|English: Baton Rouge, LA, September 3, 2008 -- President George W. Bush and Governor Bobby Jindal greeting EOC employees, during disaster recovery efforts for Hurricane Gustav. Jacinta Quesada/FEMA (Photo credit: Wikipedia)|
Governing is a dynamic situation like sailing. You are supposed to respond to the winds, something Bill Clinton got accused of. Why is the boat not steady? Well, the wind be blowing left and right.
Tax cuts funded by swiped credit cards might make rich people happy, but I don't see how that contributes to economic growth. Raising the minimum wage, on the other hand, is instant stimulus.
Bobby not making sense to me is probably good for him. Even Dems start out on the Left before the primaries, and should they get past them, then conveniently move to the center. But Bobby is starting with really low numbers. It will be interesting to see how he plays out with the voters. How many primaries before he is out! Bust!
The guy won two elections in a row. Can't say he is a bad politician.
Bobby Jindal Does Not Offend Me
As Jindal’s G.O.P. Profile Grows, So Do Louisiana’s Budget Woes
here in the Louisiana capital, there is mostly one topic on everyone’s mind these days, and it is quite distressingly close to home: the fiscal reckoning the state is facing for next year and perhaps for multiple budgets to come. ...... “Since I’ve been in Louisiana I’ve never seen a budget cycle as desperate as this one” ..... Louisiana’s budget shortfall is projected to reach $1.6 billion next year and to remain in that ballpark for a while. ..... culprit: the fiscal policy pushed by the Jindal administration and backed by the State Legislature. ..... In a state the size of Louisiana, the shortfall is huge. But it is all the more daunting considering that the governor has unequivocally ruled out any plans for new revenue, bone-deep cuts have already been made to health care and higher education, ad hoc revenue sources have been all but drained and robust economic growth has yet to materialize. ...... Mr. Jindal’s first term began in 2008 with a heady surplus of around $1 billion, high oil prices and a stream of federal disaster recovery money after Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005. He threw his support behind the largest tax cut in the state’s history and, for a time, had reason to boast about an economy that outperformed the nation’s. But oil prices are fickle, and the recovery money dried up and the recession arrived, if late and in a milder strain than in other states. Since 2010, here as elsewhere, middling has been the new normal. ..... a slower-than-ideal recovery is not unique to Louisiana. How the state has dealt with it is the root of the problem ..... “the vast majority” of the shortfall to the downturn in oil prices and insisting that a shrunken state government was the goal, not an unfortunate side effect. .... per capita income in the state is at its highest ....... next year Louisiana State University, the state’s flagship institution, is facing a potential 40 percent cut in its operating budget. Possible cuts to health care for next year, when compounded by the loss of matching federal dollars, could approach $1 billion. ..... Trust funds for infrastructure and low-income older adults have been sapped, buildings sold, tax amnesties repeatedly declared, legal settlements spent and reserves drained. ..... the plunge in oil prices, “muted job growth” and “a structural deficit.” .... how “fiscally irresponsible” the state had been for the last seven years.Bobby Jindal says Louisiana's growth has outpaced the nation's since the recession
Jindal said, "The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy. I think we can do better than that." ..... the per capita income of Louisiana, you were 47th lowest in the United States, not all under your watch. ..... In Louisiana, we now have more people working, highest incomes in our state's history. Larger population than ever before. And the president can't say all those things about the country. Our economy has grown 50 percent faster than the national GDP, even since the national recession.......... Between 2007 and 2012 (the last year for which data is available), inflation-adjusted GDP grew by 2.5 percent nationally, but by 6.4 percent in Louisiana. ...... For 2008-12, Jindal would also be correct. During that period, Louisiana growth (7.9 percent) easily outpaced United States growth (3.2 percent). ..... But he’d be