Bobby Jindal on Tax Reform

Republican Governor; previously Representative (LA-1)


3-tiered tax rate: 25%/10%/2%, with 2% for even the poorest

Q: What is the highest percentage, all in, in the way of taxes, that any American should have to pay and what is the lowest? I'd like to to hear from each of you.

JINDAL: Under our tax plan, look, the top rate is 25 percent, 10 percent, 2 percent. That 2 percent is the most important. I think everybody should pay something. I think everybody should have skin in the game. We shouldn't be creating one group of Americans that's dependent on government, another group that's paying taxes

Sen. SANTORUM: I have a 20% flat tax. That's on all income--so capital gains, corporations, individuals, 20%. I think that's a fair number. [With state taxes, that makes] probably 33% overall.

Gov. CHRISTIE: Our plan puts forward a rate of 28% for those who are making the most and 8% on the low end. We get rid of all deductions except for the home mortgage interest deduction and the charitable contribution deduction. That means getting rid of the state and local income tax deduction.

Source: Fox Business/WSJ Second Tier debate , Nov 10, 2015

FactCheck: JFK lowered top income tax rate from 91% to 65%

Gov. Jindal quoted JFK as saying "paradoxically, lowering tax rates now is the best way to produce higher government revenues later." Jindal asserted that the same paradox would apply today, so we should "cut taxes, shrink government, grow the American economy. Kennedy said it to the Democratic Party. Why can't we say it in the Republican Party in 2015?"

Jindal was referring to a 1962 speech in which JFK pledged "across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes" for the purpose of stimulating the economy. So is Jindal making a fair analogy?

No, because the top marginal tax rate in 1962 was 91% and JFK proposed lowering the top rate to 65% (compared to a top rate of 37% today). In the context of much higher rates in 1962, cutting tax rates meant something very different than today--Jindal knew that context, and hence was lying about JFK's proposal. No politician of any party today would even consider RAISING tax rates to the LOWER 65% levels proposed by JFK in 1962!

Source: OnTheIssues FactCheck on GOP 2015 CNBC debate , Oct 28, 2015

Set tax brackets at 25% and 10%, then 2% even for the poor

Q: What's your tax plan?

JINDAL: I'd simplify the brackets to 25%, 10%, 2%, so that an average middle-class family that pays 25% today, would pay 10% under my plan. I think everybody should pay something, even if it's only 2%. That's the most important 2% in my plan. There are millions of folks that wouldn't pay taxes in Jeb's plan and Trump's plan. I think that's a mistake.

Q: But every working American pays 6.2%, when it comes to Social Security taxes. They pay another 1.45% of Medicare. Isn't that skin in the game?

JINDAL: You're talking about payroll taxes that fund programs. People pay for their Medicare, they pay for their Social Security. I want every American to worry and care about how those folks in D.C. are spending our money. I don't want us to continue to create one class of Americans that pays income taxes, that pays for government, another class of Americans that's growing more and more dependent on government. That's what we have today.

Source: GOP `Your Money/Your Vote` 2015 CNBC 2nd-tier debate , Oct 28, 2015

Implement lower, flatter tax code

I have an overall comprehensive tax reform that has a lower, flatter tax code, sure. We've got to cut the size of the government economy. Nobody else running for president has done that. I'm the only candidate. I've cut my state budget 26 percent. Everybody else talks about it, we have done it. So, there's a part of overall tax reform that cuts rates, flattens and lowers the tax code, sure. But I'm not for raising taxes on anybody. We already have too much money going to D.C.
Source: 2015 Republican two-tiered primary undercard debate on CNN , Sep 16, 2015

Eliminate some deductions & loopholes; broaden the tax base

On taxes, Jindal says he would eliminate state income taxes, and look to local governments to plug Louisiana's budget hole.

It is not yet clear how Jindal would address the federal tax system. As governor of Louisiana, he has pushed to eliminate state income taxes by eliminating some deductions or loopholes and trying to broaden the tax base. Faced with significant state budget shortfalls, Jindal has [proposed cutting back on tax credits that largely help local governments.

Source: PBS News Hour "2016 Candidate Stands" series , Jun 24, 2015

Overhaul our tax code and eliminate income taxes

One of the biggest obstacles we face in helping more Louisianians find work, bringing more people here, and growing our economy is Louisiana's tax code. Our current tax code is complex, unstable and unfair. Our tax system is unfair and riddled with loopholes and exemptions.

That's why my top priority is to overhaul our tax code and eliminate income taxes. This is our moment to eliminate the income tax and unleash major economic growth and opportunity in our state that will keep our sons and daughters here at home to find jobs and raise a family.

Eliminating income taxes will help make Louisiana the very best place to start a business. This is the best way to grow our economy and create good-paying jobs throughout the state.

