The state has too much money

When the state of Louisiana has so much money that it doesn’t even know about $163 million of it, it has too much money.

How much do we have?
We always hear from the governor and the leges that the state doesn’t have enough money.  What we are never told is exactly how much we already have.

Since before the current lege session began, I’ve asked publicly and privately for a complete list of all the various funds wherein OUR money is stashed and the amount in each. As of this writing, I’ve not received the list.
Frankly, I don’t know whether such a list merely doesn’t exist or it is just another example of the lack of transparency of the Jindal Administration.

If the Jindal Administration doesn’t know where all OUR money is, then who does?

Jindal’s effort to keep the records hidden doesn’t instill a great deal of confidence in the Jindal Administration.
Found money

For the second time since the lege began meeting, the state suddenly finds more money it didn’t know it had.  This time it is almost $23 million. ( See story here.) Just over a month ago it was $140 million.

To paraphrase the late U.S. Senator Everett Dirksen, a million here, a million there, pretty soon it adds up to real money.

The $163 million, which is considered “one-time” money, could be used to fund the highways in LA which we are told need billions of dollars to bring them up to standard. The $163 million could be used to fund capital projects instead of borrowing more money.

The $163 Million could be used to reduce the state’s debt and thus free-up recurring cash to fund higher education and healthcare.

There are many uses of this money which would result in reducing the tax burden on the people of LA and prevent the reduction of services to them.  However, all we hear is that the state has “cut the budget to the bone” and it needs more of our hard-earned dollars.

Accountability before more taxes
Throughout the current lege session there have been numerous calls for a suspension or repeal of the roll-back of the Stelly Tax. Other taxes, fees, tuition, etc. have been raised.

Daily we are bombarded by the media and so-called “government watchdog” groups and others supporting the tax increases.

Has the media or any of these supporters of higher taxes bothered to determine how much money the state really has before coming to that conclusion? Obviously, they haven’t.
We should not entrust the state officials in Louisiana with another extra dime until they have shown that they are competent to handle the money they already have.

The leges continue to create new funds in which to stash our money, but the leges don’t have a clue how much is in the funds already in existence.

A simple request
I’m not even suggesting that the stewards of OUR money find ways to operate the state more efficiently.  That’s obviously too tough a job. The best the governor and the leges can do is to appoint another study commission which will only waste more money and time.

I’m simply requesting that some state official with the knowledge of basic arithmetic and a twenty dollar Wal-Mart calculator add up what we have in cash in EVERY fund in the state and report the findings to the owners of this state – us.

Perhaps the state’s public institutions of higher learning will assign some of their accounting professors to the task. It would be time better spent than holding press conference, wining and dining leges and writing letters to the editors whining about the need to raise our taxes.

Is that too much to ask?

 

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