Sat, 08 Dec 2012 06:13:46 GMT

Republicans giving impression they''re fighting for rich:Jindal



From Lalit K Jha
Washington, Dec 7 (PTI) Disappointed over fiscal-cliff negotiations by the Republicans, Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal today said his party leadership seems to give an impression that they are fighting for the rich.

"At present, any reading of the headlines over the past week indicates that Republicans are fighting to protect the rich and cut benefits for seniors. It may be possible to have worse political positioning than that, but I''m not sure how," Jindal wrote in an op-ed in Politico.

In the negotiations on fiscal-cliff, he said Republicans certainly should fight to at least get something done that will matter.

"A nation that has a USD 16.3 trillion debt, a debt that is larger than our entire economy, has already driven through the guard rail and is in free fall with the cliff somewhere in the rear view mirror," he wrote.

Jindal, who served in the Congress before being elected as Louisiana Governor, said during his stint at the Capitol, he learned that there will be no significant change without structural reforms.

"That''s the polite way of saying it. The less gentle version is that Congress and this administration are psychologically incapable of getting our fiscal house in order without laws that give them no other alternative," he said.

"It appears clear to me that with President (Barack) Obama having created a brand new entitlement programme and having won re-election, and with our hand of cards in the Senate being weaker not stronger, and with (Treasury) Secretary (Timothy) Geithner''s laughable public offering last week, whatever deal is reached is going to contain elements that are detrimental to our economy.

"Elections have consequences, and the country is going to feel those consequences soon," he warned.

Spelling out his own vision of addressing the issue, Jindal called for a federal balanced budget amendment, placing a cap on discretionary and mandatory federal spending by fixing a limit on it tied to a percentage of GDP, a super majority to increase taxes, and forbidding Congressmen form lobbying for five years after they leave office.

"Now that I''ve offended everyone in Washington, a few final thoughts our debt is strangling us. It seems to be a given that we will once again raise the debt ceiling. So the one thing that all involved agree must happen, may in fact be the single worst thing we can do unless it is one-time, limited, and accompanied by structural reform to make sure we dont repeat this nightmare," Jindal said.

"Amidst all the talk of increasing taxes and cutting entitlements, something more important than either of these has been lost economic growth. America is forever young because America is forever growing, leading the world and showing the way forward. All actions taken by Washington should be seen through this simple prism will this help grow our economy? If not, maybe we shouldnt do it," he wrote. PTI LKJ

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