You shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but Gov. Bobby Jindal was right to scrutinize certain aspects of the federal government’s economic stimulus plan. Specifically, Jindal has been critical of a portion of funds tied to an expansion of state unemployment benefits. Acceptance of these funds (a potential $100 million for Louisiana) requires permanent changes to eligibility requirements, and in 2010, when the federal money dries up, the state could be left with an unfunded mandate to the tune of $12 million-a-year. Clearly not the gift it appeared to be.
Gov. Bobby Jindal has been roundly panned for his Republican response to President Obama, which as one critic put it, sounded like “Mr. Rogers meets Howdy Doody.” Geeky delivery aside, Jindal’s speech was supposed to lay out conservative solutions for the country; it inexplicably focused instead on his own birth, Hurricane Katrina and government spending on “something called volcano monitoring.” Here’s some unsolicited political advice for the guv: Please don’t feign ignorance about monitoring for natural disasters, especially after bringing up Katrina.
After going almost three weeks without a verbal gaffe, Vice President Joe Biden was back in form last week. Responding to Gov. Jindal’s criticisms of the Obama administration’s economic stimulus package on CBS’ Early Show, Biden said, “But what I don’t understand from Gov. Jindal is what would he do? In Louisiana, there’s 400 people a day losing their jobs. What’s he doing?” A better question is, where is Biden getting his information? According to the most recent numbers from the Louisiana Workforce Commission, Louisiana added 3,700 jobs in December ’08 — the only state in the nation to experience employment growth that month.