Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Reactions to Bobby Jindal's State of the Union Response

Bobby Jindal gave the worst State of the Union response in recent memory. Jindal's wooden response. Jindal used hurricane Katrina as a reason the government should not get involved in emergency management. Has Jindal remember Michael Brown's and Michael Chertoff's role in Katrina? Jindal is disingenuous about Obama's stimulus bill. As a member of Congress, Jindal voted against moving FEMA out of the Department of Homeland Security.

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the American people. Because we believe that Americans can do anything.

The tax increases the GOP fears is the top tax bracket. This is the Republican Party's true base. Republicans voted against Obama's tax cuts. Obama has the Make Work Pay tax cuts that will affect 95 percent of Americans.

A "making work pay" refundable tax credit championed by Obama of up to $400 per individual and $800 for couples in 2009 and 2010. It is calculated at a rate of 6.2 percent of earned income and is phased out for individuals with adjusted incomes over $75,000 and couples with incomes over $150,000.

* A one-time payment of $250 to Social Security beneficiaries, railroad retirees and veterans receiving benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs. State government retirees not eligible for Social Security would also get the $250 payment.

* Increases the earned income tax credit for low-income workers with three or more children.

* Increases eligibility for the refundable child tax credit to more low-income workers. The bill reduces the income floor to $3,000 in 2009 and 2010 from the current floor of $8,500.

* A new $2,500 tax credit for college education expenses. The credit phases out for individuals earning more than $80,000 and couples with incomes over $160,000.

An $8,000 tax credit for first-time home buyers for homes purchased between Jan. 1 and Dec. 1, 2009. The tax credit phases out for individuals earning more than $75,000 and couples earning more than $150,000.

* Temporary relief from the alternative minimum tax for millions of middle-class taxpayers who otherwise would be ensnared by the tax originally meant for the very wealthy.


* Small businesses with gross receipts of up to $15 million can write off 2008 losses against five previous tax years. Current laws allows a two-year carryback of losses.

Businesses will also be allowed to immediately write off more of their investments in computers and other equipment.

* Businesses that repurchase debt at a lower amount than when it was issued will be able to defer taxes on it. Usually reduced or canceled debt is treated as income and taxed. The break applies to debt repurchased adjusted after Dec. 31, 2008, and before Jan. 1, 2011.

* A tax break on capital gains from the sale of stock held in a small business for more than five years.

* The bill raises about $7 billion in revenues by repealing a Treasury Department decision last year to liberalize rules that were intended to prevent companies in a merger from taking huge tax breaks on losses of firms they were acquiring.

Jindal invokes 9-11. That didn't work for Rudy Giuliani. Jindal spoke about cleaning up corruption. He took money from Tom Delay, Roy Blunt, Jerry Lewis, and clints of Jack Abramoff. How can anyone whom took money from indicted men and is married to a lobbyist be a role model for anti-corruption.

The media reactions to Jindal's performance are hysterical. Rachel Maddow is literally speechless.

Conservative columnist David Brooks praised Obama's speech and panned Jindal's rhetoric.

Brooks called Jindal's reponse the worst ever by a Republican. Ouch.

Side note: this is almost as good as Rich Lowry's infamous "starbursts" post. Megan McArdle's post on meeting Jindal is hysterical.

Of course, I'm just in that first flush of puppy love, when a journalist meets a handsome young politician who just might be The One. Soon enough, I'll undoubtedly find things about him to hate. But frankly, it's rare enough to meet one I like. True love may have to wait.

I'm speechless. I wonder if Tas or Litbrit have a response to McArdle. This is too good to pass up.

Update: Jindal managed to piss off Mayor Royce Pollard, mayor of Vancouver, Washington.

"Does the governor have a volcano in his backyard?" Royce Pollard, the mayor of Vancouver, Washington, said on Wednesday. "We have one that's very active, and it still rumbles and spits and coughs very frequently."

Jindal singled out a $140 million appropriation for the U.S. Geological Survey as an example of questionable government spending during the GOP response to President Barack Obama's address to Congress Tuesday night.

The governor, a rising Republican star, questioned why "something called 'volcano monitoring' " was included in the nearly $800 billion economic stimulus bill Obama signed earlier this month.

Perhaps Jindal should find out before mentioning volcano monitoring in his speech.

Update: Fox News pans Jindal's speech.

Update: Paul Krugman perfectly mocks the stupidity of Jindal's speech.

And leaving aside the chutzpah of casting the failure of his own party’s governance as proof that government can’t work, does he really think that the response to natural disasters like Katrina is best undertaken by uncoordinated private action? Hey, why bother having an army? Let’s just rely on self-defense by armed citizens.

The intellectual incoherence is stunning. Basically, the political philosophy of the GOP right now seems to consist of snickering at stuff that they think sounds funny. The party of ideas has become the party of Beavis and Butthead.

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