Congratulations to The Advocate for making public, in a forceful manner, the great giveaway of our wealth by our state government. These giveaways have been reported in the news at various times over past years but never in such a way that is undeniable as presented in this front-page series.
Our state government has been squandering the wealth of our natural resources and our ability to collect taxes, including severance taxes; royalties to support education, general and higher; roads and highways; and a health care system for the citizens. Through many of these exemptions, they are giving away money that belongs to strapped local and parish governing bodies. Through direct grants and financial incentives, it is giving away, to some of the richest industries in the world, the cash necessary to support the legitimate long-standing needs of the people.
This state is facing a financial crisis, which is about to explode, taking away the ability to carry on existing operations and needs. If you are involved in higher education, the state funding is about to be reduced again. If your child is paying tuition, get ready for continuing, and even larger, increases.
This state is among the richest in natural resources, home of the mighty Mississippi River (hub of transportation for the entire central United States) and has available, gigantic amounts of cheap natural gas, oil and fresh water. We are a state that has a heritage of smart, hardworking people; soil and climate to support abundant crops; and an abounding nature that is called the Sportsman’s Paradise.
Now ask yourself this question: Why are we the poorest state with the poorest people and worst schools, highways and health care in the United States?
The answer: because our politicians, especially those in state government, have continued to give away the store.
Louisiana desperately needs a paradigm shift from short-term “getting by” to long-term living. We need, as an entire state, to quit living for Saturday night and look down the road for a sustainable future for our children.