Bobby Jindal Wants to Reform Washington by Making It Harder to Pass Bills

It feels like we’ve been reading and watching the same thing for 10 months – and we have. Ever since Mitt Romney lost the 2012 election, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who’s been tipped as a possible presidential candidate for years, has been giving speeches about how the party must reform. These speeches have ended with a ring of hardcore structural reforms that would make it functionally impossible. They are: balanced budget amendment, a cap on spending to 18 percent of GDP, a 2/3 majority for any tax increase, and term limits. 

Today, Jindal spearheaded the launch of a new campaign by the Republican Governors Association to prove that the opposition is proving how to govern – just not in D.C.

“I think the American people rightfully are frustrated with everybody in Washington, saying look at the dysfunction,” Jindal said in an interview with CBS News’ Major Garrett on Thursday. “As Republican governors, we’ve outsourced our brand to D.C. for too long. We’re taking it back.”

Okay. Via Jindal, what are the governors’ ideas?

The president needs to lead. When is he going to address the need for a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, when is he going to address the need for a supermajority before they raise our taxes? A supermajority before they grow government spending? Term limits on Congress? A part-time Congress?

This again! Jindal seems to think “the balanced budget was on the table” in 2011, but the current Republican-backed version of the idea sets spending and taxing caps and looks nothing like the provision in any state. (Is it even worth pointing out that some states balance their budgets with money redistributed by the federal government?). Republican governors now run 30 states; only 10 of those states enforce term limits, and only eight require supermajorities for tax increases. You could argue convincingly that Jindal’s ideas remain disruptive and dilatory for a federal government that can print the reserve currency, but you could just as easily point out that his Band of Governors are getting things done without any of these gimmicks.

Actually, one thing you could say about most GOP governors is that they’re not participating (or acceeding to their legislature’s protest) in the Medicaid expansion component of the Affordable Care Act. This fact did not make it into Jindal’s litany.