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.
When President Trump was culling down his final list of Supreme Court nominees, one thing was certain - no consideration would be given to any judge sitting in New Orleans on the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.
The US Supreme Court has now become a major November election issue now that Justice Kennedy is retiring which will go into effect July 31. Trump surprised the nation in 2016 with his victory and one of the major issues was the Supreme Court. To the Democrats disadvantage, that topic appeared to be more important to Republicans than Democrats as the battle cry for conservatives was "Remember the Supreme Court"
If there’s “fruit of the poisonous tree” tainting the Mueller probe, it comes from a tree planted by president Donald Trump. The phrase is catchy, however, even if it’s completely inapplicable during the course of an investigation. Once a trial, or proceeding, has commenced, and evidence introduced, a defendant, then, may object that any proffered evidence was illegally, or improperly, obtained. Until evidence is introduced admissibility isn’t an issue. It’s no surprise, though, that Trump will say, or do, anything to impede the investigation into Russia that may touch him, personally.
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.
Is there some way that Louisiana can gets its budgetary house in order? What is the problem? Did it begin under current Governor John Bel Edwards? Is Medicaid the culprit? Can we reform higher ed?
On Tuesday, I discussed the budget with former State Representative Brett Geymann, a budget hawk, who was term-limited and who left the legislature after the 2015 election. Geymann believes that the state budget should be tied to the economy and we will publish his thoughts on this tomorrow, as we went more into detail on that issue in the latter part of the Facebook, Twitter and Youtube Live discussion.
Today, the chairs of Louisiana's four public postsecondary systems - the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the LSU System, the Southern University System Board of Supervisors, and the UL System, in conjunction with the Louisiana Board of Regents, sent a joint letter to seek funding for higher education and for TOPS..
Governor John Bel Edwards and his administration claims that the state needs to raise the sales tax to 4.5 cents this legislative session beginning Monday. If the legislature, particularly the House do not produce enough votes to hit that supermajority needed to raise taxes, Edwards and others are claiming that fiscal hell will break loose. They claim that University kids and parents will have to fork over 30 percent of the TOPS scholarship plus the colleges would be in the hole close to over 100 million dollars. They claim that homes for the aged will close, food stamps disappear, 10,000 non-violent criminals will hit the streets.
Would Louisiana taxpayers really be hurt if the legislature toed the line and failed to raise the sales tax of $4.33 upward to $4.50? Or, is there enough waste, fraud, and abuse in state government spending and more efficiencies to consider before raising another .17 cents or less, when the Louisiana State Legislature meets in the third fiscal session this year? The special session starts Monday June 18, the government players must talk turkey and a budget and revenues must be determined before the new fiscal year begins, July 1.
We all know that the Louisiana legislature and Governor John Bel Edwards have failed in trying to solve the chronic mystery of the Louisiana fiscal cliff.
During a Facebook-Twitter Live interview, this week, I discussed this failure with the radio talk show host and Political Editor for the African American newspaper, The Louisiana Weekly, Christopher Tidmore.