Since the Republicans loss of the 2012 election Gov. Bobby Jindal has immediately set his sights on the Presidency. In recent interviews Gov. Jindal has said that Republicans must end “dumbed-down conservatism”and stop being the “stupid” party.While it’s great to hear that the Gov. Jindal is interested in fighting for all of Louisiana, his record here in Louisiana has been all about protecting the rich-particularly his donors. Unfortunately, Governor Jindal is the least accountable, accessible and transparent governor since Huey Long. Maybe this new epiphany will make the governor more accessable.
Louisiana ranks sixth among states with the largest economic income disparity.
The average income of the richest 5% in Louisiana is 14.1% larger than the income of the bottom 20%.
Under Gov. Jindal much of the tax code has been written to favor corporations.
So how can Governor Jindal be for the 100% of Louisiana citizens?
1. Governor Jindal can repeal the Louisiana Science and Education Act. This is the same Jindal who, in 2008, signed the Louisiana Science Education Act, which also sounds good on the surface. The act allows local school boards to approve supplemental materials for public school science classes as they discuss evolution, cloning and global warming. Though marketed as support for critical thinking in classrooms, the law was actually designed to open the door to teach creationism and scientifically unwarranted critiques of evolution in Louisiana public school science classes.
2. Governor Jindal can ensure working families have access to affordable care.
Jindal has formally rejected the health care exchange set forth in the Affordable Care Act(ACA), making good on a statement he made during the presidential campaign.
The exchanges were a centerpiece of the Affordable Care Act(ACA). Once implemented on the state level, exhanges would provide a way for health insurance companies to compete with each other while meeting government standards, and let citizens apply for subsidies that will lower their health care costs. Even very vocal critics of the ACA like Gov. Rick Scott from Florida are now reconsidering their positions. Governor Jindal can expand access to 400,000 Louisiana citizens and even more through the health care exchange.
Governor Jindal can focus on tax fairness and job creation for Louisiana’s working families, instead of just tax giveaways to giant corporations.
3. Governor Jindal can focus on reducing poverty by expanding the state earned income tax credit for Louisiana’s working families.
The Governor can address tax fairness in the 2013 legislative session by enacting the following policies that can help protect working families here in Louisiana:
· Eliminate Tax Loopholes and unnecessary exemptions.
· Reinstate the STELLY tax brackets.
· Enhance the earned income tax credit and child tax credit for working families.
· Fund the health care system by raising taxes on tobacco, alcohol, and gambling.
(Reprinted from LouisianaProgress 11/16/12)