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Democrats force hidden roads tax onto LA

Without increasing Louisiana’s retail gasoline tax, roads and bridges will crumble! Traffic jams will form everywhere! Uh, never mind, we’ll take care of it with hiking the inflation tax instead.

Up until recently, all one heard from the Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards Administration confronting a $15 billion assumed backlog in transportation was how the gas tax had to go up to address that. In the background, the Legislature turned away multiple attempts to do so, one as recent as earlier this year.

But then, lawmakers passed a measure adjusting the flow of most vehicle sales taxes away from the general fund and towards transportation spending that over three years eventually will boost commitments roughly $400 million more a year. And then came the Infrastructure and Investment Jobs Act from Democrat Pres. Joe Biden and his party that runs Congress (with an assist from select Republicans like Sen. Bill Cassidy), which at the very least will provide the state over the next five years $5.8 billion will towards roads and bridges.


Panel vote puts good policy ahead of ideology

Give credit where credit is due: when Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards and his health care apparatchiks are wrong, they won’t back off no matter how unconvincing their arguments and evidence, to the detriment of Louisianans.

That became apparent through a marathon session of the House Health and Welfare Committee this week. It met in response to a proposed rule by the Department of Health that would put vaccines for the Wuhan coronavirus on the required list of immunizations for public education, an action over which the committee has veto power. Such a decision, however, the governor may overrule.

In practical terms, at present that would subject only children aged 16 and older to injection, as official federal government authorization of these vaccines applies only to that age and above. However, officials have under consideration reducing that to 5. Further, legal ambiguity exists whether such an order pertains to this particular case; as Republican Atty. Gen. Jeff Landry has noted, the current “vaccines” act more as mostly-effective prophylactics that don’t prevent infections or transmission.


Impasse gives Edwards chance to boost Perkins

The deadlock over the Shreveport City Council appointing itself a new member underscores the fault line in city politics produced by Democrat Mayor Adrian Perkins and approaching election year maneuvering.

The resignation last month of Republican James Flurry due to a residence change opened up the Council’s District E seat, to which Flurry narrowly won reelection three years ago. In a special meeting earlier this week, the six remaining members coalesced around applicants Democrat Durwood Hendricks, who grabbed votes of three Council Democrats but not of Democrat Councilor LeVette Fuller, who joined the two remaining Republicans to back Republican Matt Kay.

It wasn’t Hendricks’ first rodeo trying for appointment to an elected position. Flurry defeated him in 2014, after which Hendricks won an interim appointment to the Caddo Parish School Board in a historically Republican-voting district, which he promptly lost in the ensuing election. Kay has won elections to local and state party offices and managed media for GOP Bossier City Mayor Tommy Chandler’s winning campaign earlier this year.


Edwards wants to waste more on dubious projects

It’s not quite such an egregious pig in a poke that Democrat Gov. John Bel Edwards wants to foist upon taxpayers this time, but it still likely will end up wasting tax dollars.

Last week, Edwards announced the firm Venture Global LNG would pump as much as $10 billion into a liquified natural gas facility in Cameron Parish. This actually was old news, as the company had signaled its intent months ago, so the recent reiteration just confirmed some numbers and that the state would kick in to see the thing built. Tossing about those numbers puts the state on the hook for nearly $1.5 million annually for as many as ten years through its Quality Jobs Incentive Program, plus perhaps over $100 million in construction rebates.

Expansion of natural gas export provision makes sense. Global demand for it continues to rise, especially from Asian countries where Louisiana has a competitive advantage. In fact, Venture Global’s largest customer, China, already has committed to a short-term increase in importation from Calcasieu Pass where the new facility will sit alongside others of the firm’s, as well as more extensively from another new company project in Plaquemines Parish, so the market seems there to sustain such lofty plans.