Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Jindal Disaster Continues

A New Hole in the State Budget

Dayne Sherman
May 4, 2014
Column / 400 words

It was bound to happen. The legislative session is barely beyond the mid-point, and Gov. Bobby Jindal's smoke and mirrors budget has gone up like a Roman candle on the Fourth of July, the sparks falling downward after a rapid rise.

On Friday evening, the customary time for public relations flacks to “take out the trash,” we learned that Jindal's plan to fund former LSU hospital privatizations through a financial scheme worthy of Bernie Madoff was rightly rejected by the United States government.

In other words, Gov. Jindal, an alleged healthcare expert, set up financial arrangements for Louisiana hospital privatization that many commentators said were doomed from the start. Now Louisiana taxpayers are holding a bag that gets heavier by the hour.

This coupled with the giant disaster of CNSI, which is, as far as I can tell, still the subject of federal and state investigations, as well as civil suits, provides Jindal with zero wins on the healthcare front during his two terms as Governor.

As I study the $300 million hole left by the hospital collapse, I have three questions. How will the legislators respond to Jindal's corruption? How will the citizens respond? And how will higher education become the fall guy to Jindal's budgetary incompetence?

The legislators can rarely be counted on to show backbone. One or two here, three or four there show a pulse, but something terrible must invade their spines and turn them into Jell-O the moment they are sworn in as representatives or senators. It remains to be seen if the current scandal will raise an eyebrow of the average Jindal loyalist in the Louisiana Legislature. This kind of fiasco happens so often, a real budget buster. The event should be no surprise.

Louisiana citizens aren't inclined to protest in the streets, so I doubt there will be much change from the bottom up. Gandhi said, “When the people lead, the leaders will follow.” That's how real change works, but I don't see much energy from the people here in the Pelican State.

The late Friday news leads me to question the status of higher education funding now with a state budget holding a brand new $300 million chasm.

Expect cuts, deep ones.

Louisiana has the government that reflects our wishes. People voted Jindal and his cronies into office. Now we must deal with the pain.

Dayne Sherman resides in Ponchatoula, Louisiana. He covers the South like kudzu and promises that he never burned Atlanta. He is the author of Welcome to the Fallen Paradise: A Novel. His website is

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