Wednesday, March 11, 2015

“The human equivalent of pond scum”

James Carville is not a fan of Governor Grover Norquist.
James Carville, a Louisiana native and well-known political strategist and pundit, calls anti-tax advocate Grover Norquist “the human equivalent of pond scum” but also “the most powerful person in our state,” in a new letter to the editor of LSU’s student newspaper.

In the letter, which The Reveille posted online Wednesday, Carville takes Norquist and Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal to task for the state’s budget woes.

“The news from the governor’s office and the state Legislature has attained a level of buffoonery and comedy before unseen in a state with a long history of both,” Carville writes. “Our beloved university is being systematically dismantled and as a result of our governor and a significant portion of our Legislature pledging allegiance to a Washington lobbyist with the long history of shady dealings.”
Also, James Carville used the word "buffoonery" to describe people other than himself. So that's fun.

The good news is, the buffoonery and comedy and the fact that everybody pretty much hates Bobby Jindal now promises to make for a chaotic legislative session.   This will undoubtedly result in some of those terrible painful cuts everyone has been dreading. But it could also allow you to do some interesting things if you play the strategy well enough.
A team of economists that has been studying the state’s taxing structure said Tuesday Louisiana legislators could raise $800 million immediately by raising the tax on cigarettes, partially rolling back inventory taxes, and stopping the practice of allowing taxpayers to write off their federal deductions on state returns.

But the authors of the Louisiana Tax Study were charged by the Legislature to come up with long-term structural solutions — not short-term fixes for the fiscal year that begins July 1. They gave a preview to their coming report to a joint meeting of the Louisiana House Ways & Means and state Senate Revenue & Fiscal Affairs committees.

“We have an outdated, broken tax structure,” House Speaker Chuck Kleckley, R-Lake Charles, said.

Tax credits, exemptions and other breaks for business have mushroomed over the past decade. A handful of the giveaway programs examined by The Advocate in a recent series found that their cost had shot up from just over $200 million to $1.1 billion during the past decade.
There are some truly awful.. talking Ancien Regime France awful... privileges for wealthy special interests written into the Louisiana tax code.  You might be able to root a few of those out while the buffoons are somewhat sympathetic.   

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