I’m pretty sure that for the remainder of the time Bobby Jindal has in office, there will be no shortage of things he does for me to write about. After all, it’s pretty funny how the guy who implored the Republican Party to “stop being the stupid party” has continued to embarrass himself and, even more so, the state of Louisiana which suffers from an acute case of Stockholm Syndrome when it comes to conservative ideologies – trickle-down economics being one of them.
Just yesterday the state’s education website, louisianabelieves.com, was down for a period of time due to failure to renew the domain with the web host – and that’s just another one out of countless examples of how poorly the Jindal Administration is running the state of Louisiana.
To be fair, Louisiana hasn’t been a model for efficient and trustworthy government, not by a long shot. However, it is a very good example of how conservative policies combined with corrupt lawmakers have made a bad situation even worse. Better yet, Bobby Jindal has done all of us a favor and shown us exactly what happens when trickle-down economics are put into practice, at the expense of Louisiana citizens.
Over and over again, we’ve heard many Republican politicians (including Bobby Jindal) say that in order to boost the economy and increase revenue, we have to lower taxes. Once we do all of that, trickle-down economics would come into play and everyone would live happily ever after. With the wealth of all that oil offshore and the petrochemical factories that line the Mississippi and Calcasieu rivers, you’d think Louisiana would be swimming in revenue. Instead, we are once again looking at a huge revenue deficit, even while other states are starting to see a budget surplus.
While some states have started to see their first budget surpluses since the recession, Louisiana’s budget forecasts have been in the red every year since Jindal took office in 2008. Over the last six years, he has pitched cost-cutting ideas from selling state buildings to privatizing prisons. (Source)
Now here’s the juicy part; go to page 57 of the budget. Now look at the total projected revenue for the fiscal year 2014-2015. Are you seeing what I’m seeing? Almost $72 million less in corporate taxes and about $146 million more coming through personal income tax.
In fact, Louisiana’s system solidly places the brunt of taxation on the backs of individuals through income taxes and sales tax, while the state collects almost 50% more revenue through the casinos than they do off corporations! Back in the 2005-2006 budget which was put together shortly before Katrina hit, approximately 6x more money was collected via personal income tax than corporate – now it is almost double that. Oh, and Louisiana also had a balanced budget. It is worth noting that this was before the recession and Katrina. However, since then, many other states have managed to start running surpluses again while the Jindal Administration runs billion dollar deficits, despite taking in almost $10 billion in federal money this year alone.
I know that a lot of people get up in arms and take to social media in response to the latest dumb or inflammatory remark made by Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh or Ann Coulter – but this is where the real outrage should be. We have been told over and over again that corporations are taxed too much. We’ve been told that if only we would ease their burden, trickle-down economics would come into play and we would be awash in a sea of well-paying jobs. Yet, over and over again, Louisiana is proof that trickle-down economics is nothing more than a steaming pile of bovine excrement.
Here in Louisiana, Bobby Jindal has firmly placed taxes on the backs of the people and not the corporations. There is no trickle-down happening, except for Bobby pissing on our leg and telling us it’s raining. Poverty in Louisiana continues to get worse with one in five families living below the poverty level while corporations are busy collecting handouts from the government. Granted, things weren’t great before Jindal, but he has certainly taken the state down a new, and far worse, path. He even went so far as to sign a law absolving oil companies for damages they may cause to various parishes within the state. It just so happened that his brother works for one of the law firms that was representing BP.
What’s even more absurd is that there are people who believe Bobby Jindal is qualified to be president, including Bobby himself, who has been out palling around with Mike Huckabee and courting the religious right ahead of the 2016 primaries.
Last year, Governor Jindal made the remark that President Obama could learn something from Louisiana as part of a speech he made ahead of President Obama’s trip to New Orleans. Perhaps he’s right, we can all learn something from Louisiana and Bobby Jindal – and that is trickle-down economics is nothing more than a massive scam.
You can read the entirety of the Louisian 2014-2015 budget here: http://www.doa.louisiana.gov/opb/pub/FY15/FY15_Executive_Budget.pdf
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