This may come under the heading of beating a dead horse, but if Piyush Jindal, henceforth known as the Brahman Brutus of the Republican Party, truly has the job he wants as he has repeated ad nauseum, then why the hell doesn’t he stay in Baton Rouge and do the job he was twice elected to do?
If Piyush will satisfactorily address this one question, then we promise to leave him alone.
Lest anyone think we’re sticking our neck out by offering to lay off this pathetic excuse for a governor, fear not: there’s no way on earth he can reconcile his job to his constantly trotting off in every direction on the compass to address national issues and the problems of the Republican Party.
There’s just no way he can square up the two diametrically opposed activities.
To the remaining Piyush loyalists (and the numbers, believe it or not, are shrinking, Jeff Sadow notwithstanding), ask yourselves one question;
If Piyush truly has his sights set on being governor of Louisiana for the next three-plus years, why do you think he ignores state media and only gives interviews to national media like Fox News, the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Politico and The Huffington Post?
Again, why does he refuse all state media requests for interviews?
• Do you really think the New York Times gives a flying fig about Louisiana’s projected $1 billion budgetary shortfall projected for next fiscal year?
• Do you cling to the faintest notion that CNN worries about the fate of Louisiana’s poor who are facing the loss of medical care because of the closure of state hospitals?
• Do you entertain any shred of belief that the Washington Post is even remotely concerned about that expanding sinkhole in Assumption Parish that swallows up more land each day while threatening the area with potentially explosive gases?
• Do you feel that Politico even knows about the incredibly senseless loss of about $5 billion a year in state revenues because of ill-advised tax breaks, exemptions and credits given to corporations who provide pitifully few jobs to Louisiana residents?
• And why do you think The Huffington Post should be concerned about 1,000 state employees who have been kicked to the curb by this administration (with still more to follow with the completed privatization of the Office of Group Benefits, the anticipated attempt again to sell or, in the alternative, close state prisons?
• Do you actually expect Fox News to investigate the appointment of former legislators to six-figure state jobs to beef up their retirement—jobs for which they are plainly unqualified or to ask probing questions about the awarding of the glut of six-figure salaried jobs in the Department of Education (DOE) to people who are allowed to work part time and to work from their homes in such places as Los Angeles and Tallahassee, Florida? Or to inquire into the hiring by DOE of a former Kansas City school official who left that system under a cloud after the awarding of a $37 million contract to an insider who had worked as a consultant on the project?
In the most recent spate of interviews, Piyush the Pontificator has been quite generous in his criticism of the Republican Party in general and Mitt Romney in particular after having campaigned for Romney with all due enthusiasm during the recent presidential campaign.
So, just where was he with all his sage wisdom during the campaign itself?
You see, you Piyush proponents, he was, as he has consistently been with most issues he has confronted, blindly naïve in foresight an 20/20 vision in hindsight. But he recovers so nicely that he thinks he never leaves a trace of his rumbling, bumbling, stumbling agenda.
Perhaps Bob Mann said it best in his recent post on his web blog Something Like the Truth http://bobmannblog.com/ when he compared Jindal to a passenger on the Titanic who, seeing the iceberg, conveniently ignored the danger but later was critical of the ship’s captain for his performance at the helm.
But let’s examine the record.
The only part of Piyush’s sweeping state employee retirement program reform package that passed during this year’s legislative session was the so-called “cash balance” plan where by new hires would come in after July 1, 2013 under a 401 (k)-type pension program.
Unclear—because the Piyush administration, in its headlong rush to reform, neglected to obtain a ruling on the IRS and Social Security status of the cash balance plan.
An adverse decision could force state employees—and the state—to contribute to both Social Security and Medicare, which would add to state employee and state costs.
The Louisiana State Employees Retirement System (LASERS) board voted last week to ask the legislature to delay the July 1 start of the new program because the administration has yet to request a clarification of the IRS and Social Security status.
State employees do not pay into Social Security and thus, unless they have sufficient quarters in the private sector, do not currently qualify for Social Security benefits or Medicare.
The IRS determination period does not begin until February, according to Maris LeBlanc, deputy director of LASERS. It is not clear how long it will take to obtain a determination and LeBlanc said to her knowledge, the Social Security equivalency letter, which is required from the administration, has not been submitted.
Division of Administration (DOA) spokesman Michael DiResto said DOA would submit the letter regarding that status to federal officials this week.
The Louisiana Retired State Employees Association (LRSEA) has filed a lawsuit challenging the legislation was approved without the legally-required two-thirds vote because there was a cost involved in implementing the new program.
House Speaker Chuck “the Genuflecting Gelding” Kleckley (R-Lake Charles), predictably parroting the Piyush position, maintains there was no extra cost in the implementation and that a simple majority vote was sufficient.
The legislature’s own actuary, however, differs with Kleckley and Piyush, making the determination that there was a cost.
So, who do you believe: the one who is paid to evaluate the cost of legislation or the one who desperately wants to cling to his political appointment as House Speaker?
Meanwhile, you can look for Piyush on any major network news program—because he has the job he loves.