CNSNews.com asked Jindal, “Is it your belief if these cuts do take effect, all these calamities and apocalyptic predictions won’t happen?”
Jindal – who along with a group of other governors, met with Obama at the White House Monday morning – said the $85 billion in annual reductions in the growth of federal spending could occur without tragic consequences.
“I’d say two things. The president needs to stop trying to scare the American people that absolutely you can cut less than three percent without all these awful consequences, without people losing access to critical vaccines, without us jeopardizing food inspections, without hallowing out the military,” Jindal told CNSNews.com. “Certainly you can make these reductions without these consequences.
“But secondly, I want to be clear. I’m in no way defending the particular cuts that are required by the sequestration,” Jindal continued. “That’s why I think it’s the president’s responsibility – and certainly members of Congress should be willing to work with him, and I know the House last year passed a couple of different alternatives. But it is certainly the president’s obligation as chief executive to step up to the plate and do his job, show real leadership and show the American people and show the Congress how to make these reductions in a prioritized way.”
Jindal was in Washington for the winter meeting of the National Governors Association. Also in the meeting were NGA chairman Delaware Gov. Jack Markell and NGA Vice Chairwoman Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. Other governors in the meeting were Scott Walker of Wisconsin, Pat McCroy of North Carolina, Alejandro Javier Garcia Padilla of the territory of Puerto Rico, Jay Nixon of Missouri, Dan Malloy of Connecticut, Martin O’Malley of Maryland, John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Peter Shumlin of Vermont.
Jindal said the president was not receptive to his suggestion in the meeting about delaying any new spending to prevent cuts to existing programs.
“This would be the equivalent of a family saying, ‘Look, we’re only going to pay 90 percent of our mortgage, but we’re still taking a vacation.’ That makes no sense. No family would do that,” Jindal continued.
“Every family would pay the mortgage and go on the vacation. Similarly, the federal government should fund its priorities, go after the waste, go after the excess. It just makes sense. Why in the world wouldn’t we reconsider new spending? If these cuts are truly that devastating, why in the world does it make sense tens of billions of dollars on new programs today? Wouldn’t it be more rational to delay those instead of cutting existing services?” he asked.