JR Ball: Disdain and disgust driving the St. George incorporation train
What does the second go-round of the St. George incorporation movement have in common with the disaster known as the Louisiana Special Session?
Both are rooted in disdain for the respective executive in charge and disgust for anyone who believes “tax and spend” is the answer to government questions, Business Report Executive Editor JR Ball writes in his latest column.
“House Republicans know the state tax code is a tangled mess,” Ball writes, rambling off a bevy of other woes: too many protected and dedicated funds; financially unsustainable benefit packages; and the absence of anything that provides either a modicum of fiscal efficiency or measures the return of our taxpayer investments.
Despite knowing all this, those in House GOP have zero interest in addressing these problems, because 1) a Democrat is governor, 2) they believe significant spending cuts are hidden in the budget, and 3) they argue a revenue surge is right around the next fiscal quarter.
In other words, House Republicans aren’t willing to get serious about trying to solve Louisiana’s fiscal problems until one of their own resides in the governor’s mansion.
The story is pretty much the same behind the St. George incorporation effort, with the common denominators being 1) Sharon Weston Broome, a Democrat, is the mayor, 2) they believe an ever-growing city-parish government wastes and misspends too much taxpayer money, and 3) they argue that greater tax-dollar efficiency can only happen in an increasingly blue parish if these largely red suburbanites create their own hamlet.
There is, however, a key difference, he writes. House Republicans can’t simply carve out their own piece of like-minded nirvana in Louisiana, but those involved with the St. George movement have that right.
“Which, in part, explains why the incorporation zealots—knowing the days of a Republican in the mayor’s office are over for the foreseeable future—aren’t willing to be mere obstructionists while biding their time until the next election,” Ball says.