wrong for 2009-12, when United States growth (6.7 percent) exceeded Louisiana growth (4.6 percent)..... And he’d also be wrong for 2010-12, when the United States economy grew (4.1 percent) and the Louisiana economy actually shrank (by 1.2 percent)...... United States growth also exceeded Louisiana growth between 2011 and 2012 -- 2.5 percent to 1.5 percent....... "Louisiana's economy is highly dependent on the energy sector which, no matter where in the business cycle we lie, is always in demand," he said. "So, when the economy is in a recession, we tend to do better than average. When the economy is doing better, energy demand is somewhat higher, but not dramatically so. So when the economy is doing well, we lag behind the U.S. average. I suspect that we were doing better when the economy was in the heart of the Great Recession, but we have fallen behind as the overall economy has rebounded."Bobby Jindal’s Troubles at Home
Jindal is quick to say, private-sector job growth and the economy in Louisiana have outpaced the national average during his tenure as governor...... here’s what Jindal doesn’t say: Louisiana’s budget is hemorrhaging red ink, and it’s getting worse. He inherited a $900 million surplus when he became governor seven years ago, and his administration’s own budget documents now show the state is facing deficits of more than $1 billion for as far as the eye can see. There are no easy solutions today because Jindal has increasingly balanced the budget by resorting to one-time fixes, depleting the state’s reserve funds and taking money meant for other purposes....... Meanwhile, the state’s unemployment rate has risen from 3.8 percent when Jindal took office, a point below the national average then, to 6.7 percent today—nearly a full point higher than today’s national average. ..... As the son of Indian immigrants who was a Rhodes scholar, Jindal, 43, has stood out as a national GOP star since his 2007 election as chief executive of Louisiana, with an image invariably described as wonky. In 2009, he was chosen to give the GOP response to Obama’s State of the Union address, but his unnatural singsong delivery was mocked. Since then, he’s back to fast talking and reeling off numbers while he courts Republicans outside of Louisiana. A year before the Iowa Republican primary, he has shifted his political emphasis by making an obvious pitch for religious conservatives, highlighting his faith ...... We have serious, serious problems with our budget. For seven years, we have spent more than we’ve taken in ..... (A governor in Louisiana has so much power that he appoints the speaker of the House and the president of the Senate, along with committee chairmen.) ...... Jindal blamed the state’s budget woes on factors beyond his control. “The oil price drop has been good for consumers, but it’s had a big impact on our revenue” ..... Jindal’s aversion to tackling politically tough issues and his tendency to resort to ploys to paper over the problems. .... In 2003, as a private citizen running for governor (he narrowly lost), Jindal promised to “oppose and veto all efforts to increase taxes.” ..... As governor, he has taken the “no tax” commitment to such lengths that in 2011 he vetoed legislation supported by dozens of Republicans that sought renewal of a 4-cent portion of the state’s 36-cent-per-pack cigarette tax, the country’s third lowest. “His only reason is that he’d taken the crazy position that if you renew a tax or suspend an exemption it was a tax increase,” said state Rep. Harold Ritchie, a Democrat and smoker who sponsored the measure. Lawmakers found a way to approve it without Jindal being able to exercise a veto..... Louisiana has 33,000 fewer state workers than when he took office, in large part because he got the legislature to privatize the public hospitals. ..... The conservative Tax Foundation ranked Louisiana as having the 46th lowest tax burden as a share of state income. Louisiana also scores at the bottom in education and health care....... The state legislature cut income taxes for higher-end earners by a total of about $700 million per year...... He then shaved another $341 million in the middle of the 2009 budget cycle to avoid ending the year with a deficit. Jindal—buoyed by the tax cuts, his anti-government rhetoric, a growing state economy and his opposition to abortion—won reelection in 2011 with 65 percent of the vote.Is Bobby Jindal Getting Started or Already Finished?
