What does it mean for Louisiana now that Texas has banned all income taxes? It should be a serious wake up call to anyone in Louisiana who would even consider voting to re-elect John Bel Edwards. It should tell us that what we have been doing for a hundred years has failed and if we don’t change, we will indeed become worse even than Mississippi, more like Puerto Rico.
There is a deep philosophical issue that the Texas voters have affirmed. Texas is a state whose whole economy is built upon the concepts of low taxes, personal freedom, and bold opportunity. By banning income taxes, the people of Texas are saying if you work hard and succeed, we will not penalize your success. We want you to come here and share your good fortune by creating jobs, not by government penalizing you and then sharing your wealth.
In absolute contradiction to Texas, our Louisiana philosophy is built on two old expressions; “A chicken in every pot” and “Don’t tax you, don’t tax me, tax the man behind the tree”. The translation for those is government dependency instead of individual success, all paid for with wealth taken from those few who do happen to succeed in spite of overwhelming government pressure. In Texas business is valued as a job creation mechanism, in Louisiana business is valued as a source of revenue for government to spread around. It’s that simple. And as we all know the largest group of LSU alumni is not in a Louisiana city, it is in Houston.
Now the share the wealth Democrats in Louisiana will say “Texas has high property taxes” and it does but it varies by areas. The difference in thinking is this, if property taxes are too high for you, you don’t have to live in a mansion. You can control your property tax burden by where you live and what you live in. If, as in Louisiana, you were paying income taxes, or in the case of businesses here franchise tax also, you don’t have any alternative except to move to a low tax state like Texas.
Returning to my opening question, by affirming no income taxes in Texas, Louisiana is now more than ever faced with insurmountable competition. And you can add the booming states of Florida and Tennessee to that no income tax state mix that are stealing our people and opportunities.
Perhaps the most significant way to evaluate Louisiana’s thinking is to look at the differences between its governor and that of Texas. Our governor literally measures his and, by default, our success by the number of people that by his actions he has assured will remain trapped in poverty and on social welfare programs. Texas’s governor measures success by the number of new jobs and higher wages for Texans, both that help them escape poverty and government dependency.
How does a state such as ours, governed by a tax and spend liberal and surrounded by pro-growth states have any chance to attract or grow business that would add to its people’s prosperity? How do we measure success by the number of people escaping from Medicaid instead of being trapped onto it? It doesn’t and we don’t!