The New York Times‘s Paul Krugman wrote a column today arguing that the late Margaret Thatcher’s true heir is someone few people would guess — Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal.
“Her downfall came with the poll tax, a drastically regressive tax — the same amount for everyone, regardless of income — that was too much even for her own party,” Krugman wrote. “And what that means is that her truest heir in America is … Bobby Jindal, the not-so-whizzy whiz-kid governor of Louisiana, who proposed scrapping his state’s income tax and replacing it with sales taxes.”
Krugman argues that it would be great for Democrats if Republicans choose to emulate Thatcher’s record. Louisiana voters disapproved of Jindal’s tax plan two to one, even as Grover Norquist praised Jindal’s plan as “the boldest, most pro-growth state tax reform in U.S. history.”
What did Jindal’s “pro-growth” tax plan aim to do? The governor hoped to eliminate Louisiana’s income and corporate taxes in exchange for a higher, expanded sales tax. Jindal threw in the towel Monday, deciding that he was tired of bleeding support.
“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.”
Despite the failure of his tax plan, Jindal is honored to be considered to the true heir of Margaret Thatcher, the former conservative British prime minister who died on the same day as his tax plan. The governor took his appreciation to Twitter:
— Gov. Bobby Jindal (@BobbyJindal) April 10, 2013
Thatcher ultimately grew to be less popular than her party and was ousted by her colleagues. Jindal is in a similar predicament, as he currently polls lower than President Barack Obama in a state that voted decidedly for Mitt Romney. Unless Jindal turns his numbers around, he may come to experience what being Margaret Thatcher’s true heir really means.