The political freefall of Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal is interesting on multiple levels (Chris Fitzsimon will have more on this subject this afternoon). Notwithstanding the man’s infamous deer-in-the-headlights state of the union response from a few years back, conservatives were still touting him as a rising star and potential national candidate not that long ago.
That he would now have trouble getting elected dog catcher in the Bayou State and be forced to abandon his signature tax plan is emblematic of a remarkable political collapse — especially for a politician without any apparent immediate problems with prosecutors or prostitutes. (Of course, it should be noted that current Louisiana Senator David Vitter admitted to the latter problem with no lasting ill effects).
What the fall of Jindalnomics would seem to say most clearly is that the extreme, Norquistian idea of eliminating corporate and personal income taxes and making an already regressive tax system even more regressive is not just nutty from a policy standpoint, but extremely nutty politcally. Ultimately, it only serves to confirm in the minds of voters that conservatives are first and foremost about making the rich richer. And even in Louisiana and North Carolina — places in which people of modest means generally shy away from stances that smack of class warfare — this is simply a politically suicidal position.
The question now for North Carolina’s conservative political leaders — all of whom have embraced Jindalnomics to one degree or another (especially the state Senate under the leadership of Phil Berger and Bob Rucho) — is whether they really want to push ahead with their own ultra-regressive plan to slash (or even do away with) corporate and personal income taxes.
As of this morning, such a hardline position appears to have gotten a great deal riskier.