Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Cleaning up the Post-Mardi Gras Mess Part 1 of 2
The bulldozers have been mobilized to clean up the Quarter.
Yesterday was President Obama's speech to Congress about the Global Financial Crisis. All in all, the reviews seem to be positive. I've only skimmed it so far.
You also can't mention Obama's speech without going over Governor Jindal's speech. This speech pretty much marked the end of Governor Jindal's term as Governor of Louisiana and the beginning of his primary campaign for the Republican nomination in 2012. Forget about him putting the interests of the state before the interests of his political future. Just out of curiosity, did Governor Jindal have his usual mile-a-minute speaking speed? Here's one parody of Jindal already up.
While I confess I haven't finished either speech, I've been reading a lot leading up to the speeches.
At first, Jindal wanted to turn down an extra $25/month for the unemployed (paid for 100% with federal money) claiming it was "welfare." Keep in mind, Louisiana's unemployment system is one of the most bare-bones in the country. The payments tend to be half as large as, say New York's, because Louisiana always wanted to have the lowest possible tax burden for businesses.
If low tax burdens spawned businesses, it would be Louisiana, not California, that has the world's 10th largest economy. Imagine were we'd be on this list if it weren't for all the oil in our backyard. But, don't tell that to Jindal. He adores Bush's economic record and thinks that tax cuts to the wealthy are the best stimulus possible for the economy. Look at what the Bush tax cuts did!
Democrats are seizing on Jindal's hypocrisy of only objecting to a small portion of the stimulus (and only objecting to those portions that would most please the Base). They're calling Louisiana, not unjustifiably, a "Poverty Stricken State" that can't afford to give the ambitious Governor the luxury of turning down millions of dollars. It's also ironic he's objecting to the arts money when our biggest cultural event (Mardi Gras, with it's Billion dollar+ economic impact) is going on.
If Congress got serious about forcing the governors to "take it or leave it," things would get very interesting.
UPDATE- Oyster rounds up the brutal critiques of the Governor's speech last night. One of the headlines was "Jindal's Speech: Panned, Seared." Ouch.
UPDATE 2- Oh no, Kenneth the Page responds: