|House set to advance $300 million business tax increase
May 10 at 9:28 am
The House Ways and Means Committee advanced a package of bills Monday that will become vehicles for a proposed $329 million tax increase. Of that total, $315 million would come from businesses. That would represent the largest tax increase on businesses in recent times (perhaps ever). The size of the tax increase will have a huge negative effect on economic development, but beyond the size, the haphazard way the plan is designed would lead to huge implementation problems and great uncertainty about Louisiana’s tax code for businesses.
|Obamacare heads towards troubled waters
April 25 at 9:36 am
There is good news and bad news for the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare. The good news is that it is nearing full implementation next January 1. The bad news is that the legislation remains unpopular with the voters, and it is highly likely that the launch of the program will be problematic at best.
|Unsolicited advice on tax reform
April 19 at 9:24 am
One positive aspect of being around a long time is seeing lots of folks whack at the piñata of reform with varying degrees of success. I, too, have taken my swings at the paper mâche donkey and occasionally saw the candy hit the ground. Tax reform is arguably the toughest genre of reform to achieve. Why? Because everyone is impacted by the tax code, and everyone becomes a stakeholder in the process. In most other areas of reform, fewer people care about what is happening. That isn’t the case when government at any level starts to dictate what taxpayers can keep and what they must render to Caesar.
|‘Climate change’ proposal could delay major job-creating activities
March 22 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 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.
|Sequester would trigger $1.2 trillion in cuts
March 01 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.
|Obama’s appointments violate constitution, judge says
February 07 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.
|State of American business
January 25 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.
|Does anyone care about debts and deficits?
January 11 at 9:58 am
"Fiscal Cliff, Part One" is over. President Obama wins the round. He wanted to raise the income tax rates on the top two percent of taxpayers and he got his way. The tax change will bring in an additional $650 billion in revenue over 10 years. Interestingly, Speaker of the House John Boehner agreed earlier to $800 billion in revenue increases by adjusting exemptions and credits instead of raising rates. President Obama nixed that and demanded the rate increases, even though it results in less revenue.
|The cat and the lizard
December 28, 2012 at 9:58 am
I had a cat once that deemed itself a mighty hunter. His choice of prey was lizards. He would watch them crawl down the patio walls, pick a spot within the edge of his leaping ability, fly from the floor, knock the hapless reptile down, and slap it around until he got bored. Watching how Barack Obama has battered John Boehner for the last few months brought back memories of my cat and the lizards.
|There is a blue civil war coming
December 14, 2012 at 9:28 am
Walter Russell Meade made a very interesting observation on his blog in The American Interest magazine. Meade describes the coming "blue-on-blue" battle arising between public sector unions and liberal Democratic mayors and governors whose states and municipalities are on the verge of bankruptcy due to the ever-escalating cost of public employee retirement benefits.
|Status quo defenders challenge education reforms
December 06, 2012 at 9:33 am
In state court this week, Judge Tim Kelley of the 19th JDC heard a suit filed by the Louisiana Association of Educators, the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, the Louisiana School Boards Association, and 43 local school districts challenging Act 2, which passed during the recent legislative session.
|Behind fiscal cliff lies fiscal swamp
November 21, 2012 at 9:09 am
The nation’s long election ordeal is over. While that may be good news, we must temper it with the fact that Congress is now back in session.
|What this election will mean to businesses
November 18, 2012 at 10:41 am
The French have an expression: "Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose." The more things change, the more they stay the same. That may well be the most accurate description of the outcome of the 2012 national elections.
|Move over Saudi Arabia
November 01, 2012 at 9:48 am
Throughout my 40 years representing the business community—first with the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce and then with LABI—I have been a student of energy issues and energy economics. I was in Lafayette when the streets were paved (figuratively speaking) with black gold; and I was there when the oil patch crashed and brought Louisiana down with it.
|Spending is a bipartisan obsession
October 25, 2012 at 10:00 am
If you engage with government long enough, as I have, it is hard not to become cynical. Then again, cynics often see an unfiltered version of the truth. At this moment, politics weigh heavily upon voters who care. In a few weeks, we will determine who will occupy the White House and Congressional seats for the next four years. Here in the Bayou State, a tumultuous legislative session looms in the spring. The nexus of much of the turmoil in both Baton Rouge and Washington has to do with the desire to spend money greatly in excess of the amount available to spend.
|How our state stacks up nationally
October 18, 2012 at 2:35 pm
The Tax Foundation has released its 2013 State Business Tax Climate Index. It ranks Louisiana in the bottom half of states at 32nd (the lower the number, the better the score in this index). The Tax Foundation data is timely. Louisiana’s budget problems (many of them self-inflicted) continue to mount, and some in the Legislature are demanding that businesses pay higher taxes.
|What manufacturing means to state
October 12, 2012 at 9:03 am
Oct. 5 has been designated "Manufacturing Day" in the U.S. It is appropriate to reflect upon the role manufacturing plays in our economy nationally and here in Louisiana.
|Battle for the Senate taking shape
September 27, 2012 at 2:37 pm
With less than two months to go before the Nov. 6 election, the focus of the media is on the presidential race. Power in Washington is perceived to reside in the White House and understandably so. However, power on the Potomac also splits between President Obama and a divided Congress.
|LSU seeks glory beyond grid iron
September 14, 2012 at 9:41 am
As trying as these times are at LSU, all is well at the heart of the campus, Tiger Stadium. With the football team getting the fall semester off to a roaring start, the financial crisis gripping the school and demoralizing its faculty is not felt in the athletic department. Performance on the field is exceeded only at the bottom line, where revenues have tripled over 15 years. The 88-year-old shrine underwent a facelift in the off-season, and investment in the prime asset continues with plans afoot to increase seating to 100,000 and to add 65 suites, rentals for which were snapped up in two and a half days, at $69,000 per.
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Trio charged with arson in 3 Montz fires - 743 views
Two juveniles and a 25-year-old man have been arrested in connection with two separate Friday fires in Montz – one of which destroyed a home.