For years, there have been continuous Louisiana state budget shortfalls. The solution has been to cut education and health care to deal with the state budget crisis. We are sick and tired of hearing about this problem and the attitude that it is not solvable. If our politicians put half the effort into a solution to the budget crisis that they put into getting re-elected, it would have been solved long ago.

Decreased revenues have caused the problem. Revenue shortfalls have been caused primarily due to the fall in the price of oil and the repeal of the Stelly Plan.

The current tactic has been to put patches on the budget rather than dealing with the root cause. Reserves have practically all been drained and other one-time monies have been spent to pay for recurring expenses. Any accountant will tell you that spending one-time money to try to fix on-going expenses is a no-no. This is a classic example of the definition of insanity (Doing things the same way and expecting different results).

The political differences between parties are the deterrent that keeps the problem from getting solved. Republicans are holding the line against new taxes and insist it is to be solved by reduced spending. The Democrats do not want to cut services. No one is working to solve the root cause of the problem. For once, can we all be Louisianans and get this behind us? I commend the legislature’s effort to reduce spending and minimizing taxes.

Our current state budget is approximately $28 billion. Our shortfall with the upcoming fiscal cliff is approximately $1 billion or 3.6 percent of the budget. If each area of government services had to reduce spending by 3.6 percent, I cannot imagine this causing a crisis. So what is the problem?

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Louisiana Dept. of Health Secretary Rebekah Gee, left, confers with Commissioner of Administration Jay Dardenne, just before Dardenne presented Gov. John Bel Edwards' Fiscal Year 2017-2018 Executive Budget proposal, at the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget, Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017 at the State Capitol, a day after the end of the Special Legislative Session to balance the budget.

The real problem is that practically all of the major State Budget funds are dedicated and cannot be used to help balance the budget. The only significant funds left to balance the budget are education and health care. These two areas are crucial to the future of our state and should not be used as the major source of cuts to balance our budget. What would it take to allow money from the dedicated funds to be used to help balance the budget?

It would take our legislators to all working together, forgetting parties, and for once being Louisianans. After all, they work for us! It will take outlining a plan of legislation, constitutional amendments and approval by the constituents to get it done. It will especially take outstanding leadership!

All of this is doable. The question is, do we have the resolve to git ‘er done?

Marvin E. Brossette

retired chemical engineer

Shreveport