The recent speech by Bobby Jindal, Louisiana’s governor, has drawn a fair bit of attention. Conservatives would have you believe that it marks the start of real GOP reform; but the reality, as Andy Rosenthal says, is that Jindal wants to change the jingle in the commercial without changing the product.
And if you want a clear demonstration of that point, compare Jindal’s words and deeds. Here’s what he just said:
We must not be the party that simply protects the well off so they can keep their toys. We have to be the party that shows all Americans how they can thrive. We are the party whose ideas will help the middle class, and help more folks join the middle class. We are a populist party and need to make that clear.
And here’s what he recently did:
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal (R) recently rolled out a plan to replace his state’s personal income and corporate taxes with an increased sales tax. Such a move would shift taxes from the rich to the poor, who are disproportionately hit by the sales tax.
According to an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Jindal’s plan will raise taxes on the bottom 80 percent of Louisianians, while cutting them for the richest 1 percent:
– The bottom 80 percent of Louisianans in the income distribution would see a tax increase from repealing the personal and corporate income taxes and replacing them with a higher sales tax.
– The poorest 20 percent of taxpayers, those with an average income of $12,000, would see an average tax increase of $395, or 3.4 percent of their income, if no low income tax relief mechanism is offered.
– The middle 20 percent, those with an average income of $43,000, would see an average tax increase of $534, or 1.2 percent of their income.
– The largest beneficiaries of the tax proposal would be the top 1 percent—a group with an average income
of well over $1 million. Louisianans in the top 1 percent would see an average tax cut of $25,423, or 2.3 percent of their income under the plan described above.
I guess there is some innovation here: finally, Republicans have stopped being the party that only want tax cuts, and have started becoming the party that wants to cut taxes for the rich while raising them on ordinary families. Populism!