It’s clear to all but the most devout Republican Jindal supporters that he has absolutely no idea how a budget works. In order for a budget to work in any situation, you must stay within the boundaries of your monetary resources.

Eight years ago, when he took office, this state had over a billion dollars of surplus money. It’s long gone, and we’re in trouble. Funding has been cut to health care and education. Our state government and all other state services are operating on reduced or shoestring budgets. They are in fear of further cuts.

Fortunately, the biggest state budget problem has been removed. That, of course, is Jindal himself. By voting for Edwards, a Democrat, at least our residents are moving in the right direction. The old Republican statement used to be “Democrats just tax and spend.” As bad as that sounds, it is necessary to generate funds if you want to spend them.

We have a serious budget problem. I am so sick and tired of people whining about no new taxes. One more cent in sales tax isn’t going to break any business or person. This absolutely needs to happen. And while this will generate recurring income, it won’t solve the problem of last fiscal year’s deficit.

Oil and natural gas prices have tanked, and, therefore, state revenues from oil and natural gas have fallen drastically. While this has created lower revenues for the state, it could also be seen as a blessing in disguise. The price of gasoline two years ago was over $3 a gallon. I’ve seen it in Baton Rouge as cheap as $1.35 per gallon!

Want a quick fix to pay for last year’s deficit and maybe build up some funds to help with this year’s budget? Temporarily tax gas at the pump. What … 10 cents, 20 cents per gallon? That would still make gas easily affordable to the average person and would quickly start filling the state’s coffers. People, we have to save ourselves and our great state. I’m willing to pay the price. What about you?

Joe Eskins


Baton Rouge