Wednesday, 24 January 2018 17:40

Jim Brown: Solution to fiscal cliff? Scrub the Louisiana budget

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brown scrubJim Brown, former State Senator, Louisiana Secretary of State and Insurance Commissioner, knows a little bit about the term, “scrub the budget”. That was the term famously used by former Governor Buddy Roemer, who came from election nowhere in the final weeks of the gubernatorial campaign, to beat then-incumbent Edwin Edwards, Billy Tauzin, Bob Livingston and Speedy Long in 1987.


Today, Brown, is using that term in describing how the Louisiana Governor and legislators need to handle the fiscal cliff budget nightmare the state is facing once again. This time, the hole is anywhere from 800 million to 2.7 billion.

Brown discussed scrubbing the budget during a Facebook Live discussion we had this morning when I asked him what three questions he would ask the state government in dealing with that annual crises.


Below are part of his comments. To watch the rest of his remarks in this segment, click on the Youtube video and fast scroll to the 1:56 mark.

Well basically I don't need three questions I need one--what I would testify is are we--remember the old Buddy Roemer terms "scrubbing the bud, budget" and Buddy Roemer was right on.

Justifying this, before we start about the future, let's draw a demarcation line ight down the middle.   Okay let's take the last fiscal year the last 12 months, how have we spent that money--has it been maximized?  Are we getting the best bang for our buck?  Do these state agencies need the number of employees they have?  Do they need all the public relations people they're hiring right now?  Are we performing the services and getting returned on those services?  How efficiently are they?  Why our highways such a mess? Why is there trash everywhere?  Our prisoners working on the highways to pick them up? 

Some people say from an economic point of view that it doesn't make sense to put prisoners out there in the highway,s that you've got to put out the guards and the security and truck them to the highways--when you put a pencil to it, it's cheaper just to subcontract that out.  Is that true or not?  I don't know but that's what you've got a legislature for to do that justification--to scrub that budget to justify all the spending. 

That a performance budget, performance--what are we getting in return? Steve that's not being done, that's not, I can tell you that is not being done by the House by the Senate and that and and so there there's a a derogation in their duty, they're not doing their job and the governor pretty much can kind of get a little bit the edge by saying "Oh Dooms Day, DoomsDay" if all the legislature says well that's not the truth, then there's not enough ammunition there for them, you see.

So, the question I'd ask them is why aren't you doing the job you're elected to do to give us checks and balances?

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