Category: Louisiana Economics

Shreveport & New Orleans Public Cash Depleted at End of 2012

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by Elliott Stonecipher

A Wall Street Journal (GRAPHICS) report(PDF of Story HERE) puts both Shreveport and New Orleans on a “top ten” list of American cities with alarmingly depleted cash-on-hand at the end of 2012.  The Journal’s report, limited to scrutiny of American’s 250 largest cities by population, ranks the top-ten cities in seven categories.

Worst-top10-list New Orleans ranks 5th in fewest days of cash available – 2.5 days – at the end of last year, and Shreveport ranks 10th in that category with 10.3 days cash available then.

New Orleans makes the “worst” list among largest American cities in two other categories:  “Low Reserves” and “Population Decline.”  The Crescent City ranks 4th in the study’s calculation of “fund balance to expenditures,” a deficit spending marker, and has a 2nd ranking, Read more

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Pt. II: Caddo Parish Commission Revenue & Spending … Wow!

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part-2Two days ago, in Part I of this article, I passed along to readers the 2008 summary budget documents for the Caddo Parish Commission, and the full budget document for the 2013 current budget year.  (In the 2013 document, scroll to report Page C-1, or document page 109 for the two pages which are directly comparable to the 2008 summary.)  I thank readers for their unusual interest in the subject.  This report will provide some astonishing additional data and information to put this subject in a more meaningful perspective.

property taxReaders may remember that the Commission property tax millage which failed in the recent October 19th election would have generated $23,390,000 over its twenty-year term.  It should be noted that $4 million of the original bond issue approved by voters in 2007 remains in the Commission’s coffers, and will be used for associated projects in 2014, regardless of its rejection by voters.  The Commission placed the renewal on the ballot a year early.  Given its near-$90,000,000 cash cushion, it might have allowed this 1.74-mill property tax to expire.

The subject tax is a very small portion of the Commission’s revenue.  In the current budget year, Commission revenue from Read more

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State surplus examined…

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by CB Forgotston

PUBLIC_SURPLUSLast week Team Jindal announced a potential (un-confirmed) $162.9 Million surplus for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.

Never failing to take credit for real or perceived good news (nor avoiding taking responsibility for bad news) Bobby Jindal was quick to pronounce that the surplus was due to “job growth.”

Before the leges plan how to spend the extra cash, it’s important to note that about this time last year, the estimated surplus for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012 was $130 Million. When the surplus was officially confirmed in January of this year, it had dropped to $113 Million.

consumer_protection_surplusSurplus source

Overlooked in the reports of the potential surplus are two factors that obviously contributed to most, if not all of it: 1) The $129 Million mid-year (December 2012) budget cuts to Higher Education and Healthcare and 2) A tax increase in the form Read more

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The Caddo Kindergarten School of Leadership

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calvin_educationThe Caddo Parish and Louisiana Department of Education philosophy of Kindergarten Leadership continues as it beats down professional educators by sheer force. Rational or sound educational programs are pushed aside because elected and appointed officials flow with the political winds and public clamors for instant gratification.

Professional seasoned educators with years of demonstrated success are dropping out of the system out of frustration. Creative educational leaders, whose successes include top school professionals, have had their juices sapped because kindergarten-mentality leadership has bowed to lock-step rigidity at state department demands and the politically mandated processes.

rote-learningCurrent demands based almost totally on test scores have driven individual learning initiative from the Steve-Jobs-like programs of imaginative chaos for brilliant minds out of progressive and successful programs because “they don’t fit OUR Standard.” Programs that spawned creative and genius talent have become assembly-line rote Read more

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Jindal’s Economy: Grim and Grimmer

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Job Growth LAby Robert Mann

Gov. Bobby Jindal loves to brag that he’s saved Louisiana’s economy.

“By eliminating burdensome businesses taxes, overhauling our governmental ethics laws, reining in government spending, streamlining our workforce development system and enacting landmark education reforms, we have established Louisiana as America’s new frontier for business opportunity,” he said in a press release in July. “Every day, more and more companies are identifying Louisiana as the best place for business investment and job creation.”grim-reaper-jobs-PU

There’s just one problem with Jindal’s narrative about Louisiana’s booming economy. It’s not true. Our state’s economy is sagging, not growing.

The sad state of “Jindal’s Economy” is highlighted in a depressing report, “The State of Working Louisiana 2013,” released Thursday by the Louisiana Budget Project (LBP).

Since 2007, the year Jindal took office, the LBP finds that we’ve had anemic job growth of only 0.4 percent. You read that right. Not 4 percent, but point four percent, i.e., less than one half of one percent.

The report concludes:

Louisiana had nearly 2 million jobs as of July 2013, an increase Read more

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Looking deeper into NGOs

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by CB Forgotston

Taxpayer Toilet Paper Money
Come and get it!

