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Story Archives: Bernhard comments bolster candidate claims
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|Bernhard comments bolster candidate claims|
It's widely recognized that Louisiana's government is ridiculously bloated. We often hear about how cuts need to be made, but as soon as someone actually makes those cuts, certain things can always be counted upon.
As if on cue and working from a script, bureaucrats and their hack allies will start babbling on about "children" and "our future." They begin to spew forth vacuous, meaningless bromides about our "culture," warning us that if their share of the pig slop is taken away, Louisiana will be in terrible shape (as opposed to its current state of utopian bliss).
All of the aforementioned drama is doubly true if, like Shaw Group CEO Jim Bernhard, you are running for U.S. Senate. Oh no, he hasn't actually said so yet. But conservative columnist Jeff Crouere has noted that Bernhard is among those names being floated to challenge U.S. Sen. David Vitter. And Bernhard's recent self-righteous posturing about budget cuts to higher education seem to bolster this claim.
Bernhard recently told the press that Louisiana lacks the knowledge base necessary to attract business to the state.
"If you invest in our children, you'll be proud 20 years from now," Bernhard told the Senate Finance Committee.
Throw in Lee Greenwood singing "proud to be an American" as the background music for Bernhard's little speech, and you have a helluva campaign ad.
Don't be surprised if Bernhard shows up in statewide radio ads soon, talking about how much he cares about Louisiana's future, saying that Louisiana needs experienced leaders whose resume sounds a lot like Jim Bernhard's.
No no, he's not running for U.S. Senate: he's just being a selfless, concerned citizen/ multimillionaire CEO with no political ambitions at all.
It should be noted that Bernhard and the higher education hacks are being less- than-honest about how these cuts will affect Louisiana.
John Roberts from Taxpayers of Louisiana has researched the issue of higher education cuts, and the real numbers are startling.
Roberts notes that the real percentage of the total higher ed budget being cut is only about 6 percent, not the 20+ percent number being bandied about in the media.
He also notes how in 2000, the LSU system budget was $743,846,447. By 2008, it had more than doubled to $1,558,459,474.
"Shouldn't it be plainly obvious that these budget increases are unsustainable?" Roberts asks. "Are we to accept that the higher ed budget should be doubled every eight years?"
Yes John, it should be plainly obvious. But the facts tend to get in the way when you are Jockeying for a U.S. Senate seat, as many believe Bernhard is doing.
Whether or not Bernhard is running for U.S. Senate remains to be seen, but his comments over the cuts to higher ed should serve as a warning. That is, we can expect ambitious politicos to tell us that piecemeal higher ed cuts will result in the death of this wonderful, fully functional mecca called "Louisiana."
We should know better.
Chad Rogers is publisher of The Dead Pelican, a news web site. The site can be read at www.thedeadpelican.com.