Government Boost to Small Business Could do More Harm than Good

Mercatus scholar warns that discrimination over business size lacks economic justification

By Daniel M. Rothschild

With the Senate set to create a $30 billion fund for small business lending and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor (R-VA) praising small businesses as “the engine of job creation,” elected officials and their challengers of both parties are scrambling to praise–and give special privileges to–small businesses.

Data Places Louisiana First in Nation for Overpayment of Unemployment Benefits

Director of state’s workforce commission warns against state-by-state comparisons

NEW ORLEANS – According to data released by the US Department of Labor, Louisiana is by far the leading culprit for overpayments of unemployment insurance. However, Louisiana’s Workforce Commission Director, Curt Eysink, strongly disputes any interpretation that places the state’s UI program at the bottom of the pack.

Study Finds Federal Grants Lead to Increased State Taxes

Dependence on federal aid places state revenue in precarious position

By Daniel M. Rothschild

With federal grants to states increasing by 73 percent over the last decade and totaling $654 billion in 2010, governors and legislatures are grateful for federal assistance in plugging budget gaps.

They may rethink their decisions in the coming years; however, as they begin raising taxes when federal largesse dries up.

State Income Taxes Stifle Economic Growth

With new state-level taxes on the table across the nation, Mercatus scholar warns of past experiences

By Daniel M. Rothschild

With states facing revenue shortfalls of historic proportions, legislatures are seeking new ways to raise funds. Washington voters will consider one of these measures this November: should the Evergreen State become the first state in two decades to create a personal income tax?

Commentary: Governor Jindal and Mayor Landrieu Eliminate Government Vehicles, Save Taxpayers Money

The past week has brought good news from both Governor Jindal and Mayor Landrieu regarding cutbacks in the number of employee take-home cars. As noted in a Times-Picayune editorial, when Governor Jindal took office, Louisiana’s fleet of employee cars was 10th largest in the nation. This is ludicrous, particularly when one considers the relative size of our state.

New Orleans Hosts Environmental Case of Historic Proportions

Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals hears oral arguments in international dispute worth $27 billion
NEW ORLEANS, La.—Chevron Corporation, by way of its Texaco subsidiary, is embroiled in a more than decade’s long legal battle over alleged environmental damage in the Amazon rainforests of Ecuador. On Monday, as an outcome approaches in the Ecuadorian province of Lago Agrio, Chevron’s legal counsel were in New Orleans, arguing for access to evidence held in the United States.

Promises and Policies Post-Katrina

Lessons learned: a conversation with Mercatus Center scholar Daniel Rothschild

The Mercatus Center at George Mason University is winding down its intensive, five-year Gulf Coast Recovery Project, an investigation into the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Daniel Rothschild, director of the project, recently shared his insights with the Pelican Institute.* (Click below to listen to the audio file – 12 minutes.)

Education Leaders Stunned by “Race to the Top” Outcome

Louisiana’s “inexplicable” failure to make top 12 raises questions about Obama administration’s commitment to reform Louisiana’s education leaders are wondering what more they can do to outperform other states in terms of reform. Louisiana failed to receive any funds in the federal “Race to the Top” program, and the lack of correlation between successful reform…

Commentary: Cost of Government report sheds positive light on Louisiana, but national trend very alarming

Last week, on August 19th, Americans for Tax Reform revealed their annual Cost of Government Day, which, according to ATR, is the day “on which the average American has earned enough gross income to pay off his or her share of the spending and regulatory burdens imposed by government on federal, state, and local levels.”…