The 7th Inning stretch
It’s the 7th inning stretch and the Louisiana Legislature has fallen behind the competition – severely. Earlier, they struck out passing taxes on business and most recently they were thrown out at first base raising taxes on business and individuals. Now, Governor Scott from Florida smells the blood in the water and is coming in as a closer.
Sure, this isn’t baseball and we certainly aren’t playing a game – but the sentiment remains. Louisiana is in dire straits and with a tone-deaf legislature and liberal governor in Baton Rouge, we need something akin to what the LSU Baseball team found in the “Rally Possum” in their series versus Arkansas. We need a come-from-behind miracle. Call it Rally Policy or call it common sense, Louisiana needs to fix state government rather than ignoring the problems that got us here in the first place.
Governor Rick Scott from Florida recently vowed to travel to Louisiana on a domestic trade mission of sorts to lure Louisiana businesses to Florida where they can enjoy better corporate tax policy than we’re offering in Louisiana. Regardless of your thoughts on Governor Scott’s trip, the fact of the matter is that Louisiana is harming local businesses with reckless tax hikes and subsequently an unpredictable future.
Recently, the Louisiana Revenue Estimating Committee unveiled numbers showing that Louisiana has been mired in a job-losing recession since the summer of 2015, with the state losing jobs each month for almost a year. What is Governor Edwards’ response? Another special session to, among other things, raise taxes on businesses by removing exemptions without reforms to Louisiana’s unbearably progressive tax system.
Can Louisianans expect any reforms during the four years that Governor Edwards will occupy the Governor’s mansion? Will Republicans in the legislature stop voting for tax hikes and start building a coalition to override the governor’s will? I have my doubts about both, but the latter is the one that is more likely.
Legislators will undoubtedly be faced with more pressure to raise taxes in June, that I have no doubts about. The question is whether they’re willing to call the governor’s bluff about LSU football, NOW Waivers, or whatever his threat to punish Louisianans will be this summer.
I give Republicans in the legislature kudos for standing up to the governor on liberal labor policy and rolling back good education reforms. However, until I see a good-faith effort from them to deliver some #RallyPolicy to the Louisiana economy, they will continue to receive a failing grade from this Bossier native.
Duke Lowrie is a Bossier City resident and businessman. He is a former political candidate and remains very active in Louisiana politics. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.