This week on "Wingin' It Wednesday", panelist Mike Stagg, Warren Caudle, and Carol Ross joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to discuss the impact of dollar stores in Lafayette as well as the state's failure to collect severance tax from the oil and gas industry.

Here's what the panel had to say:

1. LCG Councilman Kenneth Boudreaux is seeking to limit the number of so called ‘Dollar Stores’ in the area such Dollar General, Family Dollar and Dollar Tree.  Do you agree or disagree with Boudreaux?  Do you think these businesses are hurting the community as a whole or in part?

Warren Caudle started us off:

This thing beacons a much, much deeper problem. That is the problem of centralized planning. Can we dictate what business move where and who is going to live where and on and on and on.
I dare say that I’m completely against centralized planning.
This country was built on people who had the freedom and guts to blaze trails. Government responded by building infrastructure around the people. Government did not tell people where to go.

Mike Stagg added:

I understand where Mr. Boudreaux is coming from, but these stores are not the issue.
If you actually look at some of the mom and pop stores, they are probably more predatory than some of these companies like Family Dollar. There are companies, like predatory lending, that cluster along low-income communities. In some places like Texas, cities are taking action.
There is a place for this kind of action, but targeting stores like Family Dollar is just misplaced. I understand what he’s going after, but I don’t think these are real predators.

Carol Ross Concluded:

How can it hurt the community when companies are willing to invest and bring businesses into the community? In most areas of the country, leaders beg for businesses to locate in underserved areas. These companies are able to keep prices low because they keep costs low, especially on real-estate. They also provide jobs to people who live in those areas. My question is, how does it hurt?
If you get too far into the weeds of centralized planning it ends up hurting rational development.


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2. Every election cycle Senator Mary Landrieu heralds the unfairness of Louisiana’s oil and gas royalties, but now we learn from State Auditor Daryl Purpera that the State Dept. of Revenue hasn’t been making sure to collect all the severance taxes due the state.  What’s wrong with this picture?  Mary Landrieu says we are being short changed but we’re failing to collect what we are due.  What can be done to correct this situation?

Mike stated:

Severance taxes are the basis of the feel-good story of the oil and gas industry in Louisiana. It was severance tax that built the roads and the bridges and the universities for Louisiana. When we don’t collect those taxes, either through exemption or through shoddy performance by the department, we are robbing ourselves and our future.
This is clearly the example of a failed department headed by a guy who is now running for governor.


Carol added:

The key phrase in that question was “every election cycle” because that’s the only time Mary Landrieu pretends to care about the people of Louisiana. She rails against the oil and gas industry, meanwhile casts votes with them.
You can increase those severance taxes all you want, if the government doesn’t collect then what is the point?

Warren stated:

Mary Landrieu, first of all, is an excellent politician. There’s so much wrong with the way government spends money from top to bottom. Landrieu’s reelection bid next year is going to be really, really interesting. People argue whatever they want to, Mary Landrieu is an astute politician. She plays the game very well. Click the play button below for a full audio replay of the show:

Now it’s your turn to tell us what you think about today’s Wingin’ It Wednesday topics. Who got it right, who got it wrong, and who was way off? Let us know in the comment section.