The reason Scott Walker is facing a huge projected budget deficit? Supply sides unpaid for tax cuts, the inability to increase any kind of tax due to a think tank pledge, and borrowing. This is getting old.
While Walker blamed others for plagiarizing economic solutions, his own copy of that decade’s old GOP plan is now playing out nationally in Republican states...and failing miserably. It should set off alarms here in Wisconsin. Oddly, each of the Republican governors facing economic failure are promising to bring their plans to the White House.
I've focused in past on Gov. Scott Walker, Chris Christie and Sam Brownback. Today it’s Bobby Jindal’s turn. See if any of the following sounds familiar:
AP: Year after year, Louisiana didn't have enough money to cover its expenses, yet Gov. Bobby Jindal refused to roll back income tax cuts or ever-increasing corporate tax breaks. Instead, he raided reserve funds and sold off state property.
Jindal suggested job growth from his economic development wins would replenish those assets once the recession ended. It hasn't — and money from the lucrative oil industry has taken a nose dive with crude prices. Now, the Republican is running out of short-term patches and is struggling to plug a $1.6 billion budget hole just as he tries to build support for a possible 2016 presidential run.
Yes, that's still not enough to kill a presidential run. If that wasn't enough of a carbon copy of Scott Walker’s current problems (reflected in his cuts to the UW and refusal to expand Medicaid), look at what Jindal is doing:
Funding for higher education and health care services will almost certainly be subject to cuts deeper than what they already have endured in recent years, and Jindal's successor will have to repay a string of debts and IOUs. As for Jindal, he said in a recent interview that the shortfall isn't his fault, and he dodged any talk of his temporary fixes.
"They've used all the smoke that was in the can and all the mirrors that they could buy and now they're out of tricks. Their solution is to gut higher education like a fish," said Republican state Treasurer John Kennedy.
The same old bullshit:
More than $1 billion of the shortfall can be tied to Jindal's refusal to match the state's spending to its yearly revenue over his two terms in office, as he also steadfastly refused to consider tax increases. When Jindal took office in 2008, he decried budget shell games akin to "using your credit card to pay your mortgage." It didn't take long to ditch that rhetoric.
Republicans come to their own rescue…isn't that getting old.
"Our budget has been full of sleights of hand — it's almost a Ponzi scheme of moving moneys around, one-time money around, to serve recurring needs," said Lt. Gov. Jay Dardenne, one of the Republicans vying to be Louisiana's next governor.
One solution; cutting jobs?
The governor has successfully trimmed some spending by cutting more than 30,000 full-time state employees. He's reduced the state's vehicle fleet, privatized much of the Medicaid program, turned over the state's charity hospitals to outside managers … Jindal's short-term solutions leave a string of debts for Louisiana's next governor to pay off. Economic development deals will cost the next governor at least $340 million over his first four years.
New money hasn't rolled in. The escalating price tag for tax breaks has only made things worse. Jindal signed off on the largest individual income tax cut in Louisiana history, stripping hundreds of millions from the state treasury at the same time the national recession hit.
The Dumb-ass Supply Side Solution...again: If the tax and spending cuts fail, cut spending and taxes even more?
"Well, tell me what you want to cut,'" said Senate Finance Committee Chairman Jack Donahue, a Republican. "'Is it higher education? Or is it health care? What university do you want to close?' The truth is, from a political standpoint, that's not possible."