Wednesday, March 04, 2009

I schooled Bobby Jindal

It's over at Global Comment, but I'll post some of it here to get you to go read it over there.

...Infrastructure spending is the backbone of the stimulus bill, which includes $98.3 billion in funding for transportation and other building projects. $2 billion of that is headed for the Army Corps of Engineers, with an additional $375 million just for the Mississippi river and its tributaries. The Corps are the ones responsible for maintaining the levees around New Orleans that failed so dramatically during Hurricane Katrina. Also designated for Louisiana is $73.5 million for public housing, which could go to rebuilding homes destroyed by the storm or torn down in its aftermath...

By rejecting the last two provisions, Jindal is denying unemployment benefits to nearly 25,000 citizens of his state, as projected by the National Employment Law Project. He’s also incorrect that he would be forced to raise taxes on businesses in order to maintain the benefits after the federal money runs out.

Jindal’s fact-stretching continued with his claims in his speech that the stimulus bill was funding a high-speed train from Las Vegas to Los Angeles—not true, money budgeted for high-speed rail has not been allocated yet—and will be allocated by Republican Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. He also disparaged “volcano monitoring,” which coupled with other U.S. Geological Survey facilities and equipment, was a rather small area of the stimulus bill at $140 million.

Jindal will be accepting 98% of the federal stimulus dollars earmarked for his state, so his stand on the unemployment benefits looks far less like a principled stand against government spending and far more like political posturing for a rumored 2012 presidential run.

Read the whole thing.