Jindal’s college fee Ponzi scheme Thursday, Mar 5 2015 

DO NOT SMOKE !!!

Smoking is how I  afforded LSU Med School

Bobby Jindal has proposed to increase college fees on student and parents in order to reduce the severity of the cuts he made to Higher Education.

In order to lessen the burden of the new increase on the students and their families Jindal is proposing an end-of-year refund for the additional fees.

To provide revenues for the refunds, Jindal is proposing a $100 Million cigarette tax increase.

Plan’s short-comings

While no legislation has been introduced for us mullets to peruse, this Rube Goldberg plan appears to have some significant flaws.

–There is no guarantee that the cigarette tax increase will pass.  That, however, does not preclude the college fees from increasing.

–Even if the cigarette tax passes, there is no guarantee that it will produce enough revenues to provide the students and their parents a full refund for the new fee.  At best, it will be pro-rated.

Can’t you see the new cigarette ad campaigns sponsored by the Student Government Associations: “Save money; light up for the students!”

Most likely scenario

If recent history is any judge, the leges will authorize the fee increase.  The leges can blame any increase on the unelected college boards which will be the ones to actually impose it.

Because it is an election year the last things the leges want on their record will be a tax increase even if it is on cigarettes.  Thus, the refund revenues will not exist or at least not in an amount to provide 100% refunds.

The end result will be another substantial hike in the cost of college for students and their families.

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

Jindal plan counter-productive Wednesday, Mar 4 2015 

overloaded airplane

The “Louisiana Miracle” preparing for takeoff

“[Edward] Chervenak [director of the University of New Orleans Survey Research Center] and [Pearson] Cross, [interim associate dean of UL’s College of Liberal Arts and head of the political science department] said they believe the state’s current budget situation is a result of lower-than-anticipated business revenues, a history of using one-time funds for recurring expenses and constitutional provisions that give higher education and health care virtually no protection from financial cuts.” (Emphasis mine.) The Advertiser, March 1, 2015.

Translation: Part of the reason for the lack of revenues to fund the state budget is because Louisiana businesses are not making enough money.

Then there’s this:

Chervenak said the most immediate solution will probably come from the business community.

“We have to hope the Louisiana miracle takes off, that there are more jobs and investment and more money coming into the state,” he said. Ibid.

Translation: If businesses in Louisiana don’t don’t thrive the budget mess cannot get better.

Jindal’s solution

Bobby Jindal has proposed a $462 Million reduction in the state’s Inventory Tax Credit to help reduce the $1.6 Billion revenue shortfall that he and the leges caused.  This is Jindal’s single largest tax proposal to help fill the shortfall.

The dollar-for-dollar credit reimburses businesses for local ad valorem property taxes paid on their inventories.  In other words, if Jindal’s proposal passes, Louisiana businesses, collectively, will have an increase in overhead (expenses) of $462 Million, annually.

I may not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but increasing expenses on Louisiana businesses while expecting them to create more jobs, make more investments and thus produce more tax revenues is counter-productive.

If Chervenak is correct that businesses are the long-term solution to the state fiscal mess, hoping the “Louisiana miracle” takes off is like hoping an airplane takes off after loading it beyond its maximum weight limit.

C.B.

 

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

A cautionary suggestion Tuesday, Mar 3 2015 

Jindal reformer

 

It has become common to equate a new face in government with positive change. That is particularly true when that person has little or no track record in government.

Looking ahead to this fall’s election for governor, a note of caution is due to those among us who, perhaps out of desperation for good news, have a tendency to anoint a politician a “reformer” based on their political rhetoric rather than their action.

Recent examples

A classic case of hopeful thinking was the election of New Orleans Mayor C. Ray Nagin. Nagin was branded by the media and others as a “reformer” despite having never served a day in elective office.

Currently, Nagin is doing time in a Federal prison for corruption during his two terms as mayor.  Nuff said.

Right after being elected governor in 2007, but before he even took office; Bobby Jindal was also hailed as a “reformer.”  (See the cartoon above from October 23, 2007, in the Times Picayune.)

Today, hardly anyone in the state or national media (except Sean Hannity) is lauding Jindal for his “reforms” dubbed by Bobby as the “Louisiana Miracle.”

Even worse, in Jindal’s case, because of his professionally-crafted reformer image along with his alleged intelligence due to his having been a Rhodes Scholar, the leges and others in Louisiana have been reluctant to even question his initiatives.

Jindal’s budget initiatives alone have turned a $1.1 Billion surplus into a $1.6 Billion (and growing) revenue shortfall.  Meanwhile colleges, healthcare and other vital services for the public have been slashed.

Bobby refers to another of his initiatives as Louisiana’s “Gold Standard of Ethics.”  It has left us with a law that is virtually unenforceable.  The law invites abuse rather than adherence.

Suggestion

Please wait until the next governor ends his/her public service before ordaining them as a “reformer.”

C.B.

“King of Subversive Bloggers” – James Gill

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