Sales tax plan revealed...sorta
March 22, 2013 at 10:15 am
Thursday, Bobby Jindal made a rare appearance at the State Capitol . He materialized before the House Ways and Means and Senate Revenue and Fiscal Affairs Committees (the tax committees) in support of Rep. Joel Robideaux’s plan for increasing the state sales taxes and repealing the personal income tax and some other taxes — maybe.

‘Climate change’ proposal could delay major job-creating activities
March 22, 2013 at 10:14 am
Folks who are working hard to expand our stagnant economy in the face of government-imposed headwinds had to be upset if they read the March 14 article in Bloomberg BusinessWeek entitled "Obama Will Use Nixon-Era Law to Fight Climate Change." President Obama enjoys expanding laws he likes beyond the edge of the envelope and ignoring laws he doesn’t like. He knows that the Republican majority in the House of Representatives do not share his views on "climate change," formerly referred to as "global warming." He once again plans to go around them.

Things that caught my eye
March 15, 2013 at 9:58 am
Add $239 more to the budget hole: If things weren’t bleak enough for the state’s fiscal outlook, more bad news came this week in the form of a $239 million federal court judgment against Louisiana. The federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sued the state to force repayment of Medicaid funds. The over-payments were sent to our charity hospitals between 1996 and 2006. HHS filed suit to get the funds after the state didn’t respond to demands for reimbursement. If the federal government executes that judgment during the course of Fiscal Year 2013-2014, the billion-dollar budget hole will get even larger.

Jindal wants to fix what's working
March 15, 2013 at 9:56 am
By John Maginnis

As the state awaits the release of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s grand tax swap plan, his press office is in campaign mode, responding rapidly to any discouraging words, particularly those spread in the media. Deputy communications director Michael Reed, in fact, was hard at work Sunday morning ferreting out perceived skepticism and innuendo in the daily prints regarding the tax plan and the state’s economic performance.

Does dining together unite us?
March 15, 2013 at 9:55 am
Some nice things seem to be coming out of our two-party system this past week. Instead of resistance and antagonisms as appeared in the past, there is friendly chat and nice talk about government business between our divided executive and legislative branches.

Maybe Louisiana can turn it around
March 08, 2013 at 10:54 am
There’s a lot going on in Louisiana politics these days. Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne is seriously planning to run for governor, as we hear. And there is obvious reason for that. He would be a likely winner.

Jindal vies to be Obama’s top critic
March 08, 2013 at 10:53 am
By John Maginnis

If Sen. Mary Landrieu would just get out of his way, Gov. Bobby Jindal could fully focus on his quest to be the leading critic of President Barack Obama this side of the Beltway. Outside of Washington, where congressional Republicans are being blamed as much as or more than the president for the fiscal crisis of the month, there is a competition to be the leading voice of dissent from the GOP heartland--and Jindal is right in there.

Sequester would trigger $1.2 trillion in cuts
March 01, 2013 at 9:52 am
Unless the unlikely happens, on March 1 the much cussed and discussed federal sequester will automatically trigger, cutting some $1.2 trillion over 10 years across the board in both defense and discretionary (non-entitlement) spending. The sequester is the product of an earlier budget battle royal, the 2011 fight over raising the debt ceiling. The key to the compromise at that time was the sequester proposal that both Republicans and Democrats felt would force the other side to compromise on the size and shape of the spending cuts. It didn’t happen as conceived, and in a few days the sequester will be birthed.

Where will BP money go?
March 01, 2013 at 9:52 am
By John Maginnis

The stakes may be monumental in the BP trial underway, but the legal bout lacks the essential elements of a courtroom drama. Guilt has been determined in the oil giant’s criminal plea agreement with the U.S. Justice Department, which also establishes that BP was negligent. The big question for the trial to settle is how negligent, for a ruling of gross negligence and willful misconduct could quadruple the fines for each barrel of oil that flowed into the Gulf, pushing the award to five coastal states, primarily Louisiana, to over $20 billion. According to the Wall Street Journal, Justice and the states are prepared to offer to settle for $16 billion.

Huey widening nears completion
February 14, 2013 at 10:24 am
It was midnight on a fall evening in 1945 when this writer and other initiates into a social fraternity at Tulane were dropped off on the top of the Huey Long Bridge in Bridge City. Our assignment was to get back to the frat house on Broadway in New Orleans any way we could. No problem. We made it.

Governor takes the heat on health care
February 14, 2013 at 10:24 am
By John Maginnis

For the first time in his career as an elected official, Gov. Bobby Jindal’s job approval ratings have sagged into negative territory. A new poll, commissioned by the State Medical Society, shows that only 46 percent of voters like what he is doing and 48 percent do not.

Obama’s appointments violate constitution, judge says
February 07, 2013 at 10:16 am
The National Labor Relations Board (board) is the federal agency responsible for ensuring the rights of employers and unions under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). President Obama appoints the board’s five members to five-year, staggered terms. However, as with the president’s cabinet and judicial appointments, the U.S. Senate must approve his board appointments.

Super Bowl great for our area
February 07, 2013 at 10:16 am
Without question, the Super Bowl belongs in New Orleans at least every four or five years. This year’s event has proven that.

State of American business
January 25, 2013 at 1:59 pm
One of America’s strongest and most influential business leaders, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Tom Donohue, recently gave his report on the state of business in America (view it online at uschamber.com). Governmental officials at all levels, business leaders, workers and investors would do well to hear what Donohue had to say.

Is Louisiana ready for her super close-up?
January 25, 2013 at 1:58 pm
By John Maginnis

After the Saints’ miserably agonizing Bountygate year, the football gods spared New Orleans the final indignity by not sending the arch-rival Atlanta Falcons to the Super Bowl. While San Francisco fans, past conference foes, are only a wee bit more welcome, the crowd for the Big Game is far more than about the opposing teams. Rather, attendance is dominated by the sports elite, along with the movers and shakers in entertainment and big business, who are part of the show come to town.

Houma actress nominated for Academy Award
January 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm
One of our native daughters has been nominated for best actress in a leading role in this year’s Academy Awards. Six-year-old Quvenzhane Wallis got the honor for her performance in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," a candidate for best picture of the year, which was filmed in southern Louisiana. And she is a resident of Houma.

Income taxes aren’t the real problem
January 18, 2013 at 1:38 pm
By John Maginnis

By his blockbuster proposal to wipe out personal and corporate income taxes, Gov. Bobby Jindal once again demonstrates his ability to change the subject.

Cliff hanging resumes in D.C.
January 11, 2013 at 9:59 am
By John Maginnis
With one fiscal cliff averted and more on the horizon, the new Congress takes over with the seats still warm and feelings still hard from the old one. The hostilities just carried over, with the spirit of compromise gone already and positions dug in ever deeper as the next deadlines on the debt ceiling and automatic spending cuts approach. In the next round of cliff-hanging, what roles will Louisiana’s senators and representatives play, and how will the outcomes affect their politics?

Major TV series will be filmed in parish for first time
Major TV series will be filmed in parish for first time
A major network television series will be filmed in St. Charles Parish for the first time after Quixote Studios in St. Rose inked a deal with ABC.