Sunday, April 28, 2013

Enough is Enough!

How to Survive Jindal's Attack on Louisiana
By Dayne Sherman
4/27/13 - Words: 600
Published in the
Daily Star and other newspapers.

Over the past several years, I have argued in newspaper columns, letters to the editor, and through numerous correspondences with state legislators that Louisiana was headed to disaster under Governor Bobby Jindal’s policies and plans. My contention then and now is that his actions are all about Bobby and not about Louisiana.

It is unfortunate that I feel vindicated daily. The chickens are coming home to roost, and Jindal is about as popular as a pulled pork sandwich at a vegetarian picnic.

Many wonder how long it will be until federal indictments come down over the Medicaid contract fraud case, and how close the probe will get to the governor’s office. Time will tell.

When I started my quest to point out the insanity of Jindal’s policies, our governor was soaring high. His approval rating was higher than an old goat drunk on Tennessee sour mash. But now his approval rating is somewhere near cockroaches and pneumonia, and it’s a lot cooler now being a part of the opposition movement than it used to be.

Jindal not getting a break is good for Louisiana. We’re seeing a legislative session this spring nothing like the one last spring. And now, predictably, yet not ironically, most legislators are listening to their constituents, and Jindal hardly has a friend in Baton Rouge.

But we’re not out of the woods yet. I believe there are four serious issues that the legislators have to deal with in order for us to survive Jindal’s assault on Louisiana.

First, we have to repeal the tax giveaways passed under Jindal. Rep. Jerome “Dee” Richard (I-Thibodaux) has a bill to do this very thing. We now give away an extra 2 billion dollars a year since Jindal took office. This is unsustainable, immoral, and just plain crazy. Make no mistake, if we don’t address the tax credits and corporate welfare, our state is toast.

Second, the federal Medicaid expansion has to begin sooner rather than later. According to the Department of Health and Hospitals, the expansion of Medicaid will grant 577,000 Louisiana citizens insurance coverage.

What if we don’t accept the Medicaid expansion? Your local hospital will struggle or fail, and the state will be in the red for decades to come.

Third, we have to stop selling the state piece by piece. We can’t keep giving away state assets at fire sale prices to plug budget holes. It’s ridiculous, downright goofy.

Fourth, higher education must be fully funded in Fiscal Year 2014. Colleges and universities have been cut $625 million since 2008. More cuts are planned for next year. It has to stop now or we will hamstring the Louisiana economy and harm our children.

What can we do to create the change we need? Rally.

On Tuesday, April 30, many different contingencies from clergy to professors to healthcare workers are going to rally at the State Capitol. It starts at 11:00 AM. If God’s willing and the creek doesn’t rise, I’m going to attend the rally. I'll be a speaker.

In fact, I’ve already planned to wear my old cowboy boots. Why? As you walk up the majestic steps of the Louisiana State Capitol staring up to the stately edifice built by Huey Long, it’s a good idea to wear boots.

Once inside the House and Senate chambers, the fertilizer is so deep, any wise country boy knows that boots are a must.

I hope I see you in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, and wear some boots.

Dayne Sherman lives in Ponchatoula and is the author of Welcometo the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is
Dayne Sherman, Writer, Speaker, Scholar
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***This message speaks only for the writer, a citizen, not for any present or past employer.***