Will Gov. Jindal’s Controversial Tax Plan Pass? – Wingin’ It Wednesday
On this week's edition of "Wingin' It Wednesday", panelist Mike Stagg, Carol Ross, and Tom Angers, in for Warren Caudle, joined "Mornings with Ken and Bernie" to discuss Governor Jindal's tax plan as well as ethics in the state capitol.
Here's what the panel had to say:
1. Governor Jindal has proposed eliminating state income tax and replacing the revenue with higher sales taxes. Do you think the Governor’s plan will accomplish it’s goal? Will it adversely affect low-income families? Do you think his plan has a chance to pass the legislature?
Mike Stagg started us off:
His plan is to divert attention to what he's doing to public hospitals and higher education, so in that sense it's succeeding because everyone is talking about it, but it's never going to pass. How can you propose a revenue neutral tax plan when you've got a $1.3 billion deficit on the books? This is nuts. He's not serious about this. They haven't been able to put together any numbers that last more than a week in terms of what the tax rates will be. They've never been serious about this, the math has never added up, and the idea that you'd leave a billion dollars on the table? This is laughable and it was never intended to pass.
Carol Ross added:
There are too many questions left unanswered. Even Rep. Robideaux who is the author of much of the tax package as chairman of Ways and Means acknowledged that there are just too many questions. It's as if we're replacing one bad system with another bad system.
If they're going to put a package like this together, they should put it to a vote of the people and leave it open for discussion, because the law of unintended consequences will definitely kick in. If you don't carefully workout these big grand deals, it's going to turn around and bite you.
Tom Angers concluded:
I think one of the governor's state purposes is to bring business to the state, but it's interesting that businesses are lining up against it. Otherwise, the Governor hasn't really stated his goals. Perhaps a hybrid will emerge where personal income taxes are eliminated, but corporate income taxes remain.
The opposition politically to taxes is so major. I don't think it will pass.
2. This past Thursday Dept. of Health and Hospitals Secretary Bruce Greenstein resigned amid rumors that federal and state investigators were looking into a contract with CNSI, Greenstein’s former employer. Greenstein said he had nothing to do with CNSI’s selection but records seem to show he juggled regulations in favor of CNSI. Do you think there will be more fallout from Greenstein’s resignation?
I think there will be continued fallout. This raises the broader issue of public corruption and the issue of how we do business in Louisiana. The FBI now has full-time government agents and whenever large amounts of government money is transferred it's being monitored by these agents. Louisiana state government and the office of Governor of Louisiana has such a history of doing business with mob influence. There's been mob influence on Huey Long, Earl Long, and Edwin Edwards, and the FBI has indicted mayors all over the state.
Any transfer of large funds to your friends the Feds will find out about, so the whole conscious level is on the rise and hopefully will come to an end in Louisiana.
As a recent graduate of the FBI citizens academy, what they told us was the New Orleans office was the most active in the country.
What they found was that local prosecutors will not prosecute local politicians for any shady doings, so the FBI has to step in and do the prosecuting. The question is will there be more fall out? Yes, because just because he resigned doesn't mean the investigation is over.
I'm reminded of the 2007 gubernatorial campaign and the ethical gold standard that a certain candidate ran on. Oh, it was Bobby Jindal, and he appointed Bruce Greenstein.
Greenstein was not on the job for a matter of weeks before he started manipulating his contract for his former employer. He lied to them then when he said he had not had not manipulated the requirements, it was revealed later that he had. This hypocrisy is part of what makes the Governor so unpopular; the hypocrisy at the core of this administration. This guy is going to be indicted and there will be others that go down because this is an administration that micromanages everything.
Click on the play button below for the complete audio.
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.