Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Rising "star" (Indian) politician does us proud by...

... sticking his head in the sand and attracting (negative) publicity! Governor Bobby Jindal has done precisely this by turning down on "principle" the $100 million from the stimulus plan for federal unemployment assistance for Louisiana state.

And the "principle" - "I don't think the best way to do that is for the government to tax and borrow more money. I think the best thing they could've done, for example, was to cut taxes on things like capital gains, the lower tax brackets, to get the private sector spending again... The $100 million we turned down was temporary federal dollars that would require us to change our unemployment laws. That would've actually raised taxes on Louisiana businesses."

Frank Rich, as always, delivers the indictment in style - "The Louisiana governor, alternately smug and jejune, articulated precisely the ideology... that Americans reject: the conviction that government is useless and has no role in an emergency. Given that the most mismanaged federal operation in modern memory was inflicted by a Republican White House on Jindal’s own state, you’d think he’d change the subject altogether... But like all zealots, Jindal is oblivious to how nonzealots see him. Pleading "principle", he has actually turned down some $100 million in stimulus money for Louisiana... and he can’t wait to be judged on "the results" of his heroic frugality... He’s rejecting aid for a state that ranks fourth in children living below the poverty line and 46th in high school graduation rates, while struggling with a projected budget shortfall of more than $1.7 billion."

The only consolation, if that is any, is that Jindal is in illustrious company - Eugene Fama, John Cochrane, Robert Barro...

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