Washington Parish Republican Women’s lunch hosts Dr. John Fleming, Louisiana State Treasurer

Published 12:34 am Monday, May 13, 2024

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On May 8, the Washington Parish Republican Women held their monthly luncheon at Maria’s restaurant in Bogalusa. Newly elected Sheriff Jason Smith was honored for his service in the United States Marine Corps and his recent graduation from the police academy. Smith will be officially sworn into office on June 28. Dr. John Fleming, Louisiana State Treasurer, was the special guest speaker.

Fleming served as the U.S. Representative for Louisiana’s fourth congressional district from 2009 to 2017. He then served in the Trump Administration from 2017 to 2020, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health Information technology Reform and then as Assistant Secretary of Commerce and Economic Development. He finished his service under Trump as Assistant to the President for Planning and Implementation.

Fleming spoke to some of the current economic issues facing Louisiana, stating, “I feel sadness for Louisiana. We are ranked 50th in everything good and 1st in everything bad. We have an old parochial tax system and regulations and states around us have modernized and lowered taxes.” He added, “You can’t have good schools and jobs without a good economy.”

He spoke of his plans to work with the legislature to make Louisiana competitive for out-of-state businesses looking for a place to move. “We have to cut taxes to bring in good companies and jobs for the people of Louisiana. Spending in Baton Rouge has gotten out of control, a lot of federal money came in and the legislature went crazy. We need to have discipline.”

Speaking of the primary function of his office, Fleming said, “We manage the money that comes into the state. I have a fiduciary responsibility to invest that money for the highest return.” He added, “We have to fight back against certain institutions that want to change these priorities. They want to make climate and social change their top priority, and don’t care about the return on investment.”

He cited BlackRock, well-known for their diversity, equity, and inclusion policies, as well as Bank of America and City Bank, for weaponizing their vast influence over the global banking industry to advance their largely unpopular social agendas.

“It’s a very dangerous thing to dictate social policy by closing down accounts, and the ‘woke’ policies are infiltrating all of our institutions, in Washington D.C., and at colleges and Universities,” he said.

The other functions of his office were touched upon as well. They administer the Bond Commission that approves city projects, like sewerage and water system updates, to ensure that they are financially viable. They also manage unclaimed property in the state, of which Fleming stated 1-in-9 Louisianians have waiting for them in Baton Rouge.

Fleming offered some solutions to slowing inflation and encouraging business growth in the state. Lowering or abolishing the income tax was at the top of the list, and he said that fiscal administrators are currently discussing a way to use gold as a currency, as an alternative to digital and fiat currencies being adopted here and around the world.

He said, “A central bank digital currency framework is already in place. The last thing we want to do is give the IRS complete control of our currency. The government will take control, it is already happening in communist China, they will watch everything you do.”

The Washington Parish Republican Women has 46 current members and meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month. Their Spring Conference is on May 31 and June 1.