Over the last ten years, more than 60% of the 3 million new jobs in America were created by the nine states without an income tax. Over the past decade, states without income taxes have seen nearly 60 percent higher population growth than the national average.

Source: 2013 State of the State speech to La. legislature , Apr 8, 2013

Simplify our complicated tax code by blowing it up

Jindal wants to radically simplify our complicated tax code, going so far as to suggest "blowing it up," although he didn't specify what he would replace it with, beyond promising that it would contain fewer weird exemptions and deductions arranged by lobbyists. It would require us to "recalibrate the compass of conservatism." Jindal was relatively unique among CPAC speakers in saying this re-calibration would come in economic, rather than social areas. Most others have been suggesting conservatives move to the left on some social topics, but Jindal would have none of that, because "America already has one liberal party."

"I'm not calling for a period of introspection and navel-gazing," the Governor promised. "Far from it. I'm calling for us to get busy winning the argument. There is much work to be done. Then, after that, we must go out and win the next election, so that we can preserve for our children and grandchildren all that makes us the greatest country in the history of the world."

Source: 2013 Conservative Political Action Conf. in "Human Events" , Mar 16, 2013

The more you pay in taxes the less you are free

A surprising number of Americans do not see any connection between the growth of government and the loss of freedom. It just doesn't compute for them. They figure the government is supposed to protect them, therefore bigger government means more protection.

So let me bypass political correctness and say exactly what I mean: the more you pay in taxes the less free you are--the less free you are to do what you want with your money, to start a business, to chase your dreams, to chart your own course, to live the way you want and make your own way in this world.

When government grows too large, we begin to lose pieces of our freedom. Big government programs that try to take care of everyone are like cement. When Washington pours them, they set and last forever. Their heavy weight crushes innovation, kills competition, chokes our work ethic, erodes responsibility, and suppresses rugged individualism.

Source: Leadership and Crisis, by Bobby Jindal, p.159 , Nov 15, 2010

Create jobs by lowering tax rates for families & business

To solve our current problems, Washington must lead. But the way to lead is not to raise taxes and not to just put more money and power in hands of Washington politicians. The way to lead is by empowering you, the American people.

That is why Republicans put forward plans to create jobs by lowering income tax rates for working families, cutting taxes for small businesses, strengthening incentives for businesses to invest in new equipment and hire new workers, and stabilizing home values by creating a new tax credit for home-buyers. These plans would cost less and create more jobs.

But Democratic leaders in Congress--they rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history, with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest.

Source: GOP response to the 2009 State of the Union address , Feb 24, 2009

Federal tax rebate should be exempted from state income tax

Bush recently signed an economic stimulus package that will give around 1.9 million Louisianians a federal rebate check--returning tax money to taxpayers. This return of funds to taxpayers should not be subjected to yet another tax as income at the state level. In this session, we must ensure that the state does not take away with one hand what the federal government gives with another.
Source: Second Special Session Speech , Mar 9, 2008

Eliminate the permanent tax on business utilities

We begin to directly target the archaic business taxes that are discouraging further investment by our existing Louisiana businesses and detracting businesses from across the country who are considering investing here. We will eliminate the burdensome permanent tax on business utilities, accelerate the elimination of the tax on business investment and accelerate the elimination of the tax on capital debt.
Source: Second Special Session Speech , Mar 9, 2008

Speed up the elimination of the tax on capital debt

We must accelerate the elimination of the tax on business investments--and we must also go one step further and speed up the elimination of the tax on capital debt. Taxing businesses that borrow money to grow and expand hurts all businesses, but it is especially toxic to the small and family-owned businesses that are the backbone of our economy. Economic development starts by investing in our businesses here at home first and removing the burdensome taxes that are hindering their growth.
Source: Second Special Session Speech , Mar 9, 2008

Use vehicle taxes & license fees for transportation expenses

We must dedicate the taxes and fees already paid for transportation expenses toward transportation needs. Vehicle taxes and license fees are currently being diverted into the general fund. Driving Louisiana Forward has applauded this common-sense reform that will provide more than $250 million each year to use on our roads and ports within the next five years. Louisiana currently get an “F” grade for our roads and this common-sense reform will help ensure Louisiana goes to the top of another “good” list
Source: Second Special Session Speech , Mar 9, 2008

Make the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts permanent

Make the 2001 and 2003 Bush tax cuts permanent. This year alone, these tax cuts will pump over $176 billion back into our economy. These tax cuts begin to expire next year. I will work to make these tax cuts permanent.
Source: 2004 House campaign website, BobbyJindal.com , Nov 2, 2004

Voted YES on retaining reduced taxes on capital gains & dividends.

Vote to reduce federal spending by $56.1 billion over five years by retaining a reduced tax rate on capital gains and dividends, as well as.
Reference: Tax Relief Extension Reconciliation Act; Bill HR 4297 ; vote number 2005-621 on Dec 8, 2005

Rated 0% by the CTJ, indicating opposition to progressive taxation.

