Wednesday, February 28, 2018 … 2:39 P.M.

To Governor John Bel Edwards and his legislator buds and other enablers, the latest Census Bureau data are the equivalent of a five-alarm fire.

Rather than respond, they feign deafness.

Perhaps these “leaders” can’t hear over their own noise as they busily do precisely the wrong thing in their special legislative session …

… trying to raise income taxes, and chase more of us out of here.

The most recent official Population Estimates show Louisiana rolling over and into real population loss for the first time in more than three decades, excluding the 2006 loss from Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The last time this happened Bill Arnsparger coached LSU football, world population was 2.64 billion souls fewer, and when consumers pressured Coke to bring back its original formula, ABC News interrupted “General Hospital” with the flash.

Then, between July 1, 1985 and July 1, 1986, Louisiana lost -1,203 residents … from 4,408,121 of us down to 4,406,918.

Now, between July 1, 2016 and July 1, 2017, Louisiana lost -1,824 people … from 4,686,157 down to 4,684,333.

Many of us well remember what triggered that last years-long collapse, the sudden 70% drop in the price of a barrel of oil.

In fact, some parts of the state, my native Shreveport included, never awoke from that population loss nightmare.

These new alarms are best explained by the Census Bureau’s “components of population change.”

a. Louisiana’s count of our population’s “natural increase,” which is births-minus-deaths, was 18,017 … a gain, but weakening.

b. In “net migration,” we lost -19,819 residents: 7,696 in-migrated to Louisiana from other countries, but we lost -27,515 out-migrants to other American states.

(There is no adjustment by the Census Bureau for what it calls a “residual” that cannot be attributed to any specific demographic component.)

Since 1985, Louisiana has lost over 565,000 residents this way … net, a loss equal to more than 12% of today’s nearly 4.7 million residents.

Given that our tax-and-spenders are striving – again and still and likely forever – to raise income taxes, they might spend a moment or two considering how …

… those who pay these taxes are most likely to afford moving away when they have had enough higher and higher income tax for worsening quality of life.

Liberal, pro-tax members of our governor’s political party, along with liberal, pro-tax Republicans, might f-i-n-a-l-l-y find the courage and common sense to cut state spending.

Maybe these pols are deaf to these alarm sirens and gongs, but they must notice the funny smell that goes with it … the smell of Louisiana’s tail on fire.

© 2018 Elliott Stonecipher … ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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