Bobby Jindal and his economic shortcomings

It is always interesting when a conservative publication slams one of its own as The American Conservative publication recently did with an article about Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, presidential aspirant.

The article posits that Jindal has basically destroyed his state’s economy, although he didn’t act alone.

“Is he responsible for the full $1.6 billion?” Mr. Scott asked. “I’d say no. But I’d say he’s responsible for the order of magnitude.”

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 that could be found to fill the gap have been all but drained and that robust economic growth, which might cushion the blow, 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. 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.”

The article references some Democrats about what Jindal is doing, but also points out they are not alone in their assessment.

“That legislator is a Democrat, but Republicans say the same thing: that 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.”

Here’s what Jindal’s office says about his record as a tax-cutter and budget-slasher:

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.

Governor Jindal continues to instill fiscal discipline and responsible use of taxpayer money. As the Governor has said, “Pork-barrel spending does not have a place in our budget, and I will veto any projects that do not meet specific criteria.” Following the first regular session, Governor Jindal kept to his commitment and vetoed $16 million in non-governmental and governmental projects. Moreover, 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.”

Some in Louisiana are hoping Jindal succeeds in his presidential bid because that means he will leave the state and then others can begin to repair the damage he has done although they know the ill that can he can produce which would be devastating to a nation.