by Stephen Waguespack, President and CEO of Louisiana Association of Business and Industry
Every now and then, it is important to take the time to reflect on those who deserve some recognition and appreciation.
I for one feel blessed that I have a loving family, supportive friends and am surrounded daily by hardworking and talented coworkers. I want each of them to know how grateful I am for all that they do.
The last several months, we at LABI have worked daily with an army of elected officials and other dedicated public servants to try and solve the state’s policy challenges affecting Louisiana’s business community. While we agree with some and disagree with others, I want to say thank you to all of them for their commitment to Louisiana and their willingness to offer themselves up for public service.
In the same week that CNBC ranked Texas as the state with the best economy in the nation, Bankrate listed Louisiana as the 4th worst state in the nation to retire. Analyst Taylor Tepper cited the state’s “very high crime,” as one of the reasons for the poor ranking. This makes sense because retirees usually do not want to move to a state where they will be robbed or murdered.
Louisiana supported Donald Trump like no other state in the country. This is Trump Country. So is Iowa, Kansas, parts of Michigan, Pennsylvania and others. However, according to many experts, including Tulane's economist Peter Ricchuitti, Louisiana is being hit the hardest now than most states and has a significant amount to lose, should the tariffs keep coming.
Ricchutti discussed this issue during the fourth segment of our Live Stream interview recently.
President Trump has put the French back in good graces with the U.S. while criticizing other European nations. He apparently turned a cold shoulder to both German and England over tariffs and NATO, but has developed a close and warm relationship with current French President Emmanuel Macron. And that’s good news for Louisiana.
According to President Donald Trump, the United States cannot compete in global trade because of import tariffs. Ultimately, the president says, the cost at the market is too high for American products. But, is this the only issue for whatever deficit this country might possess as we engage in a trade war of sorts with our closest allies and against one major competitor, China?
According to Tulane economist, Peter Ricchuiti, there are a number of reasons for the inbalance and not just tariffs.
How is Louisiana's economy doing now that the oil prices have improved, especially since Louisiana is so dependent upon that industry? There have been reports about a poor Louisiana economy, so is it fair to blame the current governor, John Bel Edwards? Is the United States losing the manufacturing battle against the world as President Donald Trump has been claiming?
The US economy is booming. Stock market has soared yet, the first six months of 2018, it has sputtered. Oil prices have climbed, yet, the industry has not yet gushed back. We're in the middle of the second longest economic recovery in history, yet, fears of slow down persists. The US is taking on China and its best allies in the first shots of a trade battle due to tariffs. Economically, all systems are on “go”, full speed ahead, but uncertainty linger.
So, what gives? Has the economy been too good? You know, what goes up, must come down? Or, have deregulation, tax cuts and a bubbling business climate built up such a mighty buffer that any economic leaks due to shifting alliances and trade strategies won't penetrate the optimism?
by Patrick Bergeron, Op Ed
Louisiana Independents call for no party label SOS
This 'letter to the editor' is a plea for support from the Louisiana Democratic and Republican Parties for a Constitutional Amendment to remove the partisan labels in future races for Secretary of State. It's time to remove even the appearance of impropriety from our system of elections.
Tariffs. Trade war. Who wins? Who loses? What might the impact be on the State of Louisiana and its businesses?
Legislators were high fiving this week over the balancing of the state budget by increasing the already highest sales tax in the nation. Fully funding the TOPS tuition program for college students became the centerpiece for much of the discussion. But through all the euphoria of self-congratulation, lost in the shuffle was the failure to address or even discuss early childhood learning and funding the child-care assistance program.
The Louisiana legislative session is history but politics continues year-round. Bayoubuzz’s Louisiana political shorts for today involves these top stories—new Secretary of State candidate, Congressman Clay Higgins picks up endorsements in his re-election bid, Louisiana Democratic Party is very upset about today’s US Supreme Court Decision, Revenue Estimating Conference meets--bye Fiscal Cliff and Congressman Mike Johnson files new religious freedom bill
Finally, after three special sessions and a regular one, it's time to relax, do the things that hard-working legislators (and governors) long to do after a long grueling hard-fought battle over the budget--pick up the pieces of one's life and, if at all possible, spend quality time with family, check out those hires burning at the office and hopefully take a moment of leisure.
The fiscal cliff, that seemingly insurmountable object in front of every legislative session since Bobby Jindal took his shot at taming the budget, is fixed. Yes, fixed. At least, on paper and hopefully, in reality, until perhaps, the next mid-decade.
The Louisiana legislators and governor, who have spent almost every day in session since mid-February of this year, have settled upon a budget deal that reduces the sales tax from five cents to 4.45 cents. Today, The Advocate reporter Tyler Bridges, who has been there with the legislators as each tick has tocked on the capitol clock, took a few moments to discuss with me--the session and the budget agreement. The interview occured via Facebook and Twitter Live.
Below is the video transcript of the relevant portions of the interview with Bridges, who will also soon post a "behind the budget deal scene" article for The Advocate.
According to a tweet by Times Picayune capitol bureau reporter Julia O'Donoghue, who knows, there might be some type of compromise in the legislature during the special session. The reporter indicated today that the "Talk is that the new sales tax rate that they will be trying to pass in the House is a 4.45 sales tax rate. That's between the 4.4 sales tax rate the House GOP wanted and the 4.5 sales tax rate".