State Budget And Going ‘Vogue’ – Wingin’ It Wednesday
This week on "Wingin' It Wednesday" panelist Mike Stagg, Carol Ross, and Raymond 'Lala' Lalonde (in for Warren Caudle) joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to discuss some of the most pressing state, foreign, and domestic issues facing our nation.
Here’s what the panel had to say:
1. The Louisiana State budget deficit. Is there a way to resolve it permanently?
Raymond 'LaLa' Lalonde started us off:
On an individual basis the best thing to do would be move out of state or die. I'm not looking at either one of these options.
I don't think we'll ever solve these budget deficits until we start budgeting properly and that is to fund state projects with state money and to make sure that local projects are funded with local money. This will also reduce the governor's power over the legislature. I would support a constitutional amendment to strictly prohibit or have guidelines for any kind of state and local funding for projects.
Mike Stagg added:
I guess in terms of the governors power there's a lot of things you can deal with that.
The way to fix the state's budget problems is to stop giving the money away. The Dept. of Revenue puts out an annual report called the "Tax Exemption Budget". What they point out is that tax exemptions are an expenditure of tax payer money. If you stop giving the money away, that would be the first thing to do, then you could rationally budget the obligations you do have to meet, then you can begin to do the things Governor Jindal is talking about, lowering the rates, if you quit giving away all these exemptions.
Carol Ross countered:
As Raymond knows, they did put in a priority plan for state construction, then they totally ignored it.
In terms of the exemptions, there are problems with many, but there are some that are very good that produce jobs within the state, so you want to look at this very carefully and maybe set up some regulations that they could violate in the future…which is what they seem to do anyway.
It's not a good picture, but let's hope those 14 members on those legislative committee that are looking at these exemptions will look rationally and carefully, and not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
2. As part of a second-term shakeup of his diplomatic corps, President Obama is considering the appointment of Vogue editor-in-chief and major campaign donor Anna Wintour as U.S. ambassador to Great Britain or France. Wintour is one of the so-called "bundlers" who raised more than $500,000 for President Obama's re-election bid. Do you think she is actually qualified?
I think this is testimony to the decline of Great Britain as a global power. I don't know if this is a step up or a set down to go from editor of Vogue to Ambassador of the Court of Saint James.
This is the great American political tradition of people raising money for campaigns getting rewarded, but I think this says more about where Great Britain falls on our list of priorities in the world than anything else.
Obviously the devil wore Prada while raising lots of money for the President.
This is an absolutely useless appointment, really. Every
Really ambassadors are social ambassadors, and every president has appointed people that have given money to them as ambassadors. That's the way it is.
I don't think she can do any damage or cause any great problem with our relationship with France or England.
3. A U.N. conference that kicked off today in Dubai has sparked fear of Internet censorship in the U.S. -- something U.S. Ambassador Terry Kramer said he is doing everything in his power to prevent.
If the UN is as successful with this as they are with preventing suicide in Rwanda, or corruption in the 'Oil for Food' program, or negotiating a real peace agreement between Israel and Palestine; I might be a little worried; but since they are the most inept, irrelevant, corrupt collection of third world thugs and feckless socialist countries, I don't think I have anything to worry about.
The UN has proven itself too stupid to be taken seriously. I do take them seriously in this way, you can never underestimate the ability of fools to ruin a great communication medium like the internet for the rest of us.
Mike Stagg countered:
The International Telecommunications Union has always had responsibility and say over the formation and regulation over the internet. It's always had a roll, what's happened is that authoritarian governments are trying to implement elements of control here.
I think these pressures are there, but because of the nature of the internet itself - that it's a much tougher deal to work out. I think this is much to do about nothing.
I guess with age it's natural to get a little pessimistic. I'm a bit concerned that our official position may not necessarily be what they'd like our official position to be. Maybe they want a little censorship. This might be a guise. They're saying they're against it, but they'd like to have it.
We've all done that, we've all voted against things we've secretly hoped passed and voted for things we've secretly hoped would not pass.
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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.