Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is turning down $90 million in stumulus funds that would have helped 25,000 Louisianans in need:
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.
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.
So there you have it–the ‘Party of No’ in action. To Bobby Jindal, keeping corporate taxes low is worth leaving 25,000 of his own citizens out in the cold.
Of course, Jindal’s supposedly-principled opposition to the stimulus won’t keep him from taking the rest of the funds slated for his state; he’s just rejecting that which would have helped those with the most need.
I think they have a saying down there in Louisiana for something like this–‘Heckuva job, Bobby.’