Governor Jindal presents tax cuts as the answer (update)

The best thing about President George W. Bush was that he was a pure red-blooded Republican. He is a conservative’s conservative. He allowed the American people the opportunity to see what the Republican Party truly believed. He was Reagan on steroids. The problem wasn’t just big government. It was government.

This brings me to the new darling of the Republican Party Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal. Jindal has an impressive personal story. He went to college at Brown University and was accepted to Harvard medical school but instead went to Yale for law school. He then got a Masters degree in political science. In 1996 he was appointed Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. From then through 2003 he was appointed to multiple different agencies at a state and national level. He lost a bid for governor in 2003. In 2004 he ran for Congress from Louisiana’s first Congressional District. He won this election overwhelmingly. He ran for governor in 2007, again, and won. This brings us to the present.

The reason I mentioned President George W. Bush (in the first paragraph) was that Bobby Jindal’s response (full text) was the typical conservative Republican response. He offered no new ideas (as I expected). He served up a smorgasbord of tax cuts, suggesting we “… create jobs by lowering income taxes for working families… cutting taxes for small businesses… strengthening incentives (tax credits) for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers… and stabilizing homeowners by creating a new tax credit for homebuyers.” Wasn’t this the exact plan that George W. Bush proposed and passed in 2001 or was that his 2003 tax cut plan? This is more of the same.

The Republican hatred of government was on full display. The governor told us a story about Hurricane Katrina, the moral of which was that we don’t need government to help us with anything. (This is kind of surprising since the governor’s mother used to work for the government.) That was a lesson that he and other Republicans learned from Hurricane Katrina. They learned the government just can’t function. I may be wrong but if you’re running an agency in which disaster management expertise is called for from an agency and it is headed by a guy that has no experience in that field, it would seem to me that the agency may not function as well as it should. President Clinton and FEMA evacuated over a million people from Florida ahead of Hurricane Floyd. Now no one is comparing Hurricane Floyd to Hurricane Katrina. What I am saying is that the government can work if you put competent people in charge.

Watch the Republican response:

Finally, I was surprised at how poor the governor’s presentation was. His gestures were wooden and his speech was halting. He never seemed to flow. I can get over the mechanical gestures if he only had something of substance to add to the discussion. Not one new idea. Not one new theme. Not even a direction where we can find an idea. He is simply the latest new, young face that the GOP has thrown in front of the American people.

Update: Could Governor Bobby Jindal have been mistaken about his touching story about the Louisiana Sheriff during Katrina? Did the Governor lie? Could it be that he wasn’t in New Orleans until days after the Hurricane had passed? It sure seems like his story is very similar to President of Jefferson Parish Aaron Broussard’s story that he told on Meet the Press. Then again, I might be mistaken. I’m sure that a Governor wouldn’t go on national TV and make up facts. No way.

Update 2: America loved Obama’s speech!!

  • JeffLeon

    President Obama’s speech was great! But Bobby Jindal did a SNL skit of a politician BS-ing badly. What he really said with all that tired GOP junk was, “Americans can be made to believe anything.”

  • JeffLeon –

    SNL skit. You are 100% correct. i wish I would have thought of that last night.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • Brantl

    And where did this schmuck get that garish tie? What a dweeb. I love that he counts it as a blessing that we have the most powerful military, what would we be needing that for? Canada and Mexico? I don’t think so.

  • margaret

    I want to hear from the unemployed workers in Louisiana. He is stating that HIS state doesn’t need the money. I wish the people of La well. They are at the bottom of so many lists. Education, environment, infrastructure ( have the levees even been fixed)employment they also have high welfare enrollees.Lots of young ladies having babies early If they are facing 2 billion budget shortfall then goodluck to the people. When I lived there about 80 % of the parish was on welfare. So he has a long way to go before he can run for president and say see what I have done. It is the people who have lost their jobs that I want to hear how they like their governor. If he doesn’t want the money then send it to Ohio. Utah has their transportation system set up to take advantage of any state that can’t spend their money in the time frame allowed. We don’t need the money. The republicans in this state all denounce the stimulus package but will be the first in line to take advantage of it. True Republicans…. complain while taking more than your share.

  • Brantl – the tie is off of a barbershop pole. 🙂

    Thanks for your comments.

  • M –

    Remember there is a reason that Louisiana is 49th in education. Mississippi proudly is last but La. doesn’t spend money on education. They just don’t.

    They do want to spend enough money on the environment that hunters and fisherman still have stuff to hunt and fish. that’s it.

    Louisiana is a different world.

    I would add that over 100,000 New Orleans folks are still displaced. Those were mostly Democratic voters.

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments.

  • Bud Brooks

    Erri, Jindal’s presentation may have been poor, but conceptually, he is on target and making progress in Louisiana. But the bigger issue is that the Obama administration, has in five weeks, become a complete disgrace. It is the biggest fiasco that we may ever see. These folks do not have any experience and it is painfully obvious. To think that debt spending on top of more debt is the smartest thing is true insanity. Government does not create jobs; the private sector creates jobs.

