Would Bobby Jindal be a responsible candidate for President? Jindal completed majors in biology and public policy at Brown University graduating in 1991 at the age of 20. Jindal, a Rhodes Scholar, was accepted by Harvard Medical School and Yale Law School, but studied at Oxford instead. He received a M.Litt degree in Political Science with an emphasis in health policy from Oxford in 1994. He is currently the popular Governor of Louisiana. Let’s review his position on the issues.
- Abortion–Jindal opposes abortion, but accepts medical procedures aimed at saving the life of the mother. He has voted against expanding public funding of stem-cell research.
- Climate change–Jindal puts energy development ahead of any concern for climate change. He supports the Keystone Pipeline project.
- Same-sex marriage–Jindal opposes legalization of same-sex marriage.
- Firearm Legislation–Jindal says he supports the right to bear arms. He has opposed efforts to restrict gun rights and is endorsed by the NRA.
- Education–Jindal has supported Common Core which Louisiana adopted in 2010. More recently, “We cannot retreat from rigorous standards,” said Jindal, “However, I am absolutely opposed to any kind of Federal takeover of a curriculum or Federal Government involvement in dictating to us our curriculum.” He has proposed budgets that impose cuts on higher education funding in Louisiana. Jindal’s proposed education reforms include vouchers for low income students in public schools to attend private schools.
- Illegal immigration–Jindal has criticized illegal immigration as a drain on the economy, and as unfair to those who entered the country by legal means. He opposes amnesty for illegal aliens.
- Health care–Jindal supports increased health insurance portability, laws promoting coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, a cap on malpractice lawsuits, an easing of restrictions on importation of prescription medications, the implementation of a streamlined electronic medical records system, an emphasis on preventative care, and tax benefits aimed at making health insurance more affordable for the uninsured. However, Jindal favors repeal of the Affordable Care Act. Unlike some other Republican governors, Jindal has refused to expand Medicaid in Louisiana to provide care to low-income residents.
- Minimum wage–Jindal says: “I think Louisiana should continue to comply with the federal minimum wage.” (Really Gov., could they not?) He says he voted in Congress for a minimum wage increase, so he is not uniformly opposed to ever raising it. However, he would favor using tax credits or other incentives to help low-income people keep more of their pay.
Jindal, writing for National Review, wrote:
“In recent weeks, President Obama and his allies have emphasized his willingness to go it alone and use his executive power to achieve his policy aims. … The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the administration’s own actions have in recent weeks confirmed what most of us in the rest of the country already knew: President Obama’s agenda creates disincentives for Americans to work, incentivizes employers to hire fewer people, and exacerbates the inequality the White House denounces. The American people deserve a better economic-growth agenda from Washington. And if President Obama wants to give them one, he can. With the power of the pen and the phone, he can roll back policies which are creating barriers for innovation, implement policies which encourage investment, and build toward the future with reforms that will help prepare Americans for the challenge of tomorrow’s economy.”
Here President Obama can’t win–he is criticized for using his executive power to do what he thinks best and criticized for not using those same powers for what Jindal would have him do, notably “roll back.” Here Jindal’s views smack of “trickle down.”
Has Jindal’s excellent education really been trumped by religious belief and political ambition? Is Jindal a RINO, a Wacko, or some of each? Would his views be acceptable to Nativists, Birthers, and Right-to-Lifers? Could he be nominated for President; if nominated, could he be elected? If elected, would he be a uniter or a divider. Could he bridge the gap between left and right? It will be interesting to see what happens.