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April 08, 2013 5:15 PM The Jindal Tax Plan Crashes

By Ed Kilgore

Lo, have the mighty fallen! Bobby Jindal, bedeviled by rapidly falling approval ratings on every front, officially threw in the towel on his burden-shifting tax plan in the speech opening the 2013 Louisiana legislative session. Here’s a nice one-graph analysis from the New Orleans Times-Picayune’s Jeff Adelson:

The speech is a major concession that Jindal’s proposal, a complicated plan contained in a total of 11 bills, is unpopular both within and outside the Legislature. The proposal has come under increasingly heavy fire in recent weeks as business groups and advocates for the poor have assailed its effects and think tanks have questioned whether the math in the proposal adds up.

Other than that, it was all clear sailing.

Even in his surrender, Jindal was as devious as ever:

[H]ere is what I’ve heard from you and from the people of Louisiana — yes, we do want to get rid of the income tax, but governor you’re moving too fast and we aren’t sure that your plan is the best way to do it.
“So I’ve thought about that. And it certainly wasn’t the reaction I was hoping to hear. And now I’m going to give you my response and it’s not the response people are accustomed to hearing from politicians.
“Here is my response: ‘Ok, I hear you,’ ” according to the text of the speech. “So I am going to park my tax plan.”
Jindal’s surrender, however, is only partial. In the speech, the governor continues to call for a bill to eliminate the income tax, though he said he will leave the specifics up to the Legislature.

Well, yeah, people will say they are for eliminating taxes if there no other taxes are created or raised, or spending cut, to offset the lost revenues. I’m sure that if he listened, Bobby could hear Louisianans say they’d love to get rid of the sales taxes he wanted to boost.

But it’s reasonably clear his gambit to tell low-to-moderate income people they needed to suck it up and bear more of the cost of government so as to lure in more job-creators didn’t wash. If there’s some Plan B he’d support that doesn’t basically involve that formula, he needs to say so.

Ed Kilgore is a contributing writer to the Washington Monthly. He is managing editor for The Democratic Strategist and a senior fellow at the Progressive Policy Institute. Find him on Twitter: @ed_kilgore.

Comments

  • Josef K on April 08, 2013 5:42 PM:

    I confess, I'm flirting semi-seriously about emigrating. To Mars. Without an environment suit.

    Yes, I'll die a slow death of combined hypothermia and suffocation. At this point I'm hard pressed to see the difference between that fate and the slow-unfolding horror our politics has become.

  • Peter C on April 08, 2013 5:59 PM:

    It is stunning how Republicans seem to be able to hear what they want to hear. Even though the whole state seems to be saying that they hate his plan, Jindal hears that it's only the specifics that have been rejected and not the fundamental thinking that undergirds it.

    It is as if he were saying, "Yes, I know I scored lowest on the talent competition, but that's because I wore a chartreuse kaftan which doesn't match my eyes. If I'd worn another color, my ukulele-accompanied rendition of Tiny Tim's classic 'Tip Toe through the Tulips' would certainly have won!"

  • c u n d gulag on April 08, 2013 6:18 PM:

    Peter C,
    His plan was a well received, as if he had played "Ode To Joy" on his chainsaw at the holiday festival.

    Look on the bright side, Booby J, at least you'll still have Wingnut Welfare to take care of you for the rest of your life.

    No SSDI for YOU - even if, with YOUR brains, or lack thereof, you could probably qualify for a mental disability benefit.

  • Jay C on April 08, 2013 6:22 PM:

    ...his gambit to tell low-to-moderate income people they needed to suck it up and bear more of the cost of government so as to lure in more job-creators didn’t wash.

    Gee, ya think? Has this (trite, stale) formulation EVER worked in Louisiana - or any other state? Yet Republicans the length and breadth of America still cling to this inane sloganeering as if it were Holy Writ.....

  • C.S. on April 08, 2013 6:29 PM:

    Hee-hee . . . "bedeviled."

  • drouse on April 08, 2013 10:16 PM:

    That last sentence explains it all. Absolutely under no circumstances will a republican support any kind of Plan B.

  • swampwiz on April 09, 2013 2:56 AM:

    I wonder if the reason that eliminating the income tax spurs job creation is due to the single fact that a wealthy business owner would prefer to live in such a no income tax state to one with an income tax for the simple reason that he personally would pay less in tax.

  • Sgt. Gym Bunny on April 09, 2013 8:42 AM:

    “Here is my response: ‘Ok, I hear you,’ ” according to the text of the speech. “So I am going to park my tax plan.”

    In his best Ahh-nold voice, he should have just said: I'll be back.

    Either he or various other GOP minions are just laying in wait to revive this sucker when no one is looking.