This is the first of what hopefully will be periodic reports by the Crack Mullet Research Team (“Team”) on Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO) funded by the taxpayers of Louisiana that have not complied with the law.

Recently, State Treasury John Kennedy exposed the fact that many of the NGOs that are funded by the taxpayers of Louisiana have not complied with the law. See report.

For those concerned about funding for Higher Education, Healthcare or any other function of state government, these expenditures should be of interest.

The Colomb Foundation, Inc.

According to Kennedy, the foundation (based non-profit data) was given $300,000 in taxpayer funds, but has failed to comply with the law. (2009 filing)(2010 filing)

The foundation is a non-profit established in 2004 and is based in Lafayette at 202 Outwood Drive 70507. (as still found online)

The president is Floyd Wiltz of 412 13th Street, Lafayette 70501. The directors are: Kenneth Read more

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Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward

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Family income determinative of educational success, NOT race

by Robert Mann

Bob MannThe evidence keeps piling up on the relationship of poverty to poor student/school performance. The latest is in a new report, “Poverty and Education: Finding the Way Forward,” released by the Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Image representing Educational Testing Service...

Here are a few excerpts from the report:

“While education has been envisioned as the great equalizer, this promise has been more myth than reality. Today, the achievement gap between the poor and the non-poor is twice as large as the achievement gap between Black and White students. The tracking of differences in the cognitive performance of toddlers, elementary and middle school students, and college-bound seniors shows substantial differences by income and/or poverty status. These differences Read more

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LSU Health Shreveport: Unanswered Questions

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by Elliott Stonecipher
(Over the years, I have professionally consulted with Christus-Schumpert and many other healthcare providers.  On the issues discussed in this article, I have professionally consulted with Willis-Knighton Health System. WKHS opted out of consideration as the operator of the LSU Hospital earlier this year. )
Historical Big Charity
Historical Big Charity

In 1736, with the founding of “Big Charity” hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana’s sprawling “safety net” healthcare system for the poor began.  Governor Huey Long broadly expanded the system two centuries later, including the addition of physician training at the LSU Medical School in New Orleans.  Ours is the only remaining such system in America, and has the look of a 1927 Ford Model “A” roll-out at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Talk to doctor is diverticulitis hereditary and the treatment options.

Just as Hurricane Katrina was the catalyst to shutter Big Charity, so is there now a broader storm of change, including the incoming public policy scud missile, ObamaCare.  Given that our system for the uninsured was less about healthcare (check child painkillers here) and more about Louisiana political patronage, Governor Bobby Jindal’s predisposition to dismantle the system Read more

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Louisiana 10-Year Net Population Outmigration Loss Now Stands at -178,715

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by Elliott Stonecipher
CLICK For Larger graphic
CLICK For Larger graphic (Here for PDF)

In the 10-year period between July 1, 2002 and July 1, 2012, Louisiana’s net loss of residents who moved away from the state versus those who moved in was -178,715.  The data are from the U. S. Census Bureau’s Official Population Estimates series, as shown in the attached table.

In the most recent year for which the data is available, July 1, 2011 through July 1, 2012, Louisiana’s “domestic” or state-to-state migration rolled back over to net population loss after four preceding annual reports had shown domestic migration gains.  Those gains tracked the data for years following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.  The population outmigration loss of -178,715 was offset by a gain of +209,424 residents in the “natural increase” of the population, i.e., births minus deaths.Population-Growth

During the subject ten-year period, Louisiana’s population increased +2.3% (4,496,334 to 4,601,893), an average of less than one-quarter of one-percent per year.  The U. S. population during the period increased 9.0%, or about 4-times faster (287,973,924 to 313,914,040), and the cumulative population of the Census Bureau’s South Region of states increased 13.6%, or about 6-times faster (103,197,968 to 117,257,221).

Between the 1980 Census and these most recent Estimates data of July 1, 2012, Louisiana has lost -608,262 residents to net population outmigration, an average of just under -20,000 per year.  In the most recent year for which these data are available, the state’s population increased only slightly more from the margin of births-minus-deaths, +21,475.  In 1980, Louisiana’s ratio of births-to-deaths was Read more

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BIGGER Dead Zones Predicted for the Gulf of Mexico

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Creating the Dead Zone
Creating the Dead Zone

Coming this summer: “The Dead Zone” in the Gulf of Mexico unless a tropical storm hits the area shortly before or during the annual measurement. By definition a “Dead Zone” is too little oxygen to support fish, shellfish and other aquatic life.

The hypoxic zone in the Gulf is likely to be the largest since annual measurements began in 1985, covering 8,561 square miles – about the size of the state of New Jersey, according to scientists from Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium.

Low- and no-oxygen areas in the gulf are measured in cubic miles and water volume. The Gulf dead zone affects nationally important commercial and recreational fisheries and threatens the whole gulf economy. Forecasts are based on nutrient runoff and Read more

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