NORQUIST: Much At Stake This Weekend For Louisiana Taxpayers And The State Economy

President Obama has imposed more than 20 federal tax increases on the American people. Now John Bel Edwards wants to do the same thing to Louisiana taxpayers. The election for governor of Louisiana will decide if Louisiana follows Ronald Reagan's or Barak Obama's policies in the future. Every voter in Louisiana will be part of that decision and their children will live with the results. The last thing Louisiana taxpayers need are higher taxes at the state level. Yet higher taxes would likely be in the Pelican State’s future if Rep. John Bel Edwards moves into the governor’s mansion.

Who will be the biggest winner if John Bel Edwards is elected? North Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Mississippi, and other states competing with Louisiana for jobs and direct investment. One of the worst things Louisiana could do to its economic competitiveness is elect a tax-hiking governor who is beholden to union bosses and trial lawyers, but that is what and Edwards administration would mean for the state.

Just last night, in the final debate before Saturday’s election, Rep. Edwards flat out lied to Louisiana voters regarding whether he has ever voted for a tax hike. The fact is that he has many times, which part of the reason he has such an abysmal voting record on the Louisiana Association of Business & Industry and NFIB legislative scorecards. The policies Edwards would have the authority to enact as governor would hamstring the Louisiana economy and set the state back a decade.

Under current law, Louisiana state government serves as the money bagman for unions, confiscating workers’ wages without their consent to be spent on politics – Democratic politics. If John Bel Edwards is elected governor, that will continue to be the case. Meanwhile, David Vitter has come out in strong support of Paycheck Protection reform that would give workers a say over whether or not they would like to join a union.

If unions are providing a valuable service, they will have no problem making their case to workers to join and support voluntarily. The fact that union bosses, and the politicians they fund like John Bel Edwards, fight so hard to take money from workers without their consent speaks volumes.

An Edwards victory would likely lead to reversals on successful policy reforms enacted in recent years that have made Louisiana a national model for policy innovation on several important issues, with unfortunate consequences for Louisiana families.

It’s well documented how the Louisiana education voucher program allows children to escape bad schools, provides an opportunity for a future, and improves outcomes. Unfortunately, Louisiana will likely lose its position as a national leader in school choice if John Bel Edwards is elected on Saturday. Elections have consequences, and the consequences of an Edwards victory would be dire for parents trying to get their children out of dangerous and dysfunctional schools.

We know where the modern Democratic Party stands when the question is students or teachers unions. Liberal Democrats like John Bel Edwards always choose the union bosses over children. President Obama tried to end the Washington, D.C. voucher program that has allowed predominately poor and minority children to escape D.C. dropout factories. It was only due to the leadership and resolve of then-Speaker Boehner and the GOP-controlled House of Representatives that this important program is still in place.

Louisiana has the dubious distinction of being named America’s second worst judicial hellhole by the American Tort Reform Association. David Vitter has campaigned in favor of much needed changes to make Louisiana a less litigious state, and a more attractive place to invest and do business. If John Bel Edwards is elected governor, much-needed tort reform is dead on arrival.

The time to choose is now. Forward to more jobs and opportunity or backwards to the world dominated and controlled by the labor union bosses, wealthy trial lawyers, and the national Democratic party. Bill Clinton promised he was a different Democrat. So did Barack Obama. Now John Bel Edwards is pushing this old line.

Louisiana voters should not be fooled.

Grover Norquist is president of Americans for Tax Reform

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