state is rejecting $16 billion available “to strengthen the workforce.”

The Medicaid expansion also would bring 15,600 new health care-related jobs in 2016 and help sustain financially struggling rural hospitals, Landrieu said.
Governor Jindal chooses to put his personal ambitions for national office ahead of the nearly 250,000 citizens of Louisiana who need health insurance, so it's way past time for the legislators to do the job the people of the state elected them to do, for which they're paid salaries with our tax money, and let the people decide.

Louisiana has far too many laws embedded in the state constitution, but, in this instance, there is no way around Bobby Jindal's refusal to help the citizens of the state other than one more constitutional amendment.

UPDATE: The Louisiana Legislature will not let the people decide.
An attempt to go around Gov. Bobby Jindal and put the issue of Medicaid expansion to Louisiana voters failed to clear its first legislative hurdle Wednesday.

After more than four hours of testimony, most of it from supporters, including leading Democratic Party elected officials, the Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted 6-2 to defer action on the proposed constitutional amendment, effectively killing it.

Sunday, October 14, 2012



The Republicans running for president and vice-president talk trash and lies, and from what I see of Republican politicians all around the country, there are few who are willing to stand up to Tea Party politics and call them for the trash and lies that they are.  The concept of the common good, that we are all in these tough times together and that we should bear each other's burdens and help those who are most in need is lost in the noise of cries for a balanced budget - a budget that will be balanced on the backs of those who have the least and not by those who are rich in the world's goods.

At least once or twice a week people I know whine to me about undeserving freeloaders who get food stamps and SSI checks.  No doubt there are cheaters amongst them, but what kind of high living can you do on food stamps and SSI checks?  I think of the rich, like the Republican candidate for president, who pays an average of 14% tax on his vast yearly income, while mid-income people pay a higher percentage.  I think of the banks and financial institutions bailed out by the feds that, in turn, gave millions in salaries and bonuses to their top people, and the cheaters for food stamps and SSI checks seem like very small potatoes.  Sure, stop the cheaters, but let's set our priorities aright and get the rich guys and the corporations off the dole first.

And why was the Romney tax returns story allowed to die?  What about his 2009 tax returns?  2009 was the year of the amnesty when people with secret bank accounts in Switzerland had to own the accounts before their names were revealed to the IRS, whereupon they may have been subject to criminal prosecution for tax avoidance.  Did Romney take the amnesty?  He made public two years of tax returns, 2010 and 2011, but he asked Ryan for five years of tax returns.  What is Romney hiding? 

H/T to the goddess at First Draft and others for the picture.

Friday, April 15, 2011


What Sen. Vitter wrote:
Dear Friend,

If you didn't get a chance to watch President Obama's address on fiscal policy yesterday, you might be better off. It was nothing more than a partisan campaign-style speech that doubled down on raising taxes.

What the president has failed to realize is that the problem isn't that our taxes are too low – it's that the current spending habits in Washington have created a recipe for disaster. The answer is not increasing taxes or perpetrating ugly class warfare, but to make bold spending cuts so we don't leave this fiscal mess for our children and grandchildren. Increasing taxes during this economy would seriously hurt America's job creators.

If it weren't such a serious problem, it would almost be comical that the president claims that Obamacare will help reduce the deficit yet fails to acknowledge how much his failed bailouts, stimulus and other reckless spending have contributed to the fiscal mess we're in....

What I wrote:
Dear Sen. Vitter,

I watched the speech, and I thought the president's suggestion that the rich pay their fair share of taxes for the privilege of living in this great country was one of the best parts of the speech.

I also noted that the president placed the blame for blowing the budget squarely where it belonged, on the tax cuts for the rich and two off-budget wars that were never paid for during the presidency of George Bush and his Republican cohorts running wild, including you.

You have a nerve, Sen. Vitter. Do you think I'm stupid?

June Butler

And if asking the richest amongst us to pay their fair share is "perpetrating ugly class warfare", then I quote George Bush and say, "Bring it on!"

UPDATE: My friend Counterlight reminded me in a comment of Warren Buffett's words in a CNN interview with Lou Dobbs:
BUFFETT: Yeah. The rich people are doing so well in this country. I mean, we never had it so good.

DOBBS: What a radical idea.

BUFFETT: It's class warfare, my class is winning, but they shouldn't be.

The interview took place in 2005! The inequities are even greater today.

Thursday, April 14, 2011


...who blew the budget. The best of Obama's speech yesterday, in my humble opinion:
America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000. We went from deficit to surplus. America was actually on track to becoming completely debt free, and we were prepared for the retirement of the Baby Boomers.

