Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal abandoned his unpopular tax plan following widespread backlash from political supporters and opponents alike. This comes as a major blow to a governor who made his tax plan a key part of his second term agenda.
“I realize that some of you think I haven’t been listening,” Jindal said in a speech given to fellow lawmakers. “But you’ll be surprised to learn I have been. And here is what I’ve heard from you and from the people of Louisiana — yes, we do want to get rid of the income tax, but governor you’re moving too fast and we aren’t sure that your plan is the best way to do it.”
Jindal called for the creation of an alternative plan to eliminate income tax. This came after months spent pushing a proposal to eliminate Louisiana’s income and corporate taxes in exchange for a higher, expanded sales tax. Jindal’s tax plan was unpopular both within and outside of the Louisiana Legislature.
“Let’s work together, let’s pass a bill this session,” Jindal said. “Let’s get rid of the income tax once and for all in the state of Louisiana. Send me that bill to get rid of those taxes. Send me that bill and make Louisiana the best state in the country to create jobs, to raise a family.”
Jindal’s tax plans have dampened his public approval numbers. A recent statewide poll found that only 38 percent of voters approve of the job the governor is doing. His approval rating in Louisiana is lower than that of President Barack Obama, who manages an approval rating of 43 in the deeply conservative state.
Jindal is considered one of the possible Republican contenders for president in 2016, but his current unpopularity does not speak well for his chances. Louisiana voters are frustrated with budget cuts Jindal has made to higher education and health care. The public also does not approve of his plan to privatize the charity hospital system. Jindal’s tax plan may be gone, but his tax problem remains.