HH: Joined now by Louisiana Governor, Bobby Jindal. Governor, great to talk to you again, welcome back.
BJ: Hugh, it’s great to be back on the show. It seems like it’s been too long. Thank you for having me.
HH: My pleasure. I want to talk about a few things with you, but I want to start, probably no major city in America has had a better comeback story than New Orleans. As you look up at Detroit, which goes into Chapter 9, and is in just terrible shape, what’s your advice for a city that needs to come back from the depths like New Orleans did, and now Detroit has to do?
BJ: Hugh, I think that’s a great question. Obviously, they were, faced different challenges, but they both face a huge challenge, and I think Rick Snyder is going to do a great job up there of helping them get back on their feet. The key to it is, you know, it’s that old adage. You’ve got to rip the Band-Aid off. So in New Orleans after Katrina, I’ll give you a couple of examples. You look at our school system, we have 80% of our kids in charter schools. The state went in there, they nullified the collective bargaining agreements, they started from scratch. In five years, they double the percentage of kids getting, doing reading and math on grade level. You look at the health care system. Instead of just recreating the old Charity hospital system, we’ve got a modern complex being built between LSU, Tulane, the VA, but most importantly, with the private sector. With Children’s Hospital, they’re going to run the hospital. So the most important lesson from New Orleans’ recovery and their ongoing success was economic development and education reform and health care reform. My most important piece of advice to Detroit is you’ve got to go ahead and rip the Band-Aid off, make the big changes. Incremental reform is not enough. When you’re doing that badly, you cannot just take small steps. That is so important, because the temptation from the status quo is going to be look, you can’t make big changes. When you look at the school changes in New Orleans, that was just a sea change. And nobody asked for Katrina, but the schools are so much better now than they were before Katrina. Katrina didn’t cause all of New Orleans’ problems, but it gave the people of New Orleans a choice of how they want to rebuild. The people in Detroit have that same choice.
HH: You know, I think, I hope they invite you up there to give a speech, because I think very few people in the country are as well-positioned as you are to speak to how do you come back. Let me speak about how do we avoid a problem. You and Governor Walker have a piece in the Wall Street Journal today, and I was debating Austin Goolsby on Sean Hannity’s show last night, and Austin says oh, Obamacare’s great, premiums are falling, and I pointed out to him small business coverage in California, the Anthem/Blue Cross has pulled out, completely out of the market, that premiums have gone up on the Kaiser system, front page of the L.A. Times today. But all of the Obamacare propagandists are out there saying this is a great, great thing, and it’s rolling out. You and Governor Walker said no. Tell people what the real situation is.
BJ: Hugh, you could not be more right. You’re exactly right. In Louisiana alone, the actuaries estimate premiums will go up 29-30%. The reality is you look at all the promises that were made with Obama. Remember, he said if you like your health care coverage, you can keep it. It turns out, that’s not going to be true for millions of Americans. He said if you like your physician, you can keep it. It turns out that you keep him or her is not going to be true for millions of Americans. He said premiums would go down. He promised $2,500 dollars, not going to be true. Premiums are going up. And he said there was going to be competition. This has been, it’s such a bad law, poorly written law. It’s a poorly-executed law. Look at all the missed deadlines. So first, they said you know, the exchanges for small business? We’re not going to have options for them. Then they said we’re not going to be able to do the employer mandate. Then they came out and said you know, we may not be able to verify the information for folks that are going to get subsidies. This is a train wreck. It is a disaster. Don’t let the propagandists fool you. You know, this president is good at giving speeches, or good at creating their own perception, but look at the facts. You’re exactly right. What’s happening in California, what’s happening in states all across this country, employers are saying we’re not going to hire new employees, we’re going to slow down hiring, we’re going to cut hours. Insurance companies are raising premiums. People are going to have a rude awakening come January when they’re going to find out they’re not going to be able to go and keep their health care plan or see the same doctor they liked before. Even the government says seven million Americans will lose their employer-based health care coverage. And again, this president said over and over, don’t worry, if you like what you have, you know, if he had kept the promises he made, this would have been a great law. The problem is it’s a train wreck. The best thing they could do is repeal the whole thing. You know, it’s ridiculous. They’ll repeal the mandate for the employers, not the individuals. The best thing to do is repeal the entire bill. Now, even the unions are attacking it. Even the unions are coming out and saying you’re going to destroy, according to their own words, the foundation of the 40 hour work week that is the backbone of the American middle class, that’s not from me. That’s from three labor unions that actually supported this administration. So they’re going to spin this because they have to. They own it. It’s no accident they’re trying to delay the implementation of part of this until after the mid-term elections. Let’s just repeal the whole thing. This was a bad law, badly written, badly executed. Let’s get rid of it. Let’s actually get together. There are bipartisan things we can do in terms of tort reform, in terms of buying insurance across state lines, health savings. There are real solutions to the health care problems. This law isn’t it.
