I call B.S. - Bobby Jindal Edition

As my on-going series "Call B.S. on a Candidate" continues, I figured Bobby Jindal should be up next.

 After all, he's polling at about 1% so I don't have much time before he drops out of the race.

GOP Presidential Poll Results

When I think of Bobby Jindal, I've always kind of compared him to the GOP's version of Barack Obama. Maybe that's racist of me since part of the comparison stemmed from the fact that he was a minority candidate. However, his "brand" a young voice - similar to what Obama was from the other side for the Dems.

Jindal has campaigned hard to come out hard against the Democrats thus far in Iowa. Blasting Hillary and the part as a whole. Makes sense, right?

But Jindal is also doing some things to make himself seem like a fiscal conservative. Which, well, leads to some statements that I had a hunch were ripe to call out as B.S. and misleading.

Bobby Jindal at CPAC


On Jindal's website, he claims to be the "only candidate to actually cut spending".

That's great, sounds like firm conservative footing. They site a third-party (CATO) study that looked at all GOP Presidential candidates who were governors.

Cato chart on spending
Source: CATO Institute


That's where the first problem with Jindal's campaign claim comes in. Of the 17 candidates currently running, only 7 of them were governors previously. I'm not much for math but that's less than half.

Here's the other issue that comes into play -

The CATO study looked at spending as a raw number looked at raw state spending year-over-year. There were no considerations given for federal dollars flowing into the state, no consideration for population changes in a state, and no mention of economic investment or investment in infrastructure that could potentially grow the pie for the state as a whole. (Thinking roads as an example in this case).

So, for ease of argument, let's look at the population of Louisiana during Jindal's time as governor.

Hurricane Katrina damage led to a mass exodus of people in Louisiana
Damage in the wake of Hurricane Katrina
Following Hurricane Katrina, Lousiana saw it's population as a whole drastically shrink. In fact, it fell from 19th most populous state in the 1980's, all the way down to 25th in 2010.

From 2010 to 2014, Louisiana saw population increase 2.6%. Not much. During that time, the CATO study concluded that Jindal cut spending about 1.6%. Keep in mind, while the Katrina clean-up is not over - much of the heavy lifting should now be cut out of the state budget so there were very easy cuts to be made.

During that same time frame, Texas saw a population increase of 7.2%. Huge, right? The CATO study found Rick Perry backed an annual budget increase of 4% so he gets pegged as one of the "big spenders".
Texas' population has grown significantly over the past decade

But, let's look at how the math actually works on this.

Let's say 100 residents is our baseline in each state. At the start of our fake study, the state collects $1.00 from each of those residents in taxes to cover costs. So, 100 residents = $100 in state spending.

In Louisiana, Jindal cut spending by 1.6% according to CATO. So, the total pool of money he'd need from taxpayers would be $98.40. Population grew 2.6% over that 100 resident baseline so we're now at 102.6 residents.

Take the total state spend of $98.40 paid evenly by 102.6 resident and each taxpayer is on the hook for $.959.

Now, let's look at Texas.

Spending grew in Texas 4% over Rick Perry's time there. So, the pot of money they have to collect is up to $104.

Population also significantly grew (7%) so Texas has 107 residents to come up with that cash. Divide your spending by population (104/107) and you get a tax burden of just over $.97 per taxpayer.

So, is Jindal really the only candidate who cut spending?

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