HolyCoast: Bobby Jindal, Showing Them How It's Done

Monday, November 07, 2011

Bobby Jindal, Showing Them How It's Done

Jim Geraghty recounts some of the many successes Bobby Jindal had during his first term as governor, successes that earned him 66% of the vote in his recent re-election:
His administration privatized the state's Office of Risk Management. Then the state's Division of Administration privatized claims management and loss prevention in the self-insurance program, saving $20 million over five years. The Department of Health and Hospitals privatized six inpatient, residential-treatment programs around the state, saving $2.5 million. Separately, patients were moved from state-operated institutions that cost $600 or more per patient per day to community-based services and private group homes that average $191 per day, saving an additional $23.8 million.

Consolidation was another key element: The state's Department of Revenue shrank from eight offices statewide to three. The Department of Children and Family Services consolidated its offices from 157 to 90, saving a total of $2.7 million.

But some of Jindal's cuts are the old-fashioned kind. The state sold 1,300 vehicles from its fleet of automobiles. Louisiana's Transportation Department shut down a ferry that was used by only 7,200 drivers per year, saving the state roughly three-quarters of a million dollars.

In fiscal 2011, Louisiana eliminated more than 3,500 full-time government positions. Add the 6,363 previous reductions during Jindal's term, and that means a total of almost 9,900 full-time positions reduced since he took the oath, a savings of almost $600 million. Louisiana now has the lowest level of full-time state government employees in almost 20 years.
Despite the usual moaning and groaning from the left about how these are "draconian" cuts, and they're "made on the backs of the poor", not a single prominent Democrat in the state chose to run against him. Not one. If what Jindal was doing was so terrible, where was the opposition?

The fact is, these types of cuts are available in every single state, but it takes a politician with some guts to implement them and there are far too few of those around. Jindal's approach in Louisiana should be a primer for every GOP governor, and everyone who wants to be a GOP governor...or president, for that matter...and they should just get in there and start hacking. Quit panicking because some newspaper columnist calls you names or because some lefty website says bad things about you. Let the numbers speak for themselves, and when you can show solid results, you'll be rewarded. Jindal has already shown that, and Gov. Scott Walker in Wisconsin is on his way there.

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