It’s one thing when Gov. Bobby scoots off to Iowa or Georgia or appears at a CPAC conference or on Faux News to spin his laughable look how great I am distortions about the “Louisiana Miracle.” It’s quite another when respected publications like the Washington Post or the New York Times, or even USA Today (aka McNewspaper) allow him space in their op-ed pages to spread his bovine excrement.
Gov. Bobby’s latest attempt to give unsuspecting readers and blind loyalists in the other 49 states his view of Louisiana through those rose-colored glasses is an op-ed in USA Today in which he, apparently oblivious to shame or any sense of irony, bloviates that he has succeeded in his promise “to make the economy bigger and the government smaller” and that he accomplished “what the federal government has failed to do.” http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/03/08/tax-cuts-louisiana-gov-bobby-jindal-editorials-debates/24613069/
If you’re into gallows humor, you’ll love these excerpts from his piece which, if we didn’t know better, was written for Comedy Central rather than a national newspaper. Here are a few of the accomplishments for which he takes credit and which the rest of us somehow missed:
- Balanced budgets. (WTF? Does a $1.6 billion deficit looked balanced to anyone else? Does patching the budget all seven years of his administration with one-time money appear “balanced”?)
- (We have) over 30,000 fewer state workers, than when we took office in 2008. Well, not quite. The actual figures, according to the Department of Civil Service, show that 13,577 positions have been abolished and 8,396 state employees have been laid off. The difference between abolished positions and layoffs can be attributed to targeting vacant positions for abolishment. So the actual reduction in the number of employees is 72 percent lower than his claims. Just another Jindal lie.ELIMINATED STATE POSITIONS BY YEAR
- Louisiana’s economy is stronger than ever. (Wait. What? The last time we looked, the median household income in Louisiana was eighth lowest in the nation and our poverty rate the third highest with 10.7 percent of all households reporting an income of less than $10,000 per year.
- Louisiana has received eight credit rating upgrades. (Both Moody’s and Standard & Poor are threatening to degrade the state’s credit rating. Sarah Palin’s lipstick on a pig comment comes to mind here. It would be interesting to see how you square your pontifications with the facts here.)
- Louisiana’s economy has grown nearly twice as fast as the national economy. (Quite simply, a lie. All surveys show the state’s economic growth rate to be slower than the nation as a whole and the state is generally ranked 34th. In fact the nation’s GDP growth in 2013 was 1.8 percent, compared to Louisiana’s 1.3 percent. Even Mississippi’s was higher.)
- We have outlined ways to minimize budget reductions to vital services such as higher education and health care. (Tuition at state colleges has increased 52 percent, eighth highest in the nation, since Gov. Bobby took office and his refusal to accept Medicaid expansion has deprived health care to 270,000 Louisiana residents and forced the closure of one of Baton Rouge’s busiest emergency rooms.) http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=4135
- “I do not measure Louisiana’s success by the prosperity of our government. I measure it by the prosperity of our people.” (That being the case, you are a colossal flop as a leader, politician, governor, and as a human being because it is your policies that have mired this state in the mud of mediocrity. You have deliberately set this state on a disastrous course—a course which you, for whatever reasons, continue to defend—of destruction. You have destroyed higher education, you have destroyed health care, you have destroyed the state’s infrastructure, you have destroyed the economy, you have destroyed a $500 million reserve fund set aside to guarantee uninterrupted medical care for state employees, retirees and their dependents, you have obliterated a $1 billion surplus when you took office seven years ago, somehow turning it into a $1.6 billion deficit. And worse than all that, you have turned your back on your people and the job they elected you to do so that you might continue on your fool’s errand of chasing an impossible dream of become president while the metaphorical crops rot in the fields back home.)
As a means of returning to reality, Gov. Bobby might wish to take a look at the USA Today poll that accompanied his latest work of fiction. At last check by LouisianaVoice, the poll showed that 13 percent of readers strongly agreed with Gov. Bobby while 3 percent simply agreed. Two percent had no clue while 9 percent disagreed and 73 percent strongly disagreed. Bottom line: 16 percent were in accord on some level with what he wrote while a whopping 82 percent weren’t buying.
Gov. Bobby, it should be pointed out, has opposed equal pay for women, rejected grants that would have gone to early childhood development and to expand broadband internet services in rural areas of the state, rejected a federal grant to help develop a high-speed rail line between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and robbed funds from state agencies in order to patch over budget holes—things he never mentions in those stand up comedy acts at CPAC or in his op-ed pieces.
Even USA Today, apparently feeling some remorse for giving Gov. Bobby a stage on which to spew his rhetoric, was compelled to run its own piece in which it pointed out that not all is well in the land of gumbo and Mardi Gras. http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2015/03/08/tax-cuts-state-louisiana-gov-jindal-kansas-gov-brownback-editorials-debates/24616613/
“Louisiana’s jobless rate has gone from much better than the national rate in 2008 to much worse,” the paper said, adding that Gov. Bobby “cherry-picks the years” on the economic growth rates and “doesn’t mention that since 2010, the state has lagged behind the national recovery.”
Pointing out that both Louisiana and Kansas have implemented huge tax cuts, USA Today says, “The results have been dismal. Growth has been sluggish in both states, and the plunge in revenue has devastated both states’ budgets.”
Recently, the Baton Rouge Advocate reported that Gov. Bobby spent 45 percent of 2014 outside the state as he chased the Republican president nomination. Jim Beam, writing in the Lake Charles American Press, said that in addition to becoming a national and international political critic, Gov. Bobby “continued to tell the rest of the world how great things were going back home. His listeners seldom bothered to check the facts.” http://www.americanpress.com/Beam-column-3-8-15
Beam, who has been around the state’s political scene for decades, noted that under Gov. Bobby, tax credits, exemptions and breaks given to business and industry which were projected to produce increased state revenue have not done so despite a cost of almost $7 billion per year.
After enduring seven years of non-stop sliding into economic and political oblivion under this administration, we have some unsolicited advice for Gov. Bobby:
Your term of office will end in approximately 10 months. Back the U-Haul up to the governor’s mansion, pile your belongings in it and hit I-10 and keep going. Don’t stop until you have settled in Iowa, New Hampshire, at some think tank in Washington, or on the Faux News set. Anywhere but Louisiana. Take Timmy Teepell, LABI apologist Steve Waguespack (who apparently does not believe in the First Amendment and who believes a college professor has no right to an opinion or the right to write a political column on his own time), and Kristy Nichols with you.
And please, whatever you do….don’t come back.
….And there’s really no need to wait until next January since you’ve already quit.