I got this email from Governor Bobby Jindal (along with thousands of others of course!) but I wondered: Maybe the GOP nominee should consider this governor as Vice President:
It is time to give President Obama credit for keeping a commitment.
This is, for this President, a pretty remarkable achievement. I am not blaming him for the fact that the rise of the oceans has not slowed or that the planet has not begun to heal; only his true believers, i.e., the mainstream media, believed all that campaign rhetoric anyway. On a more mundane level, President Obama promised to reduce the deficit in half by the end of this term; instead he has added more than $1 trillion to the nation’s debt each year he has been in office. His Administration projected passing his $800 billion plus stimulus plan would keep unemployment below 8 percent; unemployment went above 8 percent in February of his first year and has yet to return. The President promised repeatedly to change the tone in Washington and to unite Democrats and Republicans; he did succeed in convincing the House recently to unanimously reject his budget, but I don’t think that is what he meant. The President campaigned against Hillary Clinton’s individual mandate and John McCain’s tax increases on certain health plans, and included both in Obamacare. That would be the same Obamacare he promised would result in our premiums being reduced by $2,500. He has promised every year in office to offer his own plan to reform entitlement programs, but a curious nation still waits.
Perhaps we should only give the President partial credit, since the commitment he has kept was not one he personally made. His Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, infamously said even before the election in 2008, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” I should mention, since the President never fails to, that Secretary Chu is a Nobel Prize winner. Sounds like Chu is getting advice from Al Gore, yet another Nobel Prize winner. The President, who also has his own Nobel Prize, and Secretary Chu have done a remarkable job. National average gasoline prices doubled since he took office, and, even more impressively, in 2011, the average annual prices of a barrel of oil and a gallon of gas were higher than at any time in the last 150 years. As President Bush might say, “heck of a job.”
Even though then-Senator Obama was quick to blame President Bush for rising gasoline prices, he now complains current prices are not his fault. For once, I think the President is being too modest, for clearly his actions have contributed to rising prices, reduced availability of domestically produced energy, and continued dependence on foreign countries. I truly believe in an all of the above strategy, including oil and gas, nuclear power, wind and solar power, conservation, biofuels, other renewables, and clean coal, that leads to more affordable energy, an expanding manufacturing base, and an improved standard of living, whereas the President’s strategy seems to be based on a more European worldview of less consumption, higher energy prices, and more government regulation of our lives. Trade in your SUV’s and suburban homes, and prepare to bathe less frequently!
The President has clearly been reading the polls and has promised in an election year to focus on the economy, make the creation of jobs his top priority, and work to reduce energy prices. What can President Obama do to show this is not mere campaign rhetoric that will be quickly forgotten after the election?
First, the President should show through his actions that he understands the law of supply and demand. While President Obama likes to take credit for higher domestic oil production, he fails to disclose these levels are based on decisions made before he took office and that much of this activity is taking place on private lands. To put it simply, he was against domestic production before he was for it. Despite a recent boost in activity, the average number of deep-water drilling permits approved monthly is down nearly 30% from the historical norm before the BP spill. In 2011, lease sales for onshore drilling on federal lands reached an all-time low, since 1984, when discounting for leases sold in previous years. Opening new fields means increased supply which means lower prices. Certainly, our Ivy League educated President understands the importance of opening new fields, e.g., ANWR, and increasing supply; if not, he should demand a refund from Columbia for any tuition he paid towards economics courses.
Second, the Administration should stop sending a muddled message on fracking and instead provide predictability to companies making expensive multi-year investments that are opening up shale plays across the country and transforming the marketplace for natural gas. This industry already supports more than 600,000 jobs, has helped reduce domestic natural gas prices by more than 75%, and caused companies to start the process of building multi-billion dollar terminals to export and not just import liquefied natural gas. Falling natural gas prices mean more than a cheaper and cleaner heating and transportation fuel; natural gas is an important feedstock, and lower prices have already helped convince companies to invest billions of dollars and to create thousands of manufacturing jobs in America.
Third, President Obama should instruct his Cabinet to cease and desist all regulatory actions undermining safe, affordable domestic energy production. For example, clearly suspending Tier 3 gasoline standards that are expected to increase gasoline prices by as much as 25 cents a gallon.
Fourth, President Obama should end the EPA’s hostile stance on domestically abundant clean coal energy. Then-Senator Obama described flawed cap and trade proposals that would “bankrupt” anyone wanting to open a coal plant. China now produces more than three times as much coal as we do, and is the world’s largest importer. Shutting down coal plants in America, while China continues to burn every pound of coal it can get its hands on, does not reduce global emissions; it simply makes our electricity more expensive.
