In light of the negative press that Gov. Bobby Jindal has received lately by the liberal media, I’m worried that his successor will be unable to continue his brave work. I would therefore like to submit some words of advice to the next governor so that Jindal’s legacy can live on for many years to come.
1. CREATE A BUDGET CRISIS. This step is the most important and requires the most persistence. You may want to begin by dismantling voter-approved tax plans and relying on one-time monies. You may even want to threaten something crazy like getting rid of the income tax altogether so that people will accept your actual plan with some relief. But remember, your goal here is not a single shortfall but a structural and accumulating crisis. Midyear budget cuts are also helpful in this regard as they too add up over time.
2. ENCOURAGE COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES TO RAISE TUITION. But be careful, do not allow this move to be interpreted as a tax increase. Instead, cast higher education as a luxury, something nice but inessential like a Lexus, health care or clean air. If people begin to pester you about the consequence of raising tuition on state programs like TOPS and thus taxes, ignore them at all costs! Increasing tuition also has the added bonus of discouraging enrollment, and we all know what that means.
3. MAKE THE INSTITUTIONS AS UNATTRACTIVE AS POSSIBLE TO STUDENTS. Take advantage of every disaster no matter how big or small. Slow down construction and renovation. Reduce existing majors and discourage new ones. And above all, envision a defunding feedback loop that looks something like this: For every cut that you make, enrollment will decrease, which in turn will allow you to cut even more. If enrollment drops by even one student, you know you are moving in the right direction.
4. MASSAGE THE DETAILS IF YOU HAPPEN TO BE IN THE NATIONAL NEWS. Remember, Baton Rouge is just a temporary stop on a much longer journey to the White House and beyond. When you encounter critics (and you will encounter critics), just repeat to yourself that they have no real power over you. You won the gubernatorial race fair and square because a portion of the state voted for you. You are thus accountable to no one. Besides, you have bigger fish to fry.
If you follow these four easy steps, you will be keeping alive the heroic achievements of your predecessor, and it won’t be long before the good citizens of Louisiana will be free at last from the heavy burden of higher education.