Letter: Jindal tax plan a swindle

I am deeply disturbed by many of Gov. Bobby Jindal’s recent actions — his callousness toward the Bayou Corne sinkhole evacuees, his funding of state services by a “garage sale” of assets, his unwillingness to accept constitutional restraints on his pension and K-12 education policies, his ongoing assault on colleges and universities and his rejection of the Medicaid expansion for 400,000 of Louisiana’s citizens.

But now he has embarked on a reckless tax plan. It will lead to massive state deficits, harm small businesses, hurt 80 percent of Louisiana citizens, further destroy colleges and only serve to help our governor’s national image.

But I am heartened by a recent development, the 250 ministers who signed “An Open Letter from Louisiana Clergy to Governor Bobby Jindal” on March 18. Their letter goes to the heart of what’s wrong with Jindal’s immoral tax plan.

The signees are a diverse group: the president of the conservative Southern Baptist Convention the Rev. Fred Luter of New Orleans and nearly every variety of Louisiana clergy, including the bishops of the Methodist and Episcopal churches.

It is sad that Gov. Jindal, a man who has preached in evangelical congregations statewide (before his re-election, none afterward), cares nothing about the Christianity he professes.

As Charles Pierce wrote for “Esquire” online, “By his works shall you know him and, by his works, ‘Bobby’ Jindal is no more a Christian than the average wolverine is. He’s a Pharisaical monster who’d have sold Mardi Gras beads on Golgotha.”

Though he claims to be a Catholic convert, Jindal obviously did not get the memo that the new pope has emphasized advocating for the weak and the poor, and the pontiff has taken the name Francis after the great Saint Francis of Assisi. Jindal’s “faith,” however, appears more like the selfishness of Ayn Rand than the religion of Saint Francis.

Thank God citizens are waking up, and his popularity is falling like a lead sinker dropped in a bayou.

The only message that Jindal respects is strong public pushback that costs him support politically. Remember the huge raises for legislators in 2008 and his planned cuts to hospice in early 2013? He backed off.

After environmental activist Erin Brockovich showed up at the Bayou Corne sinkhole, Jindal followed suit and headed there for the first time a week and a half later. When the heat is poured on Jindal, he folds up like a cheap accordion.

We all have a responsibility to fight Jindal’s tax swindle. It’s time for all of us to stop Jindal’s wrongheaded sales tax scheme. But it’s going to take every one of us speaking up before it is too late.

Dayne Sherman

librarian

Ponchatoula