I followed Jeff Sadow a bit during Gov.-elect John Bel Edwards’ run for the mansion, relishing his very patterned postings along the lines of an ideology in lieu of a policy for Louisiana’s future. Along with the David Vitter campaign, Sadow could only repeat the chants of libertarian slashing, in which any cut in the government column is of benefit, even if the same money is spent for private profit. My need to write was prompted by this gem in Sadow’s Advocate column, headlined “Advocate Story: Populist candidates tell voters they can be trusted to battle reputed bogeymen who keep the people down.” A commentator whose fellow travelers like Vitter had essentially waved President Barack Obama like a scarecrow while LSU, hospitals, teachers, and uninsured by the hundreds of thousands saw the Bobby Jindal administration pour money into private pockets to fund slashes across the board to complain about that is hypocrisy.
Sadow writes in vague prose about a lack of conservative ‘values,’ but what he doesn’t do is explain why anyone would think it good policy to check with Grover Norquist before proposing a state budget, or to subsidize entertainment while reducing LSU’s budget by nearly a billion dollars over eight years. He talks about reductions in these handouts as “indiscriminate tax exemption reductions,” as if we now have an entitlement system for business in one of the poorest states of the union. Nor can he explain how refusing Medicaid subsidies when the present practice increases insurance premiums and burdens our hospitals somehow made Louisiana better.
Sadow sounds like the Jindal 20 percent of Louisiana voters still see favorably, and so he joins the surprised ranks of the people who think using a “bogeyman” can be a fair criticism from a political group whose success in Louisiana has been all about that, while our state has been severely injured in the pursuit of the radical right’s approval. No, Jeff, it’s the scare tactic that lost to John Bel Edwards, because of the real fear that almost anything would be fair game for slashing, no matter how important to our children and our future, so long as it met a twisted idea of “conservatism.”
In fact, its refreshing that a man who considers the people as important as our business and industry was able to help Louisiana save itself from billions of wasted money sent to private pockets without proper review and policy making that could assure real returns on government giveaways. While that sounds like the ideology Jeff champions, and it should, the problem he has is that the giveaways were to “business”. That doesn’t make it ok?
G. Paul Marx