John Bel Edwards on Budget & Economy
A: We came together and did the hard work necessary by focusing on cuts & savings, supported by a Republican legislature. We now are running surpluses because the economy is performing better. Last year, we did cut, by $650 million, the sales tax burden. And the worst thing we can do as a state is go back to a structural budget deficit that we just came out of that we had for the better part of 10 years, where we're now making investments.
Q: The sales tax though is about half a cent higher than it was when you took office?
A: That's correct. Four years ago.
Q: So would you find a way to cut taxes in a different area?
A: We don't agree that we should cut taxes until we know that we won't go back into a structural budget deficit.
Rep. Edwards outlined key facts about the state of Louisiana's economy that paint a much different picture than the one offered up by the Governor during his remarks to the legislature. "Under the Jindal administration our unemployment rate is the nation's third highest, our job growth is slower than the rest of the nation's-- 1 percent compared to 2.4 percent nationally--and our bond rating moved to "negative" under Bobby Jindal saddling every public body in the state with higher borrowing costs," Edwards said.