But after Democrats and Republicans committed to fiscal discipline during the 1990s, we lost our way in the decade that followed. We increased spending dramatically for two wars and an expensive prescription drug program — but we didn’t pay for any of this new spending. Instead, we made the problem worse with trillions of dollars in unpaid-for tax cuts — tax cuts that went to every millionaire and billionaire in the country; tax cuts that will force us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over the next decade.

To give you an idea of how much damage this caused to our nation’s checkbook, consider this: In the last decade, if we had simply found a way to pay for the tax cuts and the prescription drug benefit, our deficit would currently be at low historical levels in the coming years.

But that’s not what happened. And so, by the time I took office, we once again found ourselves deeply in debt and unprepared for a Baby Boom retirement that is now starting to take place. When I took office, our projected deficit, annually, was more than $1 trillion. On top of that, we faced a terrible financial crisis and a recession that, like most recessions, led us to temporarily borrow even more.

Others, such as Kevin Drum at Mother Jones and Duncan Black at Eschaton, agree with my humble opinion.

Let's not forget.

Monday, April 11, 2011


From Media Matters:
STEVE DOOCY: And the thing about it that was audacious was the fact that he [Sen. Harry Reid] was talking about Planned Parenthood being this great provider where women can get blood pressure checks, and pap smears, and breast --

BRIAN KILMEADE: Which you can get at Walgreens.

DOOCY: --examinations. Exactly right.

Where does Walgreen's do the paps and breast exams? Under the counter? In a back room? Right in the open on the floor of the store?

Who does the exams? The pharmacist? The manager? The clerk at checkout? The person who restocks the shelves?

But wait!
"Neither Walgreens, nor its in-store healthcare clinics, Take Care Clinics, offer pap smears or breast exams," Take Care Clinic spokeswoman Lauren Nestler told Media Matters after being emailed the segment.

The clinics, which are a subsidiary of Walgreens, offer health services like flu vaccines and blood pressure screening at 350 Walgreens stores.

What is your response to these lies?

a) Kill me now.
b) I'm leaving the country
c) I'm deeply depressed
d) Other

H/T to Atrios, who says this:
Nothing that's going on in Washington has anything to do with the deficit. People concerned with the deficit would be concerned with jobs. Also, too, nobody cares about the deficit.

And this:
It appears all the serious people believe the unemployment situation has been solved.

I suspect they're wrong.

And ain't that two mouthsful of truth?

Saturday, January 22, 2011


From Arjun Jaikumar at Daily Kos:

Polls for the Louisiana Governor's race slated for fall 2011 have been rare so far, with conventional wisdom dictating that incumbent Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal is the runaway favorite in this red state.

A new poll is out, however, from Republican pollster Market Research Insight (though it appears to have been conducted for "a group of business people", and not the Jindal campaign).

The poll shows decent but unspectacular numbers for Jindal:

Market Research Insight (R) for "a consortium of business interests". 1/10-14. Registered voters. MoE 4%.

Reelect Gov. Bobby Jindal (R) 49
Prefer someone else 40

So this poll isn't wholly surprising...unless you compare it to Jindal's once-stratospheric approval ratings. While pollsters once had Jindal's approval in the mid-70s, his current numbers indicate he's slid back to being a generic Republican.

Which, in Louisiana, isn't a bad place to be. It's just not completely safe, and it might be a touch early for Jindal to start burnishing his credentials for his expected 2016 presidential run. Rather, he might want to prevent his home-state approval from falling any more than it already has.

A good many folks who strongly supported the governor in the last election became quite disenchanted with our peripatetic chief executive for being absent from the state, raising money for Republican candidates in the 2010 election, when we faced a budget crisis here in the state where Jindal was elected to govern.

Some of us hoped that Jindal might be appointed to head the RNC to replace Michael Steele, thus moving him permanently out of the governor's office, but - alas - it did not happen. Now Jindal travels around the state and the country to raise money for his war chest, which already holds $7 million, for the next gubernatorial election.

Meanwhile, the state budget deficit is projected to be $1.6 billion. The governor needs to focus on finding rational solutions to the budget crisis, but he won't. Since Jindal will not entertain the idea of raising taxes, the budget must be balanced by deeper and more painful cuts than have already been put in place. As is usually the case, I fear the least amongst us will bear the brunt of the cuts.

Jindal seems to enjoy running for office and raising money for campaigns, his own and other politicians' campaigns, but he does not seem to savor doing the job he was elected to do. Yet, he will probably be reelected without much of a struggle, because Louisiana becomes more Republican with every day that goes by.