To stay on the right side of Jindal’s no-new-taxes line in the sand, the product of his exacting interpretation of Washington group Americans for Tax Reform’s no-new-taxes pledge. Because the roughly $350 million the measure would generate — if anyone were to pay it — would come from a fee, it wouldn’t count as a tax increase. But the money refunded via the tax credit — again, on paper — could be counted as an offset to new revenue raised elsewhere, something Jindal has demanded.That can be pretty maddening but some of these legislators are losing all sense of perspective. For a minute there it looked like they were gonna try and scrap the entire US Constitution out of spite.
Outside Jindal’s dwindling camp, the reviews have been understandably scathing. The scheme has been called a “shell game” and “phantom fee.” State Rep. and Democratic gubernatorial candidate John Bel Edwards described it as “the worst piece of legislation I’ve seen as it relates to fiscal policy.” Republican State Treasurer John Kennedy dismissed it as “nonsense on a stick.”
The sponsor of the House concurrent resolution (HCR 2), Ray Garofalo, R-Chalmette, said the measure would allow the convention to address just three things: limit the size of the federal government; impose fiscal constraints on federal spending; and enact term limits for federal public officials, including members of Congress. Four other states -- Alabama, Alaska, Florida and Georgia -- have fully adopted mirror resolutions. Nine other state legislatures are considering it, and the Garofalo's push is part of a national movement to call a constitutional convention of the states.Garofalo's nullification act didn't make it out of committee in the Senate. You'd think that means the legislators are on their toes for once. But really they're just exhausted. Hell they even passed a provision to sort of allow for Medicaid expansion and whoever thought that was possible.
Anyway, they're desperately trying to make some sense out of the "nonsense on a stick" tonight. Follow along here if you can stand it.