Louisiana: Reform Deformed

Reform Deformed

When bouncy Buddy Roemer, 45, took over as Governor of Louisiana last year, he struck the pose of a reformer determined to energize a state with the nation's highest unemployment and one of its worst educational systems. Now he is staggering, jolted by the defeat of his key reform: a tax plan that would have shifted some of the burden from business to the middle class.

Saying he was "disappointed" that 55% of the voters had rejected his plan, Roemer last week proposed laying off thousands of state employees and closing vocational schools and hospitals. That would shrink up to $720...

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