Baton Rouge was all aglow last week over two sightings of Tom Hanks dining at local restaurants.
Meanwhile, in another part of town, legislators were debating ways to keep the state from going broke in July, largely by way of new sales taxes that disproportionately punish the poor.
Tom Hanks is here making a government-subsidized motion picture, under an incentive program that both Republican and Democratic administrations agree returns only 25 cents of every dollar Louisiana spends.
So it was good to see at least one legislator appreciated the irony of a community swooning over a Hollywood celebrity while struggling to raise taxes to fund the giveaways that brought him here.
“We divert more than $150 million a year away from important priorities like higher education so that we can see Tom Hanks in a restaurant," tweeted Conrad Appel, a Metairie Republican.
Hanks is a towering talent and he has been a great friend to Louisiana. But that doesn’t mean taxpayers need to help buy his lunch.