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Jindal: Extreme Ideologue or Betting on Failure?

February 22, 2009

Politico is reporting that:

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announced Friday that he will decline stimulus money specifically targeted at expanding state unemployment insurance coverage, becoming the first state executive to officially refuse any part of the federal government’s payout to states…

…“The federal money in this bill will run out in less than three years for this benefit and our businesses would then be stuck paying the bill,” Jindal said. “We must be careful and thoughtful as we examine all the strings attached to the funding in this package. We cannot grow government in an unsustainable way.”

I’m not sure what to make of this.  It doesn’t seem like it has much political appeal to voters who aren’t extremely fiscally conservative.  It’s one thing to say that you don’t like “government hand outs,” but  entirely different to actually turn one down when you need it.  I tend to look at everything Jindal does through the lens of a potential future Presidential candidate.  This seems like another republican bet against the stimulus, or a move based in a deep belief in conservative philosophy that could make him wildly unpopular.

If you know more about LA politics and can offer some insights into how this will be received, please leave a comment and let me know…

As a side note, I like Schwarzeneggar’s position on the governors who might turn down stimulus funding:

“Everyone has their own way of thinking.  I just hope they give me their funding.”

Update: NYT covers more reaction from Governors

Update 2: Ben Smith agrees this is indicative (in some way) of Jindal’s future plans…

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