A hate-love relationship: Bobby Jindal and his special-interest lobbyists

By Robert Mann

Come with me back to the good old days, when Gov. Bobby Jindal was a fearless crusader against the special interests and the obscene tax credits negotiated by their dastardly lobbyists.

Let us travel all the way to March 19, 2013.

"Beleive in Louisiana" screen shot, April 2013
“Believe in Louisiana” screen shot, April 2013

Here’s what our modern-day St. George had to say in Houma as he pitched his erstwhile tax “reform” plan:

As it stands today, we have over 460 loopholes on the books that make our system complex, volatile and unfair. That’s why I want to overhaul our tax code by eliminating income taxes and getting rid of loopholes that allow powerful special interests to game the system.

Under the current system, if you have a lobbyist and lawyer, you have a loophole. Let me put that a different way.  In 2011, we actually went in the hole on corporate income tax by some $76 million. 

In other words, we actually paid companies through loopholes to not pay corporate income tax. Think about that – we sent more taxpayer dollars to corporations than they paid in income taxes to the state. That goes to show you our tax system is unfair and riddled with loopholes and exemptions. That’s why along with eliminating income taxes, we’re going to eliminate over 200 loopholes. 

Powerful special interest groups will no longer be able to rig the system.  That means everyone will pay their fair share, but no more than that.

Remember the TV spots the Jindal-backed group, “Believe in Louisiana,” aired last month, attacking the special interests and their lobbyists for trying to protect their tax credits?

Now, fast forward to Monday (a mere seven weeks after his March speech in Houma), when an angry Jindal stood before the Capitol press corps, flanked by many of those same lobbyists who still represent the special interests he once disdained.

The source of Jindal’s anger?

Why, certain members of the Legislature want to temporarily cut by 15 percent some of the same corporate tax credits that Jindal once hoped to abolish.

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