Tuesday, January 31, 2006


Let's stop begging Washington. After Bush's speech tonight it's obvious we are off the agenda.
We should impose a tax of one dollar on every barrel of oil produce in the state.
That would generate 985 million dollars a year, which we could then bond to build levees and coastal protection.
And the rest of the country would realize we are producing a huge chunk of refined oil.
There hasn't been a new refinery built since 1975 in the U.S.
Refineries have nowhere to go.
Tax them now and make our coast safe.


Evacuee said...

There may not have been a new refinery built since the date that you quote, and your proposal would be the best way to encourage such development. It would add to an already business unfriendly tax structure in our state, and run more jobs out of Louisiana.

If you seek to destroy Louisiana, seriously consider and push forward your proposal. If you want to help Louisiana, you'll think of a better way.

Polimom said...

evacuee - what would you propose?

RK said...

evacuee, we need to show some spine. Our environment was laid waste by oil companies, our coast was ravaged, adn we need to stand up.
Prove with statistics that Louisiana overtaxes corporations. We aren't New York state. It's not at all true, especially when you consider the huge environmental damage these same coproprations do.

Evacuee said...

I would propse many of the same things that have been proposed in the past (last governor's race) that would include getting rid of the franchise tax on corporate debt (growth) and the manufacturing equipment tax. That would be a good start.

Beyond that, we need to reduce the licensure fees that companies need to pay to encourage the growth of new businesses. A client of mine registered a business in Texas for $40 and did it all online, in Louisiana it took him several weeks and $400. Which would you choose if you were a businessperson?

We need more incentives, not punishments. Look at how successful the tax credit for filmmaking in Louisiana has been. More programs along those lines can attract good companies in the short-term.

The bigger problem is the state of our education system. We need to fix that if we ever hope to compete on a national level for corporate relocations. What I hear from businesses is that they need employees who read at a high-school graduate level, plus 2 years (not necessarially college, but often specialized terminology that is used in any given industry, and can be gained by work experience). Meanwhile a substantial percentage of adults in New Orleans read at or below the 8th grade level. This isn't even a New Orleans problem, many of the car manufacturers who have located plants in the south recently have been taken aback at how poor the workforce's reading skills are, and how much work the are having to do to train them to use equipment, etc.

While I'm at it, to fix the schools, we need to get rid of localized controls that are interested in perpetuating themselves and not educating children. We also need to eliminate the homestead exemption to send those dollars to the education system and other important services that your property taxes pay for (police & fire mainly).

On the topic of property taxes, we need to get rid of the 6 assessors in New Orleans who don't really use any system to assess the property values, other than who knows who, and what did the property sell for whether that was 50 years ago or last week. Simply capturing those assets would expand the tax base, and allow us to lower overall tax levels on the general population. And, we need to eliminate the property tax exemption on certain non-profit entities. I'm not talking churches here, I'm talking hospitals, schools, daycares, things that create revenue and place large demands on the public services that their property taxes would otherwise support (police & fire mainly).

How's that for a start?

Evacuee said...

And since I didn't address it at all, we just need to push for comparable royalties to what states get for federal lands that are within state boundaries, which is 50% of royalty revenue. No limit as to length offshore. With that money in Louisiana, we don't need the government to rebuild our levees or wetlands, we could do it ourselves.

RK said...

I don't get your point. I support all your ideas about taxes and education, including the last which is exactly what Blanco is pushing for.
Or how would you push for the 50% royalty??

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Rodger Kamenetz is an award-winning poet and author. He wrote the landmark international bestseller The Jew in the Lotus and the National Jewish Book Award-winning Stalking Elijah. His five books of poetry include The Lowercase Jew --he has been called “the most formidable of the Jewish-American poets”. His memoir, Terra Infirma, has been described as “the most beautiful book ever written about a mother and son.”

            His 2007 book, The History of Last Night's Dream, was featured on Oprah Winfrey's Soul Series. Kamenetz takes us on an historical tour of dreaming from Genesis to now, and shows how dreams have been misinterpreted. He then shows how dreams can be used today to reveal the truth of the soul.

In 2010 came Burnt Books: Rabbi Nachman of Bratslav and Franz Kafka, a dual biography published by Schocken and Nextbook Press.

  Rodger lives in New Orleans where he divides his time between working with dream clients and writing poetry. He is married to fiction writer Moira Crone  and is the father of Anya Kamenetz (author of Generation Debt) and Kezia Kamenetz.


Rodger Kamenetz is Professor Emeritus at Louisiana State  University where he was the Sternberg Honors Professor and LSU Distinguished Professor. He held a dual appointment as a Professor in the Department of English and in the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies. He is the founding director of LSU's highly successful MFA program in Creative Writing, and the founding director of the Jewish Studies Program. His students have gone on to successful writing careers, among them poets Martha Serpas, Virgil Suarez, Mark Yakich and Anthony Kelman and fiction writers Olympia Vernon, Ronlyn Domingue, Laurie Lynn Drummond,and Connie Porter. He holds a B.A. from Yale College and graduate degrees from Johns Hopkins and Stanford Universities.