Bobby Jindal slams Barack Obama for wasteful spending

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has criticised US President Barack Obama, saying his administration would go down in history for propagating government greed.

Last Updated: Mar 01, 2013, 08:34 AM IST

Houston: Indian-American Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal has criticised US President Barack Obama, saying his administration would go down in history for propagating government greed and wasteful spending.

In a National Review op-ed released on Thursday, Jindal slammed the President for making doomsday predictions on the impacts of the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration and added cuts could be made without endangering crucial services.

"Sequestration cuts account for less than three percent of the federal budget, but the President would have you believe that the world is going to end if they happen," Jindal wrote in the op-ed for the conservative semimonthly magazine, referring to the USD 85 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin on Friday, March 01.

But he added, "Americans know that at least 3 percent of federal-government spending is wasteful - and they would tell you there`s room to cut the waste without jeopardising critical services."

Jindal, the head of the Republican Governors Association, said the Obama years would be remembered as "the Era of Government Greed" due to the administration`s "insatiable appetite for higher taxes and government growth".

He also reiterated calls for Obama to delay implementing his health care reforms under the Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid expansion.

Jindal has repeatedly said he would reject the expansion for Louisiana, even as New Jersey Governor.

Chris Christie became the latest in a string of Republican governors to accept the expansion.

"One idea I had was to delay Obamacare by not implementing the health-insurance exchanges and the Medicaid expansions. This would save tens of billions of dollars, and it wouldn`t cut a program that has already started," he wrote.

The op-ed echoed remarks Jindal made at the White House on Monday, in which he said a deal to avert sequestration cuts could be made if Obama showed leadership by sending Congress a list of reductions that preserves critical services.

The remarks, in which he added the President should "stop trying to scare the American people", were made soon after he and other governors met with Obama to discuss the cuts.

The White House had earlier released a list of state-by-state sequestration cuts that showed Louisiana schools and children`s programs would lose millions of dollars and thousands of federal employees who live here would have to stop working if the cuts go into effect on Friday.

The White House release said the sequester would trigger tens of millions of dollars in cuts in Louisiana alone including USD 15.8 million to primary and secondary education, USD 2.5 million in environmental funding for clean water and air quality and USD 66 million in Army and Air Force operations.

On Wednesday, two days before the sequester was slated to kick in, Congress and the Obama administration were still no closer to reaching a compromise, with the President wanting to close tax loopholes that benefit the wealthy and Congressional Republicans saying any savings from eliminating tax loopholes should go to reducing overall tax rates.