I don’t recall hardly ever seeing eye to eye with State Representative Mickey Michaux but the other day he hit the nail on the head.
Governor Perdue’s favorite Cabinet Secretary Lanier ‘The Artful Dodger’ Cansler traipsed over to the legislature for a meeting and after a fair amount of hemming and hawing admitted he had miscalculated his department’s budget by $250 million.
Representative Michaux shot back, ‘So, now, you’re telling us that money we put in the budget for you, your figures, are not going to happen?’
That’s exactly what Cansler’s telling legislators and they might as well get ready – because the bottom line may turn out to be a lot worse than Cansler’s ready to admit.
Last summer Secretary Cansler promised legislators if they’d let him pass out $250 million in no bid contracts he’d be able to cut his department’s budget. Well, he’s passed out the contracts but there’re no cuts. Instead, by coincidence, Cansler’s budget is in the red $250 million.
What went wrong? Cansler gave legislators two explanations at the meeting.
First, he said, He just never figured in a recession unemployment would go up and more people would need Medicaid.
Second, he blamed the Obama Administration.
Washington, he said, has been painfully slow in signing off on the Medicaid cuts he wants. (Of course, what he didn’t tell to legislators is the Obama Administration told him last summer it wouldn’t go along with his plan to cut thousands of elderly and disabled patients’ health care by expediently declaring they were no longer – ‘legally’ – sick.)
So, now, the horse is out of the barn.
The $250 million’s spent, the Obama Administration’s done just what it told Cansler it’d do and legislators might as well get ready for more bad news: The $250 million Cansler admits his department is over budget – is probably just the tip of the iceberg.