Departing Hoosier Gov. Mitch Daniels has gotten a lot of praise for being bold, along the lines of, "Gasp! A Republican conservative actually tries new things." But I think Bobby Jindal has him beat:
Gov. Bobby Jindal is proposing to eliminate Louisiana's income and corporate taxes and pay for those cuts with increased sales taxes, the governor's office confirmed Thursday. The governor's office has not yet provided the details of the plan.
“The bottom line is that for too long, Louisiana’s workers and small businesses have suffered from having a state tax structure that is too complex and that holds back economic prosperity,” Jindal said in a statement released by his office. “It’s time to change that so people can keep more of their own money and foster an environment where businesses want to invest and create good-paying jobs.”
There's a lot to like about the plan. It would simplify the state's taxing system in a way that would encourage, say, a manufacturing plant looking around for a new state. It would be revenue neutral, so it's not designed to make government grow. (Not that I'd be against a plan that would reduce revenue.) It would shift the tax disencentive from income producers and wage earners to consumers, so savings would be encouraged. This is just the kind of experiment envisioned by those who created our states-as-the-labs-of-democracy federalist system. Compare this idea to the continuing (and aways evolving) mess known as the federal tax code.
It's ideas like that which gets Jindal on Ed Morrissey's list of five people who could end up leading the Republican Party this year, along with Rick Perry, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie. For the record, he thinks Rubio -- the "most talented of the Class of 2010 -- is the one with the best chance to unite the party's various factions:
Of 2013’s potential leaders, none bridges the gap between the Tea Party and traditional Republican values better than Senator Rubio. He was easily the most talented of the class of 2010, both politically and rhetorically. His speech at the Republican convention last year was both the emotional and political high point of the week for the GOP. Of the five Republicans to watch, Rubio has the talent to provide the most unity in the short term. He has offered broad support for a strong military, social conservatism, and significant fiscal reform without alienating other factions in the party. His leadership would also allow for a public image of the Republican Party that moves away in some degree from the perception of a party of old, white men – and could lift Ted Cruz and Susana Martinez, among others, to higher profiles to bolster the shift. Furthermore, Rubio has the pole position in this leadership change, thanks to his efforts in the last two years in outreach and media strategy.
He may be right, and Rubio will be attractive when it comes to scouting for 2016 presidential talent. The only think arguing against him is lack of executive experience, which might tilt a lot of people toward a Jindal or, oh, a Mike Pence.