Monday, July 02, 2012

De-enlightenment: Bobby Jindal and the Republican fight against literacy

Apparently Louisiana Governor -- rising Republican star and possible Romney veep pick -- Bobby Jindal doesn't much care for public libraries:

Citing budget concerns, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has signed a $25-billion budget that eliminates almost $900,000 in state funding for its libraries. In a statement, the governor's chief budget aide, Paul Rainwater, said, "In tight budget times, we prioritized funding for healthcare and education. Operations such as local libraries can be supported with local, not state dollars."

On Thursday, Library Journal took a look at that assertion. What they found was that while some local parishes may be able to cover the funding gap, others will feel the loss. Rural parishes will face a particularly daunting challenge.

When you're crafting a budget, it's certainly necessary to prioritize and fine to focus on things like health care and education, but don't allow yourselves to be fooled, this is part of the imposition of a right-wing agenda, not an unfortunate cut during a period of fiscal constraint, and Republicans like Jindal would be doing this no matter what the fiscal situation given their opposition to government generally, and specifically to anything that supports the less fortunate (i.e., non-rich) in society. 

Indeed, as C&L's Karoli notes, "education funding" for Jindal "means sending lots of state money to church and corporate-run charter schools." Meanwhile, he has "cut taxes six times and is a Grover Norquist favorite."

Priorities, priorities. His just happen to lie on the far right.

You think he might actually be concerned about things like public libraries in his state, what with its high rates of illiteracy, high school dropouts, and poverty, but... no. Not so much.

Republicans may like their government small, but to succeed electorally they also need voters (those they allow on the rolls) to be as ignorant as possible.

This can only help their retrograde cause.

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