He who would be king will again preside over deep cuts to services and, again, refuse to allow new taxes to maintain decent education and health services.

Our governor and legislators are (yet again) considering what services will be cut or eliminated in the upcoming year — due to decreases in severance tax income tied to the price of oil and incentives to businesses that further reduce tax receipts. Then too, the Legislature seems incapable of seeing that the continual elimination of the tax base by off-shoring and cutting corporate taxes will eventually close the government down. Then the government will have “gotten out of the way,” along with our security as a nation and a people.

I can just see it now, our legislature wringing their hands about the need for more crippling cuts to LSU and other educational programs, cuts to assistance to those who need help with serious illness and mental illness, cuts to funds for infrastructure, research and more because oil prices and related severance taxes have collapsed!

The esteemed economists will dust off their presentations used previous downturns in oil prices and “lament it can’t be helped.” Probably suggest that we give more tax breaks to business to bribe them to locate in Louisiana and pay inadequate wages. They will join in discussions of meaningless economic indicators and give all the world the impression that the death of America’s middle class is a) not at all certain and b) a very deep mystery.

It would be a public service to point out that neither red nor blue are willing to change traditional policy to save the middle class. They are incapable of thought unless it coincides with what is brayed by the loudest, richest voices in the room — or else purchased by the billionaire’s freedom of speech.

James Bollinger