Yesterday on CNN, host Wolf Blitzer asked Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-LA) about the state of the Louisiana economy. Jindal quickly boasted that he was “proud” of his state’s job growth and “economic development.” Given Jindal’s apparent belief that the recession is over in his state, Blitzer then asked if he was willing to give Obama “some credit” for the $3.2 billion dollars Jindal is accepting from the Recovery Act:
BLITZER: Are you ready to give the president of the United States some credit for turning — helping to turn this economy around?
JINDAL: Look, I love what he says. And I — I do have a lot of skepticism about, in D.C., the fact they think that we can spend our way into prosperity, borrow our way into prosperity. Now they want to tax our way into prosperity. […]
BLITZER: Excuse me for interrupting. Let’s stay on the stimulus for a second. Louisiana — we just checked — they were getting, your state, $3.3 billion, part of the economic recovery, the stimulus money. Already, they have made, what, they say, $2.2 billion available. They have paid out almost a half-a- million — a half-a-billion dollars, $480 million. I assume, even though you — you hated the stimulus package, you’re taking the money, and it’s helping. […]
The fact that Jindal refused to give the Recovery Act a single word of acknowledgment for its role in turning around the Louisiana economy speaks to his political motivations, not reality.
As ThinkProgress first reported, Jindal has been touring his state boasting about job creation, while simultaneously giving away jumbo-sized checks filled largely with stimulus money to local Louisiana communities. Jindal plastered his own name on the checks and until recently, did not even reveal that much of the money was from the Recovery Act. Below is a picture compilation of checks Jindal has presented to Louisiana communities such as Lafayette, Terrebonne Parish, St. Landry Parish, and Vernon Parish:
Jindal’s self-proclaimed greatest accomplishment — job growth — is tied directly to the very “Washington spending” he denounces on a daily basis. Of the education money Jindal is accepting, nearly $10 million is for vocational training. Weatherization programs in Louisiana, totaling nearly $54 million from the Recovery Act, create jobs. Additional Recovery Act funds — including everything from law enforcement training programs, infrastructure grants, to community service programs — also boosts the employment rate in the Bayou State.