Fifth, the President should reverse his decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, linking our Gulf Coast refineries to production facilities in Canada and the booming Bakken oil fields of Montana and North Dakota. This decision would create 20,000 construction jobs and 100,000 indirect jobs, and reassure our friends to the north that their future lies with us and not China. After facing intense criticism, the President did relent and approve the portion of the pipeline from Cushing, Oklahoma to Texas. He was against the pipeline, before he was for it. This is certainly a step in the right direction, but someone needs to buy the President a map to show him how far Oklahoma is from Canada. Perhaps he should request Columbia also refund his tuition paid towards any geography courses.
Sixth, President Obama should stop singling out one industry for tax increases in favor of crony capitalism that rewards countless Solyndras, and should instead advocate for a flatter tax code with lower rates and no loopholes. Let the different energy companies compete in the marketplace. He must understand higher taxes mean higher prices for American consumers.
Many Republicans criticize the President for his incompetence on rising energy prices, but I believe this to be unfair. I think the President’s radical environmental ideology, not his Administration’s incompetence, is to blame for his failure to adopt a comprehensive energy policy that makes the rational choices that would lower energy prices.
Respectful columnist George Will has also made a strong case for Jindal:
Here are two excellent choices:
Louisiana’s Gov. Bobby Jindal, 40, was a 20-year-old congressional staffer when he authored a substantial report on reforming Medicare financing. At 24, he became head of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals, with 12,000 employees and 40 percent of the state budget. Back in Washington at 26, he was executive director of the National Bipartisan Commission on the Future of Medicare. In 1999, he became president of Louisiana’s state university system, which has 80,000 students. In 2001, he served as an assistant secretary of health and human services. He became governor after three years in Congress.
Even 2008 standard bearer Sen. John McCain agrees that Jindal is an excellent choice! And he may be on the verge of a huge educational reform that in effect establishes a limited state-wide voucher system:
Gov. Bobby Jindal’s education reform agenda could be coming to a head in the Louisiana State Senate this week where the vote is expected to be close on some key bills. Jindal has proposed converting the New Orleans voucher program into a statewide option, expand the number of charter schools, and interlink tenure with student and teacher performance. The governor has encountered stiff opposition from the state’s two teachers unions—the Louisiana Association of Educators and the Louisiana Federation of Teachers. Jindal is also now the target of a recall effort initiated by individual teachers whom the unions have not yet formally embraced.
Here are some details of the Orleans Parish voucher plan passed in 2008:
Under the legislation enacted in 2008, the Student Scholarships for Educational Excellence (SSEE) program provides low-income families in Orleans Parish with the option to select a public or private school. Over 1,800 students in grades K-6 have received scholarships in the current 2011-2012 school year.
To be eligible, household income cannot exceed 250 percent of the federal poverty guidelines, which would be $55,875 for a family of four in 2011. Moreover, the student must have attended an “F” rated public school the previous year, or be entering kindergarten. The Louisiana Department of Education has published a list of the schools participating in the Orleans Parish program.
This article from the Alexandria Town Talk is breath-taking.
Gov. Bobby Jindal triumphed Thursday in his bid to embark on a historic overhaul of public education in Louisiana, receiving final House passage of his centerpiece proposals.
In a state where student performance lags that of the nation, the complex bills will make it harder for teachers to gain tenure while establishing a statewide voucher program for private school tuition and multiplying the ways to establish charter schools. The bills also lessen local school board authority in hiring and firing decisions, expand online schools and restructure public financing of education.
Vouchers will be available to at most an estimated 2,000 new students to attend private schools with public tax dollars in the fall. New charter schools will take at least a year to get through the application and approval process. And the earliest a teacher can lose tenure under the new evaluation system is spring 2014.
Of course, the usual stuff from the other side:
“I have no doubt that there’s going to be a courtroom in the future for both bills,” Louisiana Federation of Teachers President Steve Monaghan said in an interview Thursday.
Opponents say the governor’s initiatives will siphon dollars from public schools and leave some of the neediest students in schools with fewer dollars to educate them. They complain private and parochial schools won’t be held to the same accountability standards as public schools even though they’ll get public funding. They criticized the record speed at which the bills were pushed through a session that doesn’t end until June. And they accused Jindal of advancing the ideas to boost his conservative credentials nationally.
Rep. Patricia Smith, D-Baton Rouge, said the voucher proposal and “pop-up” charter schools will take enough dollars away from traditional public schools that they will bankrupt school systems.
“This is a national agenda to do away with public education,” said Rep. Rogers Pope, R-Denham Springs, a retired school superintendent from Livingston Parish.
Let me say this as kindly as I can: We’ve tried it your way for many years. We have declining test scores, metal detectors, and psychobabble for history. School choice is the wave of the future. Bobby Jindal ought to be Vice President Biden’s worst nightmare. He might even let Hillary have the job to avoid the debate! That debate will be like one of those one-sided boxing matches called for mercy! Bobby Jindal should be the Vice President of whoever is nominated.