Bobby Jindal on Budget & Economy

Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)


Cut the government economy to grow the American economy

Are we willing to cut the government economy so we can grow the American economy? We are on the path to socialism. We've got record dependents, a record number of Americans on food stamps, record low participation rate in the work force. Sending a big government Republican to DC is not enough to fix this problem. It's not enough to beat Hillary Clinton. We've got to change the direction of our country. What that means is let's shrink the government so we can grow the American economy.
Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

Wanting to cut is easy; actually cutting is harder

JINDAL: There's only one of us that's actually cut government spending. Not two, there's one, & you're looking at him. We've got 4 senators running. They've never cut anything in DC. We've got 7 current or former governors running. I'm the only one that has cut government spending. We've cut our budget 26%.

Gov. HUCKABEE: A lot of us have cut things. And during 2001 to 2003, we ended up cutting 11% out of the state budget through that recession so we didn't have to go in and raise a bunch of taxes. So it's just not accurate to say that nobody else up here has ever cut.

JINDAL: Mike, I share many of your social views, but your record as Governor tells a different story. In your time as Governor, spending in Arkansas went up 65%, number of state workers went up 20%, the taxes for the average citizen went up 47%. That's not a record of cutting. I'm saying we've actually cut. We reduced the size of our budget. So wanting to cut is one thing, actually cutting is a different thing. Facts don't lie.

Source: 2015 Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier GOP debate , Nov 10, 2015

I'm the only one who actually shrank government

Q: Why would your experience be valuable?

JINDAL: Republicans all tell you they want to shrink the size of government. Here's the truth--of all these folks talking, I'm the only one that has cut the size of government. There's not two of us, there's one of us. The rest of it is all just hot air. When politicians talk, we need to pay attention to what they do, not what they say.

Sen. RICK SANTORUM: I think it's one thing to shrink the size of a state government I'm the one that has actually gone to Washington, said we would shrink government, and actually delivered for the conservative cause.

Gov. GEORGE PATAKI: I shrunk the size of New York State's government when I left. We had reduced [state] employment by over 25,000 and cut taxes.

JINDAL: What we did is we cut state spending. We've cut our budget 26%, according to Cato and other analyses, the only candidate that's actually reduced government spending. We've got a choice: You grow the government economy or the American economy.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

$18 trillion debt means economy is running off a cliff

We are running off of a cliff. We'll be the next Greece. Over $18 trillion of debt, no wonder our economy has been stagnant. We haven't had real growth. I'm proud we cut taxes, we cut spending, 30,000 fewer state government bureaucrats than the day I took office. I absolutely will do that in DC.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Balance budgets by zero-based budgeting; they're not "cuts"

I explicitly want to shrink the size of government; 22 percent over 10 years. We cut our state budget 26% in eight years. We need to proudly say we're willing to cut taxes, shrink government. Government's the only place where you give them less money than they wanted, they count it as a cut. They take last year's budget. They add inflation. They call it a baseline. We need to do zero-based budgets. We need to say just because you got money last year, you don't have it this year.
Source: GOP "Your Money/Your Vote" 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Reduced size of government in Louisiana

Q: Your approval rating in Louisiana has hovered around 30%, stemming largely from how you handled a deficit of about $1.6 billion, a budget shortfall. Why should anyone look at your economic record and say that's what I want for the nation?

JINDAL: We actually measure prosperity according to how people are doing in the real world, not the government sector. In Louisiana, we have balanced our budget 8 years in a row without raising taxes. Largest income tax cut in our state's history. Secondly, we have cut our state budget by 26%, $9 billion and cut over 30,000 fewer state government bureaucrats. We've had eight credit upgrades. We've got more people working than ever before in Louisiana's history, earning a higher income than ever before. We've reversed 25 years of out-migration. You look at Louisiana's economy and we have $60 billion, 90,000 jobs coming into our state because of economic development wins.

Source: Fox News Sunday 2015 coverage of 2016 presidential hopefuls , Jul 12, 2015

Constitutional Amendment requiring a balanced federal budget

Jindal supports a Constitutional Amendment requiring a balanced federal budget. As president, Jindal's spending priority would be defense and he has called for increased military spending. While he has not recently outlined a specific approach to Medicare and Social Security, in 2005 Jindal supported President Bush's proposal to create voluntary personal savings accounts as an option for workers.
Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 24, 2015

Replace "obsession with zeroes" with growth strategy

Jindal presented a bit different approach from that taken by many other CPAC speakers. Jindal is a great believer in the strategy of growing our way out of fiscal crisis, rather than imposing severe spending cuts. "Today's conservatism is too wrapped up in solving the hideous mess that is the federal government," the Governor judged. "Our objective is to grow the private sector. We must not become the party of austerity, we must become the party of growth."

The debate between controlling government to rein it in, or make it even larger, is a debate Jindal sees Republicans trying to fight on the Democrats' terms. It is a "very small and short-sighted debate," he said. "If our vision isn't greater than that, we don't deserve to win."

Jindal cited the "fiscal cliff" as an example of conservatives falling into a "sideshow trap" & allowing Washington to take center stage over the rest of America. He doesn't see this "obsession with zeroes" and focus on spreadsheet politics as a winner for Republicans.

Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in "Human Events" , Mar 16, 2013

Invest the retirement benefits for teachers & state workers

We must also make investments in our state’s ever-growing cost of retirement benefits for teachers and state workers. This is a debt that will fall on our children if we do not make critical investments today. For every dollar we invest now, Louisiana will save more than four dollars in interest, reduce the burden on future generations, and fulfill our promises to our teachers and state workers so they are secure in their retirement.
Source: Second Special Session Speech , Mar 9, 2008

Encourage investment in our low-to-moderate income areas

We must also continue to encourage investment in our low-to-moderate income areas. New Markets Tax Credits encourage growth in lower income areas and investors responded--using the entire $50 million in credits authorized to attract $200 million in investments. We must reauthorize this program so investors do not now turn to other states, like Mississippi, which has authorized $15 million in credits a year. This investment is important for our continued recovery and growth across the entire state.
Source: Second Special Session Speech , Mar 9, 2008

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Page last updated: Mar 12, 2016