What Should Louisiana Do With $163 Million Surplus? – Wingin’ It Wednesday
This week on "Wingin' It Wednesday", panelist Mike Stagg, Joyce Linde, in for Carol Ross, and Warren Caudle joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to discuss what Louisiana should do with their budget surplus as well as who should be responsible for the failure of Obamacare's online signup.
Here's what the panel had to say:
1. The Jindal Administration has announced Louisiana has a budget surplus of nearly $163 million from this past fiscal year. That money can be used to replenish the 'rainy day' fund or used for other 'one time' items. How do you think lawmakers and the Governor will use the money...or how do you think it should be used?
Joyce Linde started us off:
Of course, I believe it should be paid back to the "rainy day" fund. Because they have $163 million surplus, and by law the rainy day fund should be at $767 million. They have a lawsuit that they're quietly trying to settle that they'll repay it by 2015. I think they should be focused on repaying that and cut down on some spending, we all know government can do that.
Mike Stagg added:
Hold it for now, because in December the budget estimating committee is going to say we have a budget shortfall.
The problem is the so called "fiscal hawks", who turned into the fiscal chicken hawks in the last session because they couldn't actually bring themselves to create new revenue; with this supposed tax amnesty program and the revenues that are supposed to be generated from privatization of LSU hospitals, that money is dedicated to higher education. The hospital deal has brought on less money than expected, the tax deal has brought less money than expected, which is setting up for a shortfall in December.
They need to hold on to this money. This is just funny money, this is an accounting trick. They need to hold on to the money, because somethings gotta give. There's no way to keep funding the hospital deal, and there's no way higher education makes it out of this fiscal year without higher devastating cuts.
Warren Caudle Concluded:
The thing we hear over and over is "accounting tricks" "funny money" "no transparency". I think the thing we really need to focus on, is how are you going to reform the Louisiana budgeting process, and how are you going to reform the Louisiana physical process.
I was particularly impressed by two people, Chuck Klechley and John Alario, the thing they both pointed out, is that the problem we have with budgeting is term limits. We have these guys there that don't understand the budgeting process. I think that's really telling of the government process.
2. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will testify before a House committee on Oct. 30 about the failure of the ObamaCare Web site. Do you think Sebelius will actually answer questions about the massive computer glitches plaguing Obamacare? Should she be held accountable for the problems?
WIll she answer questions? Of course she will. Will they be pointed questions? Of course they will. It's a dog and pony show. It's a typical government operation. It's just a fact that it's out her in the front and we all see it, but when the government comes out with all these reforms, nobody ever sees that it doesn't work. This deal comes out that the website doesn't work and everybody sees it, and maybe it's a good thing. People see it's a problem and they have to address the problem instead of just throwing rocks.
There are some problems at the start, but this will be straightened out. There's a meeting at the White House today with representatives from the insurance industry, they've now got this worked out. The problem was primarily on the backend. The system was overwhelmed at first but it's been worked out.
Ultimately the problem goes to governors like Bobby Jindal who refuse to take part in state exchanges, because in the places where state exchanges have been created there has been no problem. That's because the traffic generated is local.
We all know that over 60% of the American people do not want Obamacare. We now call it Roberts' Obamacare thanks to Roberts rewriting the bill so that it's a tax, or whatever. He made up his own rules on that one. If we had more men and women in congress who stood up for their people instead of furthering their own careers, we'd have a much better state here.
Sebelius will not answer questions. She may sit before congress, but nothing will come of it. She will be a spin doctor.
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Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think about today’s Wingin’ It Wednesday topics. Who got it right, who got it wrong, and who was way off? Let us know in the comment section.