Jindal directs attention, tax dollars toward self-interests instead of Louisiana

Amy Schully, Staff Writer

The following is an opinion piece, and does not reflect the views of the Tulane Hullabaloo

Records show that Louisiana taxpayers have spent $314,144 on Gov. Bobby Jindal’s out-of-state travels, despite the state’s current $1.6 billion budget deficit. Jindal spent 165 days outside of Louisiana in 2014, attending meetings, delivering speeches, fundraising and campaigning for Republican candidates. Only one of these travel days was spent conducting official state business. To put it simply, Gov. Jindal is no longer representing or working for Louisiana. He’s working solely for his future self-interests.

Jindal, along with board members from the National Governor’s Association, attacked President Barack Obama outside of the White House on Monday, claiming him “unfit to be commander-in-chief.” Between 2013 and 2014, Jindal made 19 visits to Washington, attending Republican Governor’s Association events, Republican fundraisers, appearing on FOX and NBC and campaigning for a Virginia gubernatorial candidate. His travels also include attending an Army-Navy football game, advocating for the reality television series, “Duck Dynasty” and speaking at conferences sponsored by the Koch brothers.

At this critical time for our Louisiana, Jindal spent 45 percent of 2014 outside of the state, promoting Republican causes and building up his name for the 2016 presidential election. Louisiana taxpayer dollars are going toward transportation, fuel and room and board for the troopers that travel with Jindal. Aside from press releases, Jindal’s travels are not made public. 

Jindal continues his out-of-state travels despite Louisiana’s dire budget hole. In his first year in office, Jindal signed off on the biggest individual income tax break in Louisiana’s history. Since he has consistently refused to roll back individual income tax-cuts or corporate tax breaks, Louisianians have experienced major cuts in healthcare and higher education. In his attempt to piece the budget back together, Jindal continues to hurt the people of Louisiana, who are suffering as a result of his efforts at self-promotion.

It does not make sense that, with this serious hole in our state’s budget, Louisiana taxpayer dollars are funding Jindal’s travels. Jindal is using his last year in office to build up his name across the country and campaign for a potential presidential run. If Jindal truly cared about Louisianians, he would direct his attention home instead of using his power as governor to further his individual and political interests.

Amy Schully is a senior at Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]