In a budget proposal released Friday afternoon, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal indicated he is only rejecting $98 million of the federal stimulus funds due his state.
That figure is far less than the $700 million South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has indicated he may reject if the federal government does not allow Sanford to use that money to pay down his state's debt.
. . . Jindal's announcement also comes a day after Texas Gov. Rick Perry said he would reject the $555 million in federal funds direct to his state to expand unemployment benefits.
Kids, the money isn't to pay down your state's debt, that's your own goddam problem. The money is for, hold on now, STIMULUS of the economy, and a major part of that is to extend unemployment benefits. Hear that Gov. Goodhair? Because people, when they are either employed or getting unemplyment benefits, inject money into the economy.
But no, says Gov. Jindal (R-OverHisHead):
Gov. Bobby Jindal said Friday he doesn’t want Louisiana to tap into $98 million in stimulus money for expanding unemployment benefits for thousands of people who wouldn’t normally be eligible to receive them.
The Republican governor repeatedly had said he wasn’t sure the state should draw down all the stimulus money it’s eligible to receive, but the announcement was the first detail he’s offered about dollars he wants to refuse.
. . . The dollars that Jindal intends to reject could provide unemployment aid to 4,000 to 6,000 more Louisiana residents, the state labor department estimates. But the acceptance would require a permanent change in state law that would force businesses to pay higher unemployment taxes once the federal dollars run out, Jindal said.
Yep, we can't offer unemployment to those poor people who don't have jobs because TAXESTAXESTAXES!! Is this even true?
The basic thought is that if unemployment benefits are expanded to people previously not eligible, the when the Stimulus bucks run out, the state will have to raise taxes to keep up the benefits.
While googling the hell out of this, I found many weasel words: might, may, could, possibly, especially when reading news reports about the above-named Senators, and on Right-wing blogs. But little in the way of actual attribution to the actual text of the actual stimulus bill.
So I dunno. Maybe Gov's Jindal, Sanford, and Perry are right, that they would have to raise taxes to fix the clusterfuck that their state economies have become. Heck, even here in CA, Ahnuld has agreed to a state tax increase, because, well, we need it!
I think the House and the Senate missed a wonderful opportunity to make the Stimulus all-in: you take all, or nothing.
Or maybe Bobby, Mark, and Rick are wrong. Or maybe they're just actors on the Mickey Mouse Club; they certainly sound like it. If they were, I'd believe them more. Regardless, the Republican party has dwindled in relevance to somewhere just above the WCTU, and far below the Mickey Mouse Club: