Louisiana will take its medicine — eventually

Published 12:00 am Monday, June 19, 2000

Anyone who has ever tried to give a dose of medicine to a sick and angry child, knows that doing so can be a formidable task.

Louisiana Gov. Mike Foster knows that sentiment well, as he continues to chase around the Legislature holding up a dose of reality in the form of a tax increase and hoping that lawmakers will swallow it.

Foster spoke to lawmakers briefly Monday as the Legislature opened a special session to continue the arduous process of approving an operating budget.

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The governor encouraged lawmakers to back his tax plan that would help fund the estimated $14 billion state budget. Foster told legislators the public would understand the &uot;courage&uot; needed to increase taxes.

Only time will tell if the Legislators swallowed that pill, but the urgency in Foster’s comments show how serious the matter has become.

Lawmakers had to return in special session because they were unable to finish the process during the regular session.

The problem is quite simple — the state doesn’t have as much money as lawmakers would like to spend.

And only two possible solutions exist: either find more money or cut the state’s expenses.

Since no one is lining up with wonderful ideas at cutting fat from the state’s budget, the only logical solution is to raise taxes.

And few people except Foster want to admit that fact.

Whether lawmakers personally like Foster or not doesn’t matter, what matters is results.

And we think the Legislature should waste little time in getting to the heart of the matter.

Whether they opt to increase taxes or choose to trim the budget, sometime must be done — quickly. Louisiana must take its medicine — one way or the other.