The Conservative Caucus supports being fiscally responsible by paying off debt instead of spending money on pet projects for campaigns or recurring expenses.
BATON ROUGE, April 23 – The Louisiana Conservative Caucus organized to protect the unborn, defend our 2nd Amendment rights, and make our state fiscally responsible. To advance those principles that our constituents elected us to uphold, we support keeping the current expenditure limit.
To break the current expenditure limit and allow unfettered government spending at a time when our state is forecasting future deficits is the most fiscally irresponsible action that we could take. This would not only squander our current surplus for the sake of good campaign soundbites but also ensure that the next Governor and legislature inherits a budget deficit like the one left behind by former Governor Jindal.
While we would all like to increase spending levels for road projects and special issues that would help us in our campaigns, the most unselfish and impactful way to honor our constituents is to spend THEIR tax dollars on paying off debt and planning for the future!
For example, we could pay off the debt of the Louisiana State Employees’ Retirement System (LASERS) or the Teachers’ Retirement System of Louisiana (TRSL). Either option frees up a significant amount of money every year in addition to the tens of millions of dollars saved on annual interest payments! Furthermore, paying off the TRSL debt would also free up money for local school boards.
Currently, school boards across the state are helping pay off the TRSL debt. Once that debt is paid for, the school boards could then redirect that money to their current teachers. Considering teacher pay is really a local issue, this is the simplest way for the state to give a recurring source of revenue to every single school board without either entity needing to raise taxes.
Another option to benefit all taxpayers and help provide a source of revenue for our future deficit would be to move additional money into our Rainy Day Fund. If we were to move more money then constitutionally required, it would activate a trigger that could lower corporate and personal income tax rates by a 1/4 percent.
Again, we would all like to spend every penny we have on projects and issues leading into our campaigns. However, that is an injustice to our constituents and it is the mentality that keeps our state at the bottom of every good list. If we want to break the state’s cycle of budget deficits and tax increases, we have to invest for a better future rather than mortgage our future as we’ve always done.
To build the Louisiana that our constituents voted for, we have to be fiscally responsible and say, “No” to raising the expenditure limit!
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