Budget Battle Between Bobby Jindal, “Fiscal Hawks” Continues
LAFAYETTE, La. (KPEL) -- The rhetoric from both sides ratcheted up a notch as the budget showdown between Gov. Bobby Jindal and budget reformers--or "fiscal hawks" as they're referred to by members of the media--continued for another day.
Scott McKay, a writer for the Hayride website, joined the "Afternoon Drive Home" Monday to provide his insights on the ongoing budget battle.
The fiscal hawks have repeatedly taken issue with Jindal's use of one-time money to fund his budgets, blaming his budgeting tactics for the incessant mid-year and end-of-year cuts to areas like healthcare and higher education.
But where the national debate on the budget usually pits Republicans versus Democrats, this situation is putting Republicans against fellow Republicans. The debate became personal for state Rep. John Schroder, a leading figure in the budget reform movement, as the Louisiana GOP targeted him in a media release Monday, accusing Shroder of acting more like a Democrat than a Republican.
"As a Republican, I find it extremely disconcerting that that happens," McKay said. "What's disconcerting is that the state party is...taking sides on what is basically an internecine battle within the Republican Party. If there's going to be a battle and they're going to take a side, you're going to expect them to take the governor's side."
Not many details are known about the plan the hawks are expected to release some time this week, but McKay said the group is expected to form a coalition with the black caucus, a risky move on their part and potential political suicide for some.
"If the product of that alliance ends up being...tax increases on business....at that point, I'm not sure how you defend yourself against a charge that you're a RINO, and I'm not sure exactly how you defend yourself in 2015 when somebody runs a conservative Republican against you," McKay said.
At the same time, McKay said it is possible to increase revenues without cutting exemptions to such key parts of the economy.
Jindal has criticized budget reformers in the House, claiming they want to raise taxes by some $500 million. Whether that is true remains to be seen, as the group doesn't plan on releasing its version of a budget until some time this week.
To listen to the complete 16 minute interview, click 'Play' below.