Monday's Advocate makes the case for why Gov. Bobby Jindal needs to reconsider his opposition two years ago to an increase in so-called sin taxes.Monday's Advocate makes the case for why Gov. Bobby Jindal needs to reconsider his opposition two years ago to an increase in so-called sin taxes.
Facing an unbalanced budget for fiscal year ended June 30, the first in a decade, the Jindal administration's mantra has been cut, cut, cut. And as is typically the case, the poor are disproportionately affected -- mainly in health care and family services. The cuts have been equally devastating to higher ed. And there are more to come for both, the paper notes, commenting on Jindal's unwillingness to budge on proposed increases in cigarette and tobacco taxes (and how about alcohol?):Jindal should reconsider. An increase in "sin" taxes would be more popular than just about any alternative. Most states have taken "a more balanced approach" with revenue and cuts to deal with recession shortfalls, according to Edward Ashworth, head of the Louisiana Budget Project, which studies fiscal issues. It's not balanced to cut vital services over and over again, while leaving - in political terms - easy money on the table.
In other words, Gov. Jindal, stay home and start looking at some user taxes. Get creative.
Read the editorial here.