During last night’s first gubernatorial debate, Louisianans watched as liberal Democrat John Bel Edwards attempted to explain away his failed record in office. Typical of politician who has a weak record to run on, Edwards engaged in misleading campaign spin while the Republicans on stage offered a stark contrast, promoting a pro-growth vision for moving Louisiana forward.
Below are the facts on Edwards’ record, one that is marked by a weak economy and massive tax increases:
CLAIM: Edwards: “The idea we’ve done anything other than grow and strengthen the economy is just false.”
FACT: Despite a booming national economy, Louisiana has lagged behind the rest of the country.
- Under Governor Edwards, Louisiana’s economic performance is ranked among the worst in the nation:
- WalletHub: 50th
- Forbes: 49th (Economic Climate)
- U.S. News & World Report: 49th
- 24/7 Wall St.: 47th
CLAIM: Edwards: “The easiest decision I made as governor was to expand Medicaid.”
FACT: While Governor Edwards may call the decision to expand Medicaid the “easiest decision” he’s made, the expansion was rushed, and rampant waste, fraud, and abuse prompted a federal probe.
- The Advocate: “Louisiana Medicaid Audit Suggests Possible Wide-Spread Misspending, Prompts Federal Probe”
- Tens of thousands of individuals were receiving healthcare benefits they did not qualify for, and up to $85 million in taxpayer dollars may have been wasted by the Edwards administration.
CLAIM: Edwards: “I don’t agree that we should cut taxes until we know that we won’t go back into a structural budget deficit.”
FACT: Governor Edwards has proven that he is a serial taxer, who is not interested in cutting taxes – he pushed through the largest tax increase in Louisiana history.
- In his first year in office, Governor Edwards proposed 9 tax increases, including the enactment of a sales tax increase, the largest tax increase in state history.
- The Advocate: “Louisiana actually has the third highest state and local sales tax combined in the country.”
CLAIM: Edwards: “What we don’t want to do is go back to cutting higher education.”
FACT: Governor Edwards has proposed steep cuts to higher education and higher education scholarship programs.