Bobby Jindal, Louisiana's anti-gay, social conservative governor and a rising star in the Republican Party, says "F---k You!" to the thousands of unemployed in his state. Over the weekend, the governor announced he would reject nearly $100 million in unemployment insurance funding from the federal government—funding that would have benefited at least 25,000 unemployed Louisiana residents.
The federal aid was part of the Economic Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the economic stimulus bill signed by President Barack Obama the week before last. Jindal rationalized his decision by claiming "expanding unemployment benefits would result in tax increases for businesses." The bizarre decision was "explained" in a virtual press release.
The Governor said the state will not use a portion of the stimulus package that requires the state to change its law to expand unemployment insurance (UI) coverage to qualify for up to $32.8 million of the federal stimulus funding because it ultimately would result in a tax increase on Louisiana businesses.
On Meet the Press yesterday morning, Jindal blamed Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the President, claiming the spending bill will not "work" for the "benefit" of the American people. Clearly the money targeting his state would have created "benefits" for at least 25,000 unemployed people, but, what are a few facts to right-wingers.
Jindal has been tapped to deliver the Republican Party response to President Barack Obama’s speech before a joint session of Congress tomorrow. Democrats in Louisiana say Jindal's decision gives him conservative street cred as possible presidential contender in 2012. Jindal needs to choose "whether to represent the state of Louisiana or be the spokesman" for the national Republican Party, says Louisiana Lt. Gov., Mitch Landrieu(D).