In our state, one of our largest industries has suffered a major setback for the past several years. There is also the issue  of the state's budget. So it's surprising that employment and economy top the list of things, we're most worried about. 

The oil and gas industry has started what appears to be a long slow climb back to where it once was or at least a better position. World politics, economic pressures, and even tropical weather could play a large part in just how fast that recovery progresses. In other words, a large part of our economic outlook is truly out of our hands.

The state's budget is certainly something we have a say so about. Is Governor Edwards tax proposal the way to get the budget crisis under control? Is a more comprehensive spending cut in the proper areas a better way? The answers we choose to those questions will likely determine the path our state takes over the next decade. Or at least for the remainder of Governor Edwards time in office.

An organization called Truth in Politics recently commissioned a survey that suggested most Louisiana residents are not in favor of an economic recovery plan that involves raising taxes. Nearly three-quarters of the residents surveyed are not in favor of increasing the taxes up to .23 cents a gallon on gasoline.

I do not know the exact answer to solve either of these issues. My thoughts are this, the oil and gas industry will continue to get stronger. The jobs lost to the recent downturn will return. When that happens the state's coffers will again begin to fill. However, that scenario is more than a few years away.

I don't mind paying a little extra to help our state get back on its feet. I do mind that the tax money from previously dedicated taxes has gone in different directions than the direction we were promised it would go.

The shortened version of this narrative is this. We don't trust our leaders to do what needs to be done without making us pay for their mistakes. Then if we give them the money we'll never see the results we were promised. Let's hope the oil and gas industry can rebound faster than our legislature can strap on a ton of taxes and then throw us in the bayou.

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