When it comes to funding coastal restoration, Louisiana is in a box with no obvious way out ("La. fights for coastal funding," 9/9/12). While our representatives must keep pushing for federal funding for restoration, they also can't pretend that our need exists in a vacuum. Congressman Cassidy's optimism is therefore misplaced, because he is supporting his party's policy of fiscal austerity: between large cuts to discretionary federal programs and expanded tax cuts for the upper income brackets that will continue large deficits, there is little room for funding items such as coastal restoration.
This is a key reason I'm running for Congress in the 6th District as an Independent candidate. We need independent thinking, and a willingness to undertake innovative policies. I am promoting several such ideas, such as a new class of Treasury bonds to help underwrite U.S. housing needs and also raise funds to help meet fiscal shortfalls. We also have to be willing to raise new revenues, both at the state and federal levels, for needs that are truly critical, such as the coast. A number of coastal parishes are taxing themselves for restoration and protection purposes, because it's a matter of life and death. If the coast is truly important, then we have to raise new revenues through a variety of means. So, in response, I have proposed redirecting and reapportion federal auto gasoline excise tax for funding coastal restoration. See website: rpt50-1.com and the sub-directory of Proposal Titles/New Stuff and then, Extensive Louisiana Gulf Oil/Food Act for more info.
That's where my other two priorities come in - Innovation won't get far without Fairness and Real Reform. Austerity for the middle class (but not the upper) is not a fair policy, and if we don't instill real financial reform, we risk another crash of the kind that helped put us in this fiscal box. That's why I support re-instating the Glass-Steagall Act. These issues and policies do all affect each other, and our dilemma with federal funding for the coast is a prime example. More of the same politics isn't going to cut it, if we want to get out of the box.
Richard P. Torregano
Independent Candidate for Congress
6th Congressional District