So now the state’s budget problem is the voters’ faults. This is, in essence, what Bobby Jindal is claiming when he says that voters first elected him seven years ago on a platform of “no increase in taxes.” Do four little words constitute an unbreakable credo?
This is the campaign pledge I wish I had heard from Jindal: “I will gut the Medicaid budget. I will propose crippling budget cuts for our universities time and again. I will offer lavish tax credits to bring businesses to our state that produce benefits for us worth only 20 percent of the credits. In my administration, I will pretend to cut government operating costs but still have a bloated state workforce and overhead.
“I will propose the reduction of state vehicles but never implement it. In a state that has 25 colleges, I will speak for the merger of colleges but abandon my plan at the least backlash.
“I will violate sound principles of public accounting by siphoning off one-time-only revenues to pay for regular expenses. These and many more glories I will bring to you, my supporters, while spending half of my time and all of my attention gorging on the fantasy of becoming president.”
Jindal, I would never have supported this platform, and I would never, ever have voted for you if you had honestly presented your embarrassing credentials to the voters. A good steward never refuses to consider all options, even the most painful ones, because the future remains unknown to us. Katrinas happen. BP oil spills happen. Depressions and recessions and oil price crashes happen. You have not only failed to prepare us for the future, but you have been derelict in your duty to respond to the inevitable economic downturns inherent in modern society that we all know must occur sooner or later.
I do not like tax increases, but as a mature, educated, conservative independent voter, I accept that they are necessary. Those are my credentials. I do not want Louisiana’s motto to become, “The state that really looks like it has lowest taxes anywhere.” We do not always get what we pay for (especially with government), but we will never get what we don’t pay for.
PETER M. MEISNER