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Anti-business Blanco blames GOP for stalling giveaway

As House Republicans almost unanimously continue to prevent the state from busting its spending cap to accommodate massive new spending by Gov. Kathleen Blanco, this has gotten her dander up in reference to one of the requests, $300 million to prepare a site for a new manufacturer, if the firm chooses Louisiana over two others. “If we lose this business deal,” she said, “the blame will lie squarely in their laps.”

The sheer irony and hypocrisy of her statement is staggering, because for three years not only has Blanco not done as many as two things to help business in Louisiana – and that primarily would be existing business, not only going all out for a Pollyanna crapshoot that may never pan out – but she has championed measure after measure that would stifle economic development. Blanco has implemented only one measure designed to entice business into the state, the reduction of sales taxes on machinery and equipment purchased for manufacturing and corporate franchise taxes on borrowed capital – over eight years.

(Even as Blanco blames the Republican legislators, they have asked her to lobby her Democrat majority in the House to phase these taxes out immediately. She refuses to do so. Today, the House did vote to create a fund to contain up to $300 million for purposes of attracting that firm.)

Just some of the more recent and high-profile anti-business, and thereby anti-working man, actions of Blanco:

  • Backing a sick tax that would have raised the cost of health care in the state
  • Approving of a raise of the minimum wage (both legislatively and administratively) paid to state employees which would have a ripple effect on all employers
  • Making preliminary plans for the placing tolls on interstate highways, thereby raising transportation costs
  • Delaying flood control policy reform which discouraged commerce
  • Supporting a bill that would increase gas prices because of an ethanol-blend mandate

    All would have or did increase costs on businesses and their employees, and note that, in every instance, her approach was one that championed bigger, less efficient government. Blanco also has been barely seen on a variety of bills to tighten ethics requirements, another set of things that would give business greater confidence to stay in or to locate to Louisiana.

    Blanco has not been the most anti-business governor the state ever has seen, but it is ludicrous for her to claim that the failure to support legislation that favors one business not even in the state is a detriment to economic development when she has a past littered with instances of her refusal to reduce the size of government that would have helped the climate for all businesses in Louisiana.
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