HH: I like to keep on my radio console, Governor Jindal, this quote which you referenced.
BO: Here’s a guarantee that I’ve made. If you have insurance that you like, then you will be able to keep that insurance. If you’ve got a doctor that you like, you will be able to keep your doctor.
HH: Now as you pointed out, that is palpably not true. But yesterday, the President went to Knox College, and that’s been around since 1837. I don’t think they’ve ever had as long a speech as was given there yesterday. None of it had to do with specifics. Detroit was not mentioned once. He just made a series of blanket assertions about how things were getting better, and the Affordable Care Act was rolling out. What’s your advice to the average person listening on how to fight back against this?
BJ: Well, look, in Louisiana, we refused to do the exchanges, we refused to do the Medicaid expansion, passed several bills in our legislature. But for the average person, what we need to do is let our elected representatives know that this is one of the worst things, this will be, if we do not get rid of this and repeal this, this will be this administration’s worst legacy, and I say that for an administration that’s run up the deficit, now the debt’s almost $17 trillion dollars. They’ve done an awful job with the foreign policy. This is an administration that has presided over, I can’t really call this a recovery when you look at what they’ve done to the economy. They’ve raised taxes, they’ve increased government spending, they’ve done a lot of things I dislike that I oppose. Their energy policies are, to the extent they’ve got one, are ridiculous and are setting us back. Of all the negative things they’ve done, putting a sixth of the economy under the government’s control, make no mistake about it, the left is very ideological about this. This is all about, you know, if you look at the scandals, the NSA, the AP, Benghazi, these are all symptoms of what happens when a government gets too big, too intrusive, and that’s exactly what we’ve got with Obamacare. And so for the listeners out there, we need to make sure our elected representatives know this is our top priority. We need to get rid of this.
HH: You know, Governor, I began the show by saying there is a split happening. I have always been a big public education guy. I’ve led bond campaigns to pass bonds for school districts in the public sector. And I’ve never really felt antagonistic towards it. But I think the politics of the last five years have driven a wedge between ordinary Americans and the government class, meaning people who work for the government. What do you think?
BJ: Absolutely. Look, you’ve got this permanent class. They don’t apply the same rules to themselves. They think they know how to live our lives better than we do, and you see it in small signs like when they want to ban large sodas, silly things like that. The bigger signs, I really do believe this President, this government, this administration, they don’t believe in freedom. They don’t trust the American people, whether it’s the 2nd Amendment, or they’ve got problems with some of the 1st Amendment. You know, in my state, we had a case where they wanted to cut off $30,000 dollars to a sheriff because he had a kid rehabilitation program where they had voluntary prayer. This administration really, it is so both ideological and incompetent, I think you’re right. I think they really believe, you know, Bill Clinton said the era of big government is over. This President is doing everything he can to prove that wasn’t true. They really in their bones, I think, believe that the government and the government elite know better how to live our lives. I have more confidence in the American people. You know Buckley’s famous quote. I mean, I won’t repeat that here for you, but the bottom line is, I think you’re right. I didn’t vote for Bill Clinton, but I think that this President is much more ideological, much more liberal, much more extreme than Bill Clinton ever was.
HH: Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, thank you. I hope you get up to Detroit to give them some help in terms of the idea generation very, very soon.
End of interview.