Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has backed away from his budget plan to eliminate the state’s income and corporate taxes while raising the sales tax and heavily cutting health care and education. Jindal’s approval rating has dropped to 38%, while support for his plan was at 27%.
Jindal is also one of the GOP governors refusing to expand Medicaid under Obamacare, even though the federal government initially pays for the entire expansion and subsequently pays for almost all of it. Businesses support the expansion — why wouldn’t they want a healthier work force?
Jindal’s failed budget in some ways makes him a canary in the coal mine for GOP policies. He’s very much in line with his party and groups like the Club for Growth, but not so much with his red state’s voters, who saw his budget as giving to the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class.
If Jindal really hopes to run in 2016, he needs to thread the needle of re-gaining his popularity at home while hewing to GOP orthodoxy.
The GOP seems to think its hope come from its governors, but when you try to enact its principles in the states, people don’t like the results. It’s much easier for a congressman like Paul Ryan or senator like Rand Paul to spout this inequality-extending stuff in theory than to live with its unfair consequences in practice.