Archive | February, 2009

Jindal: The Party of No

25 Feb

Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) delivered a lackluster Republican response to President Obama‘s address last night, following the now familiar Republican pattern of being able to define themselves as against the President. Jindal also “defended the virtues of small government that he said even his own party had abandoned in recent years.”

Last Friday, in a move of disingenuous hypocrisy, Jindal announced that he would reject roughly $100 million in unemployment assistance from the federal recovery package, claiming the temporary unemployment aid would eventually lead to a tax hike on businesses. Jindal’s decision ensured that at least 25,000 unemployed Louisiana residents would not be eligible for unemployment insurance. However, in 2005, as a congressman representing Louisiana, he co-sponsored a bill extending temporary unemployment insurance — similar to the type he now opposes — to those who found themselves unemployed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Further, as the Wonk Room reported yesterday, in Louisiana 430 people lose their jobs every day.

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Obama: Hope and Inspiration

25 Feb

Thirty-five days after being inaugurated as America’s 44th president, Barack Obama discussed his economic agenda before a joint session of Congress last night. He focused on three priorities — health care, energy, and education — that will form the backbone of his long-term vision for economic growth and development. Those three core policy areas also received significant attention in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which Obama signed into law earlier this month. “Now is the time to act boldly and wisely — to not only revive this economy, but to build a new foundation for lasting prosperity,” Obama said last night. Although the President came into the House chamber with sky-high approval ratings, Americans remain deeply worried about the recession. He offered them not just a budget plan but what he called “a vision for America — as a blueprint for our future.” He declared, “We will rebuild, we will recover, and the United States of America will emerge stronger than before.”