The Lincoln Plawg - the blog with footnotes
Saturday, January 03, 2004
A ripper bill down in the Pelican State
The notion of a ripper bill cropped up in a piece on November 22 - but in the realms of speculation.
Reading Liebling's Earl of Louisiana (as mentioned yesterday), there's one of several sections (p41ff) on the various rackets employed by legislators and officials to extract moolah for one thing and another. He quotes one of a number of informants on the sulphur racket (British edition: I guess it was sulfur in the original):
And then there's the tax payable to the state on sulphur taken from the ground. It's set ridiculously low - one dollar and three cents a ton - by a provision of the state consitutution. There isn't a session of the Legislature that somebody doesn't introduce a sulphur bill to amend the constitution. It's always beaten - but just. How much does it cost the sulphur companies to keep that limit on the books?
That seems to me a classic example of a ripper bill. Instead of paying a proper level of tax to the state, the cash gets syphoned into the coffers of the pols.
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