    And who does anyone think they are at deciding that $250K is “rich?” Why not $248K? Why not $245K? What’s so magical that it has to be $250? A lot of people make far less and consider themselves rich. Does anyone get that $250 includes lots of small business people that pour the money back into their businesses? Why does Obama have to stick it to people making more? Who granted him authority to determine what’s fair in the world? The world is not fair. His ever-growing attempt to make the world fair is basic liberal, fascist socialism — and it won’t work and it never has, anywhere in history, unless you think Cuba is a success — and I am sure plenty of liberals do.

    I hope he keeps going with his policies, because you won’t believe the backlash that will hit in two years. All the middle-of-road folks that fell for Obama’s smooth-talking “hype, I mean hope” will come to realize that they were sold down the river. No one person can simply say they are going to change everything and then be expected to actually accomplish it.

  • Bud (my confused friend):

    The government doesn’t create jobs? Really? My mom worked for the Texas government for close to 20 years. What was that?

    So Joe Biden has no experience? Timothy Geithner and Paul Volker have no experience? As a matter of fact, just 2 months ago, Sean Hannity was complaining that there were so many Clinton people in Obama’s administration that this wasn’t change. There is plenty of experience. Experience ain’t the problem. The problem is that they are setting out a progressive agenda that you don’t like. That’s the problem.

    Were the 1960’s a good period in American history? Americans were able to afford to go to college. They could buy a house and a car without breaking the bank. Taxes were higher then they are now. So, what’s the problem?

    The only one who has been sold a bill of goods is you and your conservative friends, Bud. You have bought into the conservative talking points – every single one of them. The government isn’t the problem. The government is people like my mom and Bobby Jindal’s mother (who worked for the State of Louisiana). The government is America. It is us. It isn’t 2 million foreigners. It is us. So what’s the problem? The problem is that conservatives have been taught since birth that nothing good can come from government. While at the same time these same conservatives are sucking the government and the American people dry. Conservatives are happy to give PHAT contracts to Halliburton, KBR, General Dynamics, Lockheed Martin and hundreds of other businesses. Maybe, you are arguing, that none of those businesses actually have jobs since every single one of those jobs depend on a government contract. Furthermore, on one hand you say you hate lobbyists then again on the other hand you have Randy Cunningham, Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff — clearly conservatives — who played K. Street like a great concert violinist plays a Stradivarius.

    I am happy that you left a comment. I was sitting here, in my office, trying to decide what was I going to write for this month’s column. You have given me inspiration. Thanks!

  • Bud Brooks

    Erri, I am not “confused.” I am very sure of my thoughts, and my words are my own, just like your words are your own. Nonetheless, we both read and listen to information from various sources, and while we may end up sounding like those we’ve read or listened to, at the end of the day, my words are my own, and I am sure yours are your own, too.

    You have, however, misinterpreted my comment on the government and job creation. The government does provide jobs to people and many people selflessly dedicate themselves to working for the government for their career: good for them! But the government cannot and does not create long-term wealth and prosperity. This comes from the private sector, mostly, that has a profit motive and an incentive to continue to grow the business, for the sake of all their stakeholders, which includes the lowest level of employees to the investors and shareholders. Government cannot do this because it has no motive to do so other than to entrench itself in everyone’s lives.
    The economic pie is not a zero-sum pie; the pie is always growing, and conservatives believe that we can all create a bigger pie, rather than liberals that believe that the “stagnant” pie should be cut into different slices and doled out differently.

    You are fundamentally wrong to say that conservatives think that nothing good comes from the government; the government definitely has a place in our lives, but only on a limited framework basis, not a cradle-to-grave, all-things-to-all-people approach. We need govt. to create the template for the people do things for themselves, not do to everything for them. We need govt to have basic laws, infrastructure, regulations, safety & security, and so on, but govt. cannot control all aspects of our lives.

    It is best to deliver govt contracts to private companies (and there are millions of contracts to lots of companies besides those in defense, by the way). The private sector has the incentive to manage the businesses well (but yes, some fail to do so, as is the case in all things in life), and deliver the best product to the market. The govt has no ability to operate in an efficient manner because it has no incentive to do so.

    I don’t recall saying anything about lobbyists, and I don’t see any response to my comments on why someone has the right to decide what’s fair for personal income, or what’s fair in terms of taxes. If liberals want to pay more taxes, then I suggest that you make your own donations to the govt. just like others make donations to charities. You can accomplish two things at once, be charitable and pay more taxes, all to one place — the government!

    Erri, I am glad that I was able to inspire you. And I do have great respect for what you have accomplished and am very happy for you. I’d love to create a blog of my own that is as well-managed and as successful as your is.

    You might be interested to know that my in-laws are Hispanic. Some of them, but not all, are hardcore liberals; but after our verbal battles, we are still friends. My brother-in-law in Austin, despite being sooo liberal, is one of the best guys I have ever known, and I think the world of him — imagine that! I say the same to you!

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