Interviews

Bobby Jindal on tax plan: 'Everybody should pay something'

Presidential candidate says strategy requires every American to have skin in the game; Louisiana governor sounds off on 'Your World'

 

This is a rush transcript from "Your World," October 7, 2015. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

NEIL CAVUTO, HOST: All right, when Donald Trump introduced his tax plan, and it was his first putting pen to paper with a plan of any sort on some of the key issues, it was greeted with a lot of widespread praise, but, but, but it had a feature that bugged some, that is, a zero percent rate that would add 75 million American households to the don't pay a thing in taxes category, almost half to American households.

Bobby Jindal, who is also running for president, the Louisiana governor, says that is a problem. He doesn't want the very poorest to pay 15, 20, 25 percent. Two percent would do it for him, as long everyone has skin in the game.

Governor, was that your argument for this?

GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, R-LA., PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Absolutely, Neil.

Look, I think everybody should pay something. The reality is, too many Americans now think money just grows on trees. We have got this ridiculous out-of-control government spending, $18 trillion of debt. I think earned success is so much better than unearned success.

Even 2 percent, that may be the most important two percent in my entire tax plan. I think everybody should pay at least something towards the government.

CAVUTO: All right. All tax rates go down under your plan. The question then comes up, will those who are paying at least something to provide extra revenue to the government, because people crunch numbers all the time, to be sure, Governor, and they say your plan, all these other plans are not going to be revenue-neutral.

You say what?

JINDAL: I say look, I'm proud that my plan is different in three distinct ways from other Republican ways. We all have lower rates and do other things. One, as we have noted, everybody pays something. Secondly, we zero out the corporate tax rate to create more jobs and income in America, not overