Monday, May 4, 2015

As Louisiana Struggles Jindal Eyes Presidental Run...

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Anyone else sense something might be wrong with this picture?

Bloomberg Politics - Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, a potential Republican presidential candidate, is trying to close a $1.6 billion budget hole without touching as much as $415,000 per episode in tax breaks that may be due to “Duck Dynasty.”

The A&E television reality show takes part in the nation’s most generous entertainment-tax credit program. Jindal is proposing no changes, arguing that reducing such breaks is tantamount to raising taxes. The state approves enough incentives each year to make up at least $200 million in proposed cuts that led Louisiana State University to say that it may plan for insolvency.

“You’re talking about between $200 million and $250 million a year that goes out the door to TV and film producers to come here and shoot their pictures, in a state where money is scarce,” said Jan Moller, director of the Louisiana Budget Project, which advocates policies that benefit low- and moderate-income people. “It’s irresponsible to let this part of the budget continue running amok at a time when they’re talking about closing college campuses.”

Jindal, who is expected to announce his presidential decision after the Louisiana legislature adjourns in June, has positioned himself as an anti-tax, limited-government stalwart who has resisted tax increases as even other Republican governors reluctantly turned to them. His stand on the film-tax credit shows how his ideology has shaped his governance.

Louisiana’s tattered finances are a consequence of years of short-term patches to a structural gap between expenses and revenue and the recent sag in oil prices in the energy-producing state.

The budget crisis is hurting Jindal, said Scott McKay, who publishes the Hayride, a Republican blog, in Baton Rouge.

“If you are looking for a Republican nominee for 2016, he’s a bad choice,” McKay said. “Republicans are supposed to balance budgets.” {emphasis mine}

“The budget has never really been one of Bobby’s things.”

Jindal, 43, became the first Indian-American governor in 2008 and was re-elected with 66 percent of the vote in 2011. His approval rating was 27 percent in March, according to a poll by Mississippi-based Triumph Campaigns.

Including his current proposed cuts, Jindal’s office says he has reduced state spending by $10 billion since 2008. Revenue still comes up short. Louisiana has been one of the slowest states to recover from the recession that ended in 2009. Its economic health eroded more than all but four other states, according to the Bloomberg Economic Evaluation of States.

The $1.6 billion shortfall, about 18 percent of the general fund, led Moody’s Investors Service to put a negative rating on Louisiana debt in February, in a report that said scaling back tax credits could close some of the gap.

Given what I know from managing a business, cases flow, and budgets, I'm certain I wouldn't consider Governor Jindal for a top executive position, much less for president of the United States of America. It seems a reasonable assessment that were he to be elected president the USA budget and economy just might fair as poorly as Louisiana's has under his leadership. I guess in Louisiana higher education just ain't all that important.


Via: Memeorandum

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