Friday, 03 December 2010 21:18

Louisiana's and Jindal's Budget Woes Is A True Test of Leadership And Crises

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This entire debate over the enormous and the incredible-growing Louisiana budget crises, cuts to higher education and to healthcare is quite frankly, taxing to my brain.

And lately, now that Governor Jindal is home from the book tour battles, his statements have only confused me more.

Here’s why:

Earlier this week, as mentioned in the Advocate, while saying tax increases remain off-limits as a tool for dealing with the state's budget shortfall, Gov. Bobby Jindal indicated Tuesday that he might be willing to give colleges and universities new authority to raise fees and other charges on their students.

Yet, on Thursday, the Advocate reported that after meeting with Health care providers on Thursday, the governor said he opposes levying provider fees as a way to offset potentially devastating state health-care budget cuts in the fiscal year that begins July 1.

“We view that as a tax increase,” Jindal said.

Which must mean that according to our chief executive, a fee that hikes school costs to parents and students is not a tax but levying fees to medical providers, is.

So where’s the logic?

Ah, and yes, without doubt, higher education is a privilege and if you want to play you must pay.  

However, even considering this, my brain is still a little hazy.  

Then after further reflection, maybe there is some method to this madness.

Let’s see.  A SMOR poll this week shows Louisiana voters overwhelming favor cutting higher education rather than messing with their healthcare.

Certainly as President Obama quickly discovered government regulation and medicine don’t mix.   

Also, the medical lobby certainly is much more powerful than those wanting to foster higher ed.

But, honestly, despite all of that, I still don’t understand how levying provider fees to healthcare providers somehow becomes a tax but imposing fees on colleges students and parents, are not.

Hopefully the answer to this mystery might be found somewhere in a book called Leadership And Crises

If not, I’m sure it will be somewhere in the next book our governor writes while in the middle of a crises.

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