Editorial: For a six pack of beer
We don’t know about you, but we are tired hearing about how bad things are in Louisiana. Anybody with a lick of sense knows the state is in dire financial circumstances. We don’t need airhead news people or politicians telling us how bad things are.
What we do need are solutions.
And the solutions are very simple: increase revenues and cut expenses. It doesn’t take an Einstein to figure that out.
For a six pack of beer we are willing to send the Summit Group from Crowley to Baton Rouge to tell them what to do to balance the budget.
We do not want to make light of our problems because they are real. The people who have lost their jobs and are unemployed carry the heaviest burden, but all is not gloom and doom. We have had dire problems in the past and we have always solved them.
The problems, for the most part, have been caused by the law of supply and demand: too much supply and not enough demand that has caused the price of oil to go from $140 a barrel to $30. The result is that many businesses have gone broke and thousands of employees are out of jobs. Eventually all businesses will be adversely affected in a domino effect unless the price of oil stabilizes and gets back to $60 to $70 a barrel.
Briefly, and until accurate numbers can be determined, steps can be taken that would be acceptable to all taxpayers and would begin as follows;
1. Reduce the pay of the governor, the lieutenant governor and all the high-salaried state employees by 25 percent until the budget is balanced.
2. Reduce the pay of all legislators by 25 percent until the budget is balanced.
3. Determine the amount of revenue needed to balance the budget.
4. Increase sales taxes as the easiest, less-complicated and fairest tax that will make sure all people have the privilege and satisfaction of paying their fair share of increased taxes until the budget is balanced.
5. Raise taxes for a time specific (i.e.: one year, two years or whatever) time period necessary to balance the budget.
Part of the rationale to raise sales taxes is that 50 percent — or half — of the people don’t pay income taxes. Also rich people will pay more taxes than the less wealthy. As an example, a person spending $100,000 year would pay $2,000 a year more with a 2 percent increase in sales taxes. A person spending $20,000 a year would pay $400, or $33.20 a month.
The rationale for a specific time period is because, historically, tax increases have taken on a life of their own and live forever: long after they are not needed.
Moreover, taxing hard-working people and small or large businesses that provide jobs is counterproductive. It doesn’t make sense to kill the goose that lays the golden egg.
We believe the taxpayers would support such a plan. To appease screaming liberals who would rather spend other people’s money than their own, we could exempt groceries.
For a second six pack, we’ll send the Summit Group to Baton Rouge to detail and implement the steps to be taken to balance the budget in two and a half to three years.