Louisiana Republican Governor Bobby Jindal wrote an oped piece at Politico on Thursday in which he took aim at both Congress and the Obama administration saying that they were incapable of getting the country’s fiscal house in order.
The Republican Louisiana Governor wrote, “I had the honor of serving in Congress. Here’s what I learned – there will be no significant change without structural reforms. That’s the polite way of saying it.” He went on to say, “The less gentle version is that Congress and this administration are psychologically incapable of getting our fiscal house in order without laws that give them no other alternative.”
While I disagree with Jindal that the headlines have implied that Republicans are “fighting to protect the rich and benefits for seniors,” he does make a good point in stating that “Republicans certainly should fight to at least get something done that will matter.”
So what are some of those things worth fighting for? Jindal lays out four key things:
• A federal balanced budget amendment. States have balanced budget laws, small businesses have to balance their budgets, and families have to do the same. This is an idea that is supported by virtually every American who does not live in the 202 area code. It’s common sense. It is also laughed at in Washington. When you mention the BBA as a solution, they roll their eyes and write you off as a non-serious person. But the American public is dead serious about it, and they should be.
• Place a cap on discretionary and mandatory federal spending by fixing a limit on it tied to a percentage of GDP. Eighteen percent is a reasonable number in my book, but almost any number would be a victory at this point. Require a super majority vote to over-ride this limit, which would allow for recourse in a time of war or other national emergency. Again, this solution makes far too much sense to be taken seriously in Washington, a sure sign that it’s a good idea. This president is rapidly making a permanently higher level of government spending the new normal.
• A super majority to increase taxes. Make it harder for the politicians in Washington to simply take more from Americans, thereby forcing them to stop growing government. Yes, Washington hates this idea, so it should be pursued with vigor.
• Term Limits. I know, I know, we can’t do that. But we should. And while we are at it, how about forbidding congressmen from lobbying for 5 years after they leave office.
Now these are things I like to hear! These ideas actually make sense. Of course if Jindal were in Congress now proposing such ideas and on certain budget or financial committees he would have been shown the door earlier in the week by House Speaker Boehner, along with others.
After “offending everyone in Washington,” and to hearty applause from yours truly, Jindal concluded by asking a very common sense question and providing a very simple common sense answer. He wrote, “All actions taken by Washington should be seen through this simple prism – will this help grow our economy? If not, maybe we shouldn’t do it.”