Jindal is polling in the low single digits in early Republican primary polls. ..... none of them, not one, can match our record of actually shrinking the size of government. .... He's a candidate who can hold his intellectual ground with anyone, and he has dominated Louisiana politics for the better part of a decade. Yes, it's a crowded field. And yes, it would take a momentum-kindling moment on par with then-Sen. Obama's legendary "Blue America-Red America" speech. But Jindal has been preparing for this moment for years, and he may yet have a second wind.Bobby Jindal’s Fiscal Record
Jindal took office in January of 2008, and 2015 will be his last year in office. He has scored well on the Cato Fiscal Policy Report Card on America’s Governors earning an “A” in 2010, and a “B” in both 2012 and 2014. All three report cards commend Jindal’s resolve to cut Louisiana state spending. ..... Since fiscal year 2009, the first full fiscal year of Jindal’s term, state general fund spending has decreased by 7 percent. Per capita state spending has fallen from $2,089 in 2009 to $1,883 in 2015, a decrease of 10 percent. This spending restraint is quite remarkable. For comparison, per capita state spending grew nationally by 8.5 percent during the same time period. ..... Total state spending, which includes money from the federal government for programs like Medicaid, stayed constant while Jindal was in office. It was $28.9 billion in 2008 compared to $29.1 billion in 2014. ...... State government employment has decreased 26 percent since he’s been governor ...... State higher education spending fell from $1.1 billion a year in 2009 to $535 million in 2015. His 2016 budget includes further cuts to the state higher education system ....... Jindal’s strong fiscal record is partly undercut by Louisiana’s generous economic development programs, i.e., corporate welfare. Jindal helped expand the state’s wasteful film tax credit program. In 2013, the state wasted $250 million on the program, which is one of the largest film giveaways in the nation. The state offsets 30 percent of the cost of film production expenses. An episode of Duck Dynasty, the popular television show, represents $330,000 in tax credits to its production company. His administration also gave $36.5 million to the New Orleans Hornets, the professional basketball franchise, to encourage them to stay in New Orleans through the 2024 season. ...... Louisiana general fund spending has fallen during Bobby Jindal’s tenure as governor. At a time when states were increasing spending, Jindal instituted reforms that cut the state workforce and lowered per capita spending. This feat makes Jindal unique among Republican contenders for the presidency.How Bobby Jindal Wrecked Louisiana
The Jindal administration is talking about cutting up to $300 million from state support to colleges and universities — that calculates to about $1 billion in higher ed reductions since Gov. Bobby Jindal took office in 2008 — and hacking another $200 million or so from health care. State agencies are looking at 15 percent to 20 percent removed from their budgets, which could translate into furloughs and reduced services. ..... “We’re going to end up placing fees and all kinds of things on ordinary citizens, just so” Jindal can say on the presidential campaign trail that he didn’t raise taxes ...... Jindal is sacking his own state to preserve his viability as a Republican presidential candidate — specifically, so he can say that he never raised taxes, but rather cut them. Even Quin Hillyer, the conservative columnist for the Advocate, thinks the state’s tax policy, under which the poor pay a greater percentage of their income in taxes than the rich, is a “moral abomination.” ........ Since taking office, Governor Bobby Jindal has cut taxes a total of six times, which included the largest income tax cut in the state’s history – giving back $1.1 billion over five years to the hard working tax payers across the state, along with accelerating the elimination of the tax on business investment, making Louisiana no longer one of only three states in the country that taxes manufacturing machinery. ........ when the state faced a $341 million budget shortfall, Governor Jindal chose to make state government more lean by finding strategic costs savings in the budget, rather than making across the board cuts or passing the bill on to taxpayers. ........ The cut was a giveaway to the rich, and Jindal, a reform Republican, was against it. But it was popular with the GOP legislature, so he embraced it — and it blew a massive hole in the state budget ....... What he won’t tell you about is his refusal to cut corporate welfare, which costs that state treasury a fortune every year ....... “Duck Dynasty” is the most popular show in the history of A&E. Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer. Valero is America’s biggest independent refiner, earning $6 billion in profits last year.... But despite all that success, they’re all receiving generous subsidies from the taxpayers of Louisiana, through programs that funnel more than a billion dollars every year to coveted industries. ...... During Kathleen Blanco’s four years as governor, the value of some of Louisiana’s largest tax breaks doubled. Since Bobby Jindal took the reins in 2008, the cost has more than doubled again ....... In his first year in office, the only year he did not have to resort to such tactics, Jindal himself deplored such bookkeeping, comparing it to “using your credit card to pay your mortgage.” ...... The state is facing a projected $1.6 billion budget shortfall next year, and higher education institutions have been told to prepare for $300 million to $400 million in reduced funding in the coming academic year. If that happens, LSU could be on the hook for more than $60 million, roughly 40 percent of the university’s operating budget. ........ LSU (and other state universities) will be getting only 25 percent of the state funding it received when Jindal took office. Think about that. It’s a disaster. Gov. Jindal and the GOP legislature have been a catastrophe for higher ed in this state. ...... that has meant that lawmakers only have room to maneuver within the higher ed and health care budgets. Last year, voters protected Medicaid from further state cuts, which leaves higher ed as the only target left. ......... But Jindal has done a number on health care for the poor too. He has largely privatized the state’s public hospitals, and refused as a matter of principle to take the federal Medicaid money due the state because of Obamacare. So now he can tell GOP primary voters nationwide that he stood up to Obamacare. ....... Services are now closed. There is now no emergency room in north Baton Rouge, where the majority of the city’s poor, uninsured people live. .......... We have serious, serious problems with our budget. For seven years, we have spent more than we’ve taken in. ...... governing not as a commonsense manager, but as an ideologue ....... He was first elected as a conservative, clean-government technocrat, and brought a lot of hope to many Louisianians. .... Yes, I’m fully aware that Louisiana is bound to break your heart. … [But] I think [Jindal’s] going to write the next great Louisiana story. Maybe just this once, it’s not going to be a farce. ....... The higher ed funding crisis does NOT exist because of a lack of willingness to spend on education. Louisiana actually ranks 18th in higher ed spending per capita. The problem exists because we have way too many four-year universities. In New Orleans, UNO and SUNO literally sit right next to each other. In the sparsely populated northeast part of the state, we have LA Tech, ULM and Grambling. This is, again, a structural problem that isn’t Bobby Jindal’s fault. What is needed is not cuts to LSU, but the bravery in the legislature to change a couple of lower-tier 4-year institutions into community colleges, killing duplicative programs that accomplish little and graduate almost no one. ........ Tuition at Louisiana’s public universities is also the 4th lowest in the nation, meaning that the cuts could probably be ameliorated by raising tuition, which is something that is almost guaranteed to happen...... he’s certainly right about the unsustainability of the state university system — a problem that was there before Jindal, and will remain long after he’s gone. The problem is that all the pols are standing together on this, because those universities are very important to their towns. But this can’t go on forever. The state needs something like the federal base-closing commissions, to give political cover to closing down institutions that ought not be kept open.Republicans will have to spin struggling state economies in 2016
From New Jersey to Wisconsin to Louisiana, GOP governors with their eyes on the White House have presided over unbalanced budgets, unfunded pension liabilities, credit downgrades and sluggish job growth. .... That comes in contrast to an increasingly rosy economic picture nationally, with a strong December jobs report that capped off the best year in terms of economic growth for the nation since 1999. Unemployment, at 5.8 percent, was below predictions, and job growth has continued for month after month. ........ "In my judgment, they are so tied to an extreme ideology that they don't want to be confronted by the facts and the truth about what their approach, their trickle-down approach leads to: Greater deficits, a weaker economy, and greater inequality" ....... Louisiana has become more business-friendly under Jindal's watch, according to a number of nonpartisan rankings ...... Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, whose promised conservative "experiment" of implementing steep tax and spending cuts has crippled the state's economy, as evidence the conservative vision of governance doesn't work.How Bobby Jindal Broke the Louisiana Economy
Louisiana State University President and Chancellor F. King Alexander said that the state’s flagship university, which could lose 80 percent of state funding after years of already deep cuts, was developing a worst-case scenario plan for financial exigency—basically, the academic equivalent of bankruptcy. ....... Jindal, a hard-charging former Rhodes scholar, has always nursed grander ambitions, and voters generally gave him a pass. ....... While he was popular and powerful enough to avoid a reelection fight in 2011, by 2015 his approval rating had sunk to 27 percent, according to one poll; a friendly survey by his own consulting firm pegged the number at 46 percent, hardly a resounding vote of confidence. ........ He spent 165 days out of state in 2014 ...... Jindal chalks up the current budget shortfall to the drop in oil prices, and that’s definitely contributed. A larger piece of the puzzle has been his determination to maintain a pure record on taxes. ....... These days it’s hard to think of anyone who has as much influence over what Jindal’s willing to do than Norquist, whose rigid rules for what constitutes a tax increase line up perfectly with Jindal’s. In practice, that means the governor has insisted that the budget be balanced without tax increases, despite the prospect of devastating cuts to higher education and health care, the two main areas that don’t enjoy constitutional or statutory protection. ....... there’s not much left. Gone are $800 million from the Medicaid Trust Fund for the Elderly and $450 million for providing development incentives, and the rainy day fund has dropped from $730 million to $460 million on his watch. ....... the Republicans running to replace Jindal in this fall’s election. All three .. say they will look for a way to accept the Medicaid money and take an open-minded approach to examining tax exemptions. ..... in a clear swipe at Norquist, he added that, “I represent the people of Louisiana; I don’t represent someone who lives in D.C.”How Bobby Jindal is leaving a budget mess for Louisiana's next governor: News analysis
Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to roll back income tax cuts or ever-increasing corporate tax breaks. Instead, he raided reserve funds and sold off state property. ..... "They've used all the smoke that was in the can and all the mirrors that they could buy and now they're out of tricks. Their solution is to gut higher education like a fish," said Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy. ....... "Our budget has been full of sleights of hand -- it's almost a Ponzi scheme of moving moneys around, one-time money around, to serve recurring needs," Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, one of the Republicans vying to be Louisiana's next governor, said at a recent forum. .... national credit rating agency Moody's Investors Service described Louisiana'sbudget as having a "structural deficit" ...... The governor has successfully trimmed some spending by cutting more than 30,000 full-time state employees. He's reduced the state's vehicle fleet, privatized much of the Medicaid program, turned over the state's charity hospitals to outside managers and looked for ways to make state government more efficient. ...... The state owes $190 million to federal officials for improper Medicaid spending in hospital privatization deals, an order being appealed, and a $270 million repayment to the state "rainy day" fund in 2017 as part of a legal settlement. Economic development deals will cost the next governor at least $340 million over his first four years..... Far fewer savings accounts will be left to pay those liabilities because Jindal drained or reduced trust funds. ....... When he talks of his record in national appearances, Jindal doesn't mention the budget troubles. He describes cutting Louisiana's budget from $34 billion in 2008 to $25 billion -- but doesn't explain much of that drop comes from spending down one-time federal recovery dollars after hurricanes Katrina and Rita. ..... New money hasn't rolled in, despite promises that tax revenue would increase from multibillion-dollar manufacturing and petrochemical projects announced by the Jindal administration in the last few years. ...... In his first year in office, Jindal signed off on the largest individual income tax cut in Louisiana history, stripping hundreds of millions from the state treasury at the same time the national recession hit. ....... The Legislature's chief economist, Greg Albrecht, has described Louisiana's tax break programs as spending with no annual oversight from state lawmakers before the money goes out the door. ...... As they ran into Jindal's resistance to tax break changes, lawmakers who voted for budgets packed with the governor's patchwork funding say removing the dollars would force harmful cuts to colleges, public safety and health care. For the upcoming session that begins in April, lawmakers are scrambling to find loopholes to generate new money but allow Jindal to call the plans "revenue neutral." ..... "Everybody says, 'Oh, you're using one-time money.' I tell people that say that, 'Well, tell me what you want to cut,'" said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jack Donahue, a Republican. "'Is it higher education? Or is it health care? What university do you want to close?' The truth is, from a political standpoint, that's not possible."