The Governor of Louisiana, Bobby Jindal has taken some time to actually look at the stimulus package and discovered that, surprise… there are strings attached to the federal funds being thrown at the states. Specifically, Jindal will reject $100 million dollars in unemployment benefits as acceptance of that money will require a permanent change to the state’s unemployment laws that will cost Louisiana businesses money in the long term.
Operational pause: A Republican governor… from Louisiana… of Indian descent… speaking with a slight southern drawl. Doggone it, we love this country.
Jindal sits at one end of the spectrum of GOP governors struggling with the lure of not-so-free money from the Feds while our very own Arnold Schwarzenegger is firmly planted in the Hell Yeah! wing of the Republican Party. Proving that any nod toward fiscal restraint with the recently-passed state budget was pure B.S., Arnie is already pushing for universal health care for all Californians even though it would require new taxes… not the new taxes that just got approved but, you know, newer new taxes. From the National Governors Association meetings this weekend:
“Even though it is against your principles or philosophy,” Schwarzenegger said, he believes officeholders should “do what the people want you to do rather than getting stuck in your ideology.”There’s that word again. The talking points have gone out and so it is that opposing porkulus is clinging stubbornly to an ideology. Never mind the fact that Republicans have abandoning this ideology to thank for the electoral wilderness in which they now wander, it’s as if Schwarzenegger and the rest do not believe that saddling future generations with mountains of debt, serving at the mercy of Chinese creditors and enabling the massive expansion of the federal government bears any pragmatic significance... or consequences.
And Charlie Crist of Florida continues to kiss goodbye any chances he has at a larger GOP stage:
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist also appeared on “Meet the Press” and immediately rejected Jindal's approach.
“There is a national leader; his name is President Obama,” said Crist, who campaigned with Obama for the stimulus package in his state. “I think we do need to be bipartisan. We need to be, in fact, nonpartisan.”
Crist duly notes that the Republican governors that supported porkulus were from states that voted for Obama and those Republican governors that have been critical of it (Jindal, Palin, Sanford-South Carolina, Perry-Texas) are from states that voted for McCain. We’ll leave it to the readers to decide if there is any insight to be divined from the socio-political culture and voting tendencies of these respective states.