Our economy is strong
By Gov. Bobby Jindal
Published Dec 20, 2012 at 9:00 am
Sasol, Benteler, Sutherland, GE Capital, Drax, Pixomondo, Oceaneering. Remember those names. They are just some of the companies that announced this year they are making game-changing investments in Louisiana to create thousands of jobs for our people.
In 2012 alone, we have announced projects that will result in over 24,000 new jobs and more than $18 billion in capital investment, bringing our five-year total to more than 63,000 new jobs and more than $28 billion in new capital investment. Indeed, across Louisiana, we've announced economic development wins in the energy, technology, film, digital media and manufacturing industries that are diversifying and growing Louisiana's economy.
In Westlake, Sasol is investing between $16 and $21 billion in an integrated (gas-to-liquids) and ethane cracker complex that will create over 7,000 direct and indirect jobs. This is the largest manufacturing investment in Louisiana's history and one of the largest foreign direct investments in our country's history.
In northwest Louisiana, Benteler chose our state over more than a dozen others to invest $900 million at the Port of Caddo-Bossier to develop a two-phase facility that will include both a seamless steel tube mill and a steel mill. This project will create more 2,200 direct and indirect jobs.
After looking at hundreds of cities, GE Capital chose New Orleans for the creation of a new IT Center of Excellence that will result in over 600 direct and indirect jobs. In Baton Rouge, Pixomondo has a new visual effects studio that will result in more than 120 new direct and indirect jobs.
Drax Biomass International will be investing more than $120 million to build a wood pellet facility in northeast Louisiana and a storage-and-shipping facility at the Port of Greater Baton Rouge. This project will result in over 200 direct and indirect jobs.
In central Louisiana, Sutherland Global Services is opening a business process outsourcing center that will result in roughly 1,000 direct and indirect jobs. Around the bayou, Oceaneering International is making a $5 million capital investment to expand production of the company's product: remotely operated vehicles. This win will result in over 600 direct and indirect jobs.
The list of job wins goes on and on, but the bottom line is that companies are investing in Louisiana because of our strong business climate and our incomparable workforce. Louisiana—a state that once lagged behind in business climate rankings—now ranks in the top 10 of three major national business climate rankings.
We have been among the top 10 states for private sector job growth since 2008. Per capita personal income has increased by more than $2,700 in the last four years. Most importantly, for the past four years in a row, more people are now moving into Louisiana than moving out, reversing a trend of more than two decades where we were losing our sons and daughters to other states.
None of this happened by accident. We've cut taxes, revamped our workforce training program, passed tough new ethics laws, passed bold and transformative education reforms, and have streamlined state government to make it more effective and less expensive for taxpayers. We've made great progress, but we cannot rest on our laurels. In order to keep fostering an environment where businesses want to invest, we need to make our business climate even stronger.
The next step is an overhaul of our tax code. Our tax code is too complex, too littered with loopholes, and too burdensome on families and businesses. We need to make our tax code fairer, flatter and simpler for Louisiana families and businesses. Unquestionably, there will be some who see tax reform as an opportunity to raise taxes on hardworking families and small businesses, but that's exactly the wrong approach. Make no mistake—this will not be an effort to raise revenue and grow government. Instead, we must revamp our tax code in order to spur more private-sector job growth. That's our mission for the upcoming year.
I want to make two things very clear as 2012 comes to a close. First, without a doubt, this past year has been a strong year for Louisiana's economy. Unemployment is down, business climate rankings are up, and the private sector is expanding. Second, and just as important, we've still got work to do to make Louisiana the best place in the world for businesses to invest and create jobs.
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In India, a Hindu nationalist rebuilds image with Muslim votes
Many politicians within his own party refuse to work with him, fearing he will taint their image. .... Roughly 25 percent who cast their ballots for the BJP this election were Muslim ..... That’s up from just 3 percent in 2007 .... a growing number of young educated Muslims are opting for the BJP .... They believe Modi is the most viable option for sustained growth and career opportunities in the state. ..... Given Muslims' low literacy rates, low rate of employment in government jobs, and lagging per capita income across India, Sufi Saint Mehbubali Baba Saheb says life for the minority religious group is much better under Modi’s rule. A volunteer with the BJP, he points out that since the Gujarat riots, there has been no communal violence in the state. Some 10 percent of Muslims have government jobs and their per capita income is the highest in the country. .... 40 percent of children are still malnourished, and hundreds of thousands of Muslims live in slums because they can’t find affordable housing. ..... “Modi has very little to offer to India’s villages, to its agriculture sector and to the very large constituencies that make up Indian politics,” says political analyst Ashish Nandy, adding that Modi’s constituency is the middle class. “While the middle class may make up a significant portion of the country, over two-thirds of the Indian population does not fall in that category. I think that will be more his undoing than being [known as] a master of inciting a blood bath.”Nepal PM calls for Indian investments in auto, hydropower sectors
the overall GDP growth rate of the country, which has been hovering at a mere 3 per cent since the last four decades..... “We want to take this figure to a double-digit number in the next three years,” he said, adding that the Government is proactive in attracting Foreign Direct Investment to achieve high economic growth. ..... Development of hydropower can overcome the current power shortage in the country, speed up tourism and agriculture development, and enhance production capability of the country through rapid industrialisation, Bhattarai said. At present, the country faces a load shedding of 7-10 hours a day, thus impacting various other industrial and commercial activities. ..... “There is a large cigarette factory which is defunct and can be utilised as an auto manufacturing factory,” he added.The Eighteenth Brumaire of Barack Obama
Some alleged experts still think we’ll have a deal before we go over the cliff. Maybe they know their business, but I don’t see it.Barack Obama's dual agenda
letting the fiscal cliff kick in may better serve his other main incentive: dividing and weakening the Republican Party...... The GOP is suffering tremendous political stress while the standoff continues, and that stress will become unbearable once tax hikes and defence sequesters kick in. Mr Boehner will have to come up with a Republican position that Democrats can accept, and it is likely to be very close to the offer Mr Obama put forth on Monday. ..... A vote over such a compromise deal would tear the GOP's congressional faction apart. ..... Democrats could achieve a fiscal-cliff deal by winning the votes of a couple of dozen moderate Republicans, but such a move would be electoral suicide for any Republican who tried it. Republicans will need to form a large bloc to give themselves cover for a compromise, but the larger the bloc, the more dangerous the division between the party's tea-party and moderate factions will be for its overall future. ...... Fostering the civil war in the Republican Party is crucial to Mr Obama's chances of getting any part of his agenda passed over the next four years. The top items on that agenda are climate-change legislation, immigration reform, and (suddenly) gun control, along with keeping up some measure of progressive stimulus until the economy is fully recovering ..... he can look forward to elections against a divided, angry GOP in 2014 ..... Republicans have locked themselves into an impossible position on budgeting by simultaneously vowing never to allow taxes hikes, and passing long-term budgets that create a fiscal cliff necessitating tax hikes. It's in Mr Obama's interests to gain Republican cooperation to work out the best possible deal, but if that's not forthcoming, it's also in his interests to use the impossibility of the Republicans' position to weaken them..... 'we have to break the Republicans on taxes.'Louisiana economy is strong, Jindal declares
the right climate of low taxes, a revamped workforce training program, tough new ethics laws and bold education reform .... Louisiana being one of the top 10 states for private sector job growth ..... "In 2012 alone, we have announced projects that will result in over 24,000 new jobs and more than $18 billion in capital investment, bringing our five-year total to more than 63,000 new jobs and more than $28 billion in new capital investment" .... "Our tax code is too complex, too littered with loopholes, and too burdensome on families and businesses," he wrote. "We need to make our tax code fairer, flatter and simpler for Louisiana families and businesses."Setting the Stage for a Second Term
Gujarat election result: Narendra Modi pulls off hat-trick, will it be Rahul vs him in 2014?
Modi won 115 seats, just a couple short of his previous tally of 117 seats in the 2007 election. Modi's victory came against the backdrop of indifference, even opposition, from a section of the RSS, hostility of an influential and tenacious faction of the civil society and Congress's tacit understanding with BJP rebel Keshubhai Patel who sought to rally his community against the chief minister. ..... his politics which combines uncompromising Hindutva with an unsentimental focus on development. .... the risk of putting off allies like Nitish Kumar and the political risk of a Muslim consolidation behind Congress.Narendra Modi juggernaut rolls on, BJP to form govt in Gujarat
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