In the days of ballooning federal deficits and higher and higher debt ceilings, it is nice to see that some states are getting their spending under control. I am sure that it is simply an incredible coincidence that these states are run by Republican governors. Louisiana is one of these states. If you have read this blog from its beginning, you know that I have a soft spot in my heart for Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Quite frankly, he would not remember me if I met him again, but I met him in New Orleans coming out of the elevator at the aquarium the year after Hurricane Katrina. He was pushing a stroller holding his youngest child. I was with my daughter who instantly recognized him and said hello. I told him at that time that I hoped the day would come when I would be able to vote for him for national office. I am still hoping for that day.
Yesterday the Louisiana Advocate reported that Louisiana is expecting a $163 million state government surplus.
The article reports:
In a prepared statement, Jindal attributed at least some of the surplus to fiscal responsibility. “Nationally, we faced one of the worst economic downturns in history, and in order to ensure that we weathered the recession better than other states, we reined in government spending and worked to improve Louisiana’s business climate. We made difficult decisions that are paying off and now our economy is growing. There’s still plenty of work to do, but we’re moving in the right direction,” the governor said.
Commissioner of Administration Kristy Nichols, the governor’s chief financial adviser, told legislators that Louisiana is registering an increased number of jobs. She said the labor market is performing well and more people are moving into Louisiana than leaving the state.
The article points out that the Louisiana constitution only allows the surplus to be spent on construction projects, coastal restoration, state debt reduction and deposit into the “rainy day” fund.
If spending can be brought under control at the state level, it can also be brought under control at the federal level. All we have to do is elect people to office who are willing to do what is necessary to bring spending under control.