Jindal scores 0% by the CTJ on taxationissues

OnTheIssues.org interprets the 2005-2006 CTJ scores as follows:

About CTJ (from their website, www.ctj.org):

Citizens for Tax Justice, founded in 1979, is not-for-profit public interest research and advocacy organization focusing on federal, state and local tax policies and their impact upon our nation. CTJ's mission is to give ordinary people a greater voice in the development of tax laws. Against the armies of special interest lobbyists for corporations and the wealthy, CTJ fights for:

Source: CTJ website 06n-CTJ on Dec 31, 2006

Supports the Taxpayer Protection Pledge.

Jindal signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge against raising taxes

[The ATR, Americans for Tax Reform, run by conservative lobbyist Grover Norquist, ask legislators to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge in each election cycle. Their self-description:]

In the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, candidates and incumbents solemnly bind themselves to oppose any and all tax increases. Since its rollout in 1986, the pledge has become de rigeur for Republicans seeking office, and is a necessity for Democrats running in Republican districts. Today the Taxpayer Protection Pledge is offered to every candidate for state office and to all incumbents. More than 1,100 state officeholders, from state representative to governor, have signed the Pledge.

The Taxpayer Protection Pledge: "I pledge to the taxpayers of my district and to the American people that I will: ONE, oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal income tax rate for individuals and business; and TWO, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions and credits, unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates."

Opponents' Opinion (from wikipedia.com):In Nov. 2011, Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV) claimed that Congressional Republicans "are being led like puppets by Grover Norquist. They're giving speeches that we should compromise on our deficit, but never do they compromise on Grover Norquist. He is their leader." Since Norquist's pledge binds signatories to opposing deficit reduction agreements that include any element of increased tax revenue, some Republican deficit hawks now retired from office have stated that Norquist has become an obstacle to deficit reduction. Former Republican Senator Alan Simpson, co-chairman of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, has been particularly critical, describing Norquist's position as "no taxes, under any situation, even if your country goes to hell."

Source: Taxpayer Protection Pledge 12-ATR on Jan 1, 2012

Other governors on Tax Reform: Bobby Jindal on other issues:
LA Gubernatorial:
Charles Boustany
Eddie Rispone
John Bel Edwards
John Neely Kennedy
Ralph Abraham
LA Senatorial:
Antoine Pierce
Bill Cassidy
Charles Boustany
Foster Campbell
John Fleming
John Neely Kennedy
Joseph Cao
Rob Maness
Thomas Clements

Gubernatorial Debates 2019:
Bevin(R) vs.Goforth(R,lost primary) vs.Adkins(D,lost primary) vs.Beshear(D) vs.Edelen(D,lost primary)
Edwards(D) vs.Rispone(R) vs.Abraham(R) vs.Kennedy(R,declined)
Bryant(R,retiring) vs.Foster(R) vs.Hood(D) vs.Reeves(R) vs.Waller(R)

Gubernatorial Debates 2021:
Murphy(D) vs.Ciattarelli(R)
Northam(D,term-limited) vs.Herring(D)

Gubernatorial Debates 2020:
DE: vs.Carney(incumbent) vs.Williams(D)
IN: vs.Holcomb(incumbent) vs.Melton(D) vs.Woody Myers(D)
MO: Parson(incumbent) vs.Nicole Galloway(D) vs.Jim Neely(R)
MT: Bullock(retiring) vs.Fox(R) vs.Perry(R) vs.Gianforte(R) vs.Stapleton(R) vs.Olszewski(R) vs.Neill(D) vs.Schreiner(D) vs.Cooney(D) vs.Williams(D)
NC: Cooper(incumbent) vs.Forest(R) vs.Holly Grange(R)
ND: Burgum(incumbent) vs.Michael Coachman(R)
NH: Sununu(incumbent) vs.Volinksy(D) vs.Dan Feltes(D)
PR: Rossello(D;resigned) vs.Wanda Vazquez Garced(D)
UT: Herbert(retiring) vs.Huntsman(R) vs.Cox(R) vs.Jeff Burningham(R)
VT: Scott(incumbent) vs.Rebecca Holcombe(D) vs.Zuckerman(D)
WA: Inslee(incumbent) vs.Bryant(R) vs.Fortunato(R)
WV: Justice(incumbent) vs.Folk(R) vs.Thrasher(R) vs.Vanover(D) vs.Smith(D) vs.Ron Stollings(D)
Civil Rights
Foreign Policy
Free Trade
Govt. Reform
Gun Control
Health Care
Homeland Security
Local Issues
Social Security
Tax Reform

Contact info:
Email Contact Form
Fax number:

Page last updated: Apr 15, 2020