The state were in

Sometimes I just don’t understand my state. Yeah that’s right, born and raised but I got out at some point too. Still came back. Anyway, with the new flood maps out and the Corp of Engineers releasing the 100-year storm protection plan, it’s time to connect the dots.

The Corp of Engineers says that to provide 100 year Gulf Coast flood protection it will cost 7.5 Billion to keep Louisiana safe from flooding during a Cat 3 storm or larger. Or so they say. That’s not really the issue. According to federal guidelines, Louisiana will be required to come up with 35 % of the cost, which means Louisiana’s share would be about 2.6 billion.

This is the thing that drives me bonkers about my state. Right after the announcement about the cost, out come the press releases from Louisiana lawmakers saying, “we can’t afford our share”. Bullshit. We can afford our share but the “leaders” don’t want to stop the vote buying crap that has been this state’s tradition for 40 years.

Louisiana has a state budget of, get this, 33.4 Billion dollars. Did you know that in 2000, our state budget was 12 Billion? 7 years later and we’re spending 20 Billion dollars more a year? WTF??!! It’s insane. Louisiana has the HIGHEST state government payroll per capita in the United States. Which means the state of Louisiana employs more workers per person than any other state in the country. What do we as a state get for this fantastic investment in her people? Crap is what we get. Horrible roads. Possibly the worst public education system in the country. Have you been to the DMV? That’s what we get. It’s lunacy.

The state of Louisiana continues to fund over 1500 state jobs that are not filled at this time. That means some department somewhere gets money for a certain job. If the job is not filled, that agency keeps the money and can do whatever it sees fit with that extra cash. MY CASH! YOUR CASH! It’s taxpayer money stupid! During this last budget session, the state actually ADDED 1000 state jobs.

This is my point and probably most of the locals will not like it but I could care less. Yes the Feds should help fund this so called 100-year protection. But the citizens of this state have a responsibility here as well. We cannot continue to think the rest of America owes us something. We’ve gotten tons of help from average Joes and Janes already. This state MUST step up to the plate, slash some of this crap that politicians continue to waste OUR money on and handle some of our own business.

If you’re in another part of America, I suggest you contact your Senator and or Congressperson. Insist to them that the Feds help pay for a levee system that we can trust as Americans. But also insist to them that the Government of Louisiana step up to the plate and pay it’s fair share as well. Don’t let the state politicians get away with funding pet projects and letting the lobbyist run this state anymore. We locally can’t seem to get it together so the rest of the country needs to make it a requirement that WE CARRY OUR SHARE.

10 Comments so far

  1. Editor B (unregistered) on August 23rd, 2007 @ 4:48 pm

    Thanks for laying it out like this. I wasn’t aware of some of these points.

  2. Ohdon'tbeecheeky Maloney (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 7:33 am

    Could you give sources for this info? I’m not doubting, it sounds right, I just want to research it. Great points, particularly the DMV. My top tip is to go to Destrahan, a really nice bunch. Keep it under your hat!

  3. Ohdon'tbeecheeky Maloney (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 7:34 am

    Could you give sources for this info? I’m not doubting, it sounds right, I just want to research it. Great points, particularly the DMV. My top tip is to go to Destrahan, a really nice bunch. Keep it under your hat!

  4. Please (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 9:19 am

    Yes, provide sources.

    According to what I could find via a Google search, which led me to the state legislature, the Fiscal Year 2007 budget was $26.7 billion, which represented an increase of $5.6 billion, or 26.7 percent, from the Fiscal Year 2006 (FY06) budget. The growth, it was explained, was mainly attributable to the receipt of federal disaster recovery funds.

    In short, the federal funds the state says it needs more of are of the sort that go into the state budget. Hardly any state’s budget is totally funded by that state’s taxpayers, and you can’t expect that to be the case in post-Katrina Louisiana, no matter how dubiously governed (not that the federal, Bush administration governing represents much of a step up in that dept.).

  5. DanF (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 10:04 am

    The budget STARTED at 26.7 this year. It’s grown to 34 billion since he session.

    This wasn’t really about the funding, of course some of the monies come from the feds, but we all pay federal taxes too. It’s more about what we do with the money:

    and here on the amounts of pork this state is feasting itself on:

  6. Please (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 11:08 am

    But from what, danf? Why has the budget grown? More revenues from oil and gas? Or more federal aid dollars? What? You don’t give any details whatsoever. Of course my BS meter gets cranked up whenever I hear the John Stossel-like “it’s your money” comments. Why? Stossel’s reports are often chock full of errors, because he’s coming at things from an blindly ideological stance. I’m not saying that’s true of you, but the “it’s my money” bit certainly gives you an angle from the get-go. In some cases it’s your money. Maybe it’s some corporation’s money, or California’s money, or money from foreign purchase of Treasury bonds. None of this lets Louisiana off the hook in the governing dept., as noted. I just don’t trust your analysis, or lack thereof.

  7. Please (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 11:14 am

    The higher number of employees in Louisiana, from 2006 Census data, appears to be attributable to how the state lists higher education employees. And of those salaries come only partially from state govt. Instead, they come from tuition, grants (private as well as federal) and fees, etc. Much of the college and university funding does not come from quote your money unquote.

  8. Chris (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 1:13 pm

    that last comment is quite true. The LSU system probably accounts for a majority of the state jobs, which includes not only higher education workers but also all healthcare employees working at the ten or so LSU run hospitals around the state. not all, but much of their salaries are covered by tution and healthcare costs. so it’s not all our tax money.

    but that’s not to say all of these jobs are necessary or that the state runs efficiently.. because I know firsthand that it doesn’t.

  9. DanF (unregistered) on August 24th, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

    LSU doesn’t receive taxpayer funds? Public Institution, I think it does receive some tax dollars. I did not think I had to point out that every dollar spent wasn’t from the taxpayer. This is about one thing. The state saying they do not have the cash to contribute to PROTECTING the citzens of this state.

    This is not about it being just our money. If that’s what you took from the post, sorry, I missed my target then. It’s about the state lying, saying we dont have the money when they do have the money. What’s a priority for you? Levee’s? Flood Protection? Wetlands? Roads? The state’s priority seems to be wasting money instead of assisting in keeping us safe.

  10. Rob (unregistered) on August 26th, 2007 @ 9:50 pm

    I question where all the monies that N.O. has received has gone? I know the “Road Home” money goes through the state, but once again where is the money that N.O. has gotten gone? I know there was a settlement with Harrah’s worth (don’t qoute me) about $30 million. Where did that go. I have heard stories that the city is using funds that are supposed to go to businesses for their services or use of facilities right after the storm, and the city was holding the funds from FEMA to gain interest on their own accounts!! Any stories regarding that. I think without anyone saying it, the politicians are looking for pants with larger pockets!

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