Some background. The annual value of targeted tax rebates and cuts in the gret state of Louisiana are now over 7 and a half billion dollars, around a third of the actual state budget, an amount that dwarfs higher education spending. These rebates are often political giveaways that make absolutely no sense, such as Walmart getting one and a half cent per dollar rebate on sales tax remittances.
Also note that the State of Louisiana has the 21st highest GDP of any state in the United States. Given the size of the population, were it a country it would be in the tiny minority of the wealthiest countries in the world. But it suffers the curse of mineral wealth, which is why one of the richest states in the country has the greatest income disparity, greatest poverty, highest per capita prison population, least funded education system, etc. etc. etc.
This information shows just how astute Lombardi's "fable" is (story HERE; please take the time to read it; it's very entertaining).
The last four years under Jindal began with a huge tax cut that rendered the code more regressive, and then continued with an even greater orgy of perpetual targeted tax giveaways. The money lost through these policies have been largely recouped through perpetual cuts to higher education. Some of it has been made up for in tuition and fee increases (four years ago the state funding/tuition plus fees ration was 6 to 4, but now that's reversed), but schools across the state have fired tenure track faculty, sometimes after declaring exigency, sometimes not. There have been no merit raises for the whole time and for the foreseeable future. And hiring freezes are the norm.
And now, if the current round of proposed cuts actually go through, flagship campus LSU would have to do the equivalent of closing two of its colleges.
It's just a fact that there is a business cycle, and if you cut taxes every time it's high and cut services every time it's low, then at some point things are going to get very ugly. I think that we are on the edge of this in Louisiana, and in fact would be over the cliff were it not for Federal welfare programs such as Social Security and Medicare putting money in middle class hands.