Minister of Science and Chief Protector of the Faith

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bobby Jindal Doesn't Care About Poor People


Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has announced that he will decline stimulus money specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse any part of the federal government's payout to states.

When President Obama signed the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act last week, it included three different provisions to benefit unemployed workers. The first provided funding to states that allowed for a $25 per week increase in benefits. The second extended the Emergency Unemployment Compensation (EUC) program which gives 20 weeks of federally-funded unemployment benefits to individuals "who had already collected all regular state benefits," while the third provision widened the pool of people eligible to receive unemployment benefits.

Today, however, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal announced his intention to oppose changing state law to allow his Lousiana citizens to qualify for the second two unemployment provisions. Jindal said the state would only be accepting money to increase the unemployment insurance payments for those who currently qualify for unemployment insurance.

In all, Jindal turned away nearly $100 million in federal aid for his state's unemployed residents. Further, as the National Employment Law Project projected on Febuary 13, EUC extension alone would have benefited 24,981 Louisiana residents. Jindal justified his decision by claiming that expanding unemployment benefits would result in tax increases for businesses. In a press release, the governor's office explained:

The Governor said the state will not use a portion of the stimulus package that requires the state to change its law to expand unemployment insurance (UI) coverage to qualify for up to $32.8 million of the federal stimulus funding because it ultimately would result in a tax increase on Louisiana businesses.

But it is not clear why participating in the expanded unemployment insurance program would result in tax increases for business. By Jindal's own estimate, the recovery package would have funded his state's unemployment expansion for three years, at which point the state could — if it chose to do so — phase out the program.

As New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin suggested earlier today, perhaps Jindal's presidential ambitions are "clouding" his judgement. "I think he's been tapped as the up-and-coming Republican to petition a run for president the next time it goes around. So he has a certain vernacular, and a certain way he needs to talk right now," Nagin said.

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At Mon Feb 23, 10:47:00 AM, Blogger ThoughtCriminal said...

One lesson that the GOP did not learn. Pandering to stupid may get you the GOP nomination, but that has become the National Booby Prize.

At Mon Feb 23, 12:46:00 PM, Blogger Darius Whiteplume said...

Maybe he doesn't think Dumb-ya fucked his state hard enough after Katrina?

At Mon Feb 23, 01:48:00 PM, Blogger Comrade Kevin said...

Hey, wait! That isn't Gandhi in a towel!

I've been deceived!

At Mon Feb 23, 05:54:00 PM, Blogger Lisa said...

Oh, sure, he'll turn down the money for his state, but I noticed that he didn't turn down the fancy schmancy dinner served at the White House last night. Some convictions he's got there.

At Mon Feb 23, 06:05:00 PM, Blogger FranIAm said...

I am so sending this link to my blogfriend Grandmere Mimi, the doyenne of blogging of Louisiana.

Jindal is Catholic. Clearly he is giving up stimulus for Lent.

Oh wait, I think that means something else.

At Mon Feb 23, 06:14:00 PM, Blogger Grandmère Mimi said...

Alas! For me, a resident of the wacko's state, this is too true to be really funny. It is, but it isn't, if you know what I mean. It's brilliant, anyway. What an asshole. I hope it's all right to say that. If it's not, then delete.

At Tue Feb 24, 09:33:00 AM, Blogger Randal Graves said...

Hey, you'd be sick and tired of poor people taking all that money, too, because now they're rich and a real threat to the nation's stability!

At Tue Feb 24, 06:01:00 PM, Blogger Utah Savage said...

If only he'd give his rebuttal to the President tonight in that outfit.

At Tue Feb 24, 10:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A politician refusing free money on principal? Did hell just freeze over?

At Wed Feb 25, 06:11:00 AM, Blogger Dr. Zaius said...

ThoughtCriminal: Indeed! They may be protecting the base, but the GOP is batsh*t crazy!

Darius Whiteplume: He will get the GOP nomination, no matter how many poor people he has to step on!

Comrade Kevin: Indeed, Sahib. It is just another rabid Republican in a sari!

Lisa: Oh, he doesn't mind the federal government taking care of him, he just objects to the federal government taking care of poor people!

FranIAm: I am not sure that the meaning of lent takes into account political posturing at the expense of your constituents...

Grandmère Mimi: You are a resident of Gov. Jindal's state? My condolences! :o)

Randal Graves: They got rich on unemployment? I don't think so...

Utah Savage: Ha! That would be great! :o)

Jang-chub Ozer: A politician refusing free money based on political posturing, more like! ;o)

At Wed Feb 25, 07:59:00 AM, Blogger Darius Whiteplume said...

There is a bit of anti-Indian sentiment in this country, even if you do sound like a southern white boy. Let them run him, His Palin-esque qualities will rise to the surface, especially when she starts laying into him (by Palin-esque I mean douche-like :-)


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