Gov. Bobby Jindal gave an enlightened talk at Destrehan Library last Thursday as part of a statewide “Building a Better Louisiana for Our Children” tour. It’s main focus was on the future of the state and how it rests with our younger people.
And in that context, he emphasized how we owe it to them to provide the infrastructure that will let them carry out a great future for Louisiana.
“They can’t be the first generation that does not get more opportunities than we had. Our state has had tough times in recent years. Four hurricanes and an historic oil spill could have done us in.
“But it didn’t. Louisiana will be okay because we have the best of people.” They are resilient, he emphasized.
He criticized the federal government for slowing down recovery from the oil spill by saying they couldn’t take certain actions because they had never done that before.
“The right hand of government didn’t know what the left hand was doing. As a result, the oil sat in the wetlands while they were delaying.” Jindal claimed that Louisiana people came up with successful ideas that eventually were put into use. He said the “de facto moratorium” on drilling in the Gulf was instituted by the federal government after it was decided by experts that it was not necessary.
The governor said the current recession is the worst since the great depression. He pointed out that the federal government owes $14 trillion and wants to double that debt in the next decade. “Inflation rates will go up if they do it.”
Jindal emphasized that the people have to create a state that will stop “our sons and daughters from leaving” and will get those who left to come back. He related a joke which Congressman Billy Tauzin used to tell: “Half the people in Louisiana are under water and the other half is under indictment.” But he added that Louisiana, which was in the bottom five of the states, is now in the top five.
He pointed out that as long as he is governor, he will not raise taxes. He will work to improve health care and education without it.
“Not every student will go to college,” he said, emphasizing that high schools and vocational schools can do a great job in preparing people for work. He emphasized that students should stay in school until they are ready for the work world. Those who do not tend to commit crimes and take drugs.
But Jindal is optimistic about the future of the state. “No doubt we will outperform the rest of the country.”
The governor praised the work of the Louisiana National Guard which has 3,000 members serving in the Iraq area and others in Haiti. And they worked 24/7 during and after the oil spill, doing a great job in moving rock and sand and other necessary tasks, he pointed out..
As for his New Year’s resolutions, Jindal wants the state to continue to outgrow the national economy.