Is America ready for Tea Party governance? If Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal’s popularity in his own state is any indication, the answer might be no. A recent poll suggests that Governor Jindal, a GOP star and possible 2016 presidential candidate, is less popular than President Obama in deep red Louisiana. With only 38 percent approval, Governor Jindal’s plan to eliminate his state’s income tax faced growing opposition across the state:
The poll suggested voters think he is spending more time traveling outside the state and burnishing his credentials for a possible White House run than tending to local matters. […]“A lot of the pressure [for eliminating the income tax] seems to be coming from national groups. It’s hard to find a constituency in Louisiana that was demanding an end to the income tax,” said Jan Moller, director of the nonprofit Louisiana Budget Project, which advocates for raising revenue to provide more services.
Jindal’s plan to eliminate personal and corporate income taxes and raise the sales tax by 56 percent was a cornerstone of his agenda, but he was forced to scrap it in the face of widespread disapproval. This isn’t a unique phenomenon: Tea Party Governor Sam Brownback has likewise faced resistance to similar policy proposals in Kansas.It seems that even some of America’s deep red states have cold feet about some Tea Party ideas. This could be a big problem for GOP presidential hopefuls. If conservative states aren’t willing to get with the program, it’s unlikely that the Tea Party can sell these ideas at the national level. Louisiana is a little bit of an outlier, to be sure; politicians like Edwin Edwards and Huey Long weren’t interested in the modest, inexpensive government Tea Partiers want. It’s more striking that a fiscal conservative like Bobby Jindal got elected governor than that his tax proposals have been stalled. Still, the Tea Party’s domestic policy agenda needs some rethinking. If you can’t sell this in the South, you can’t sell it anywhere; Republicans need more policies that more people actually like.[Bobby Jindal image couresty of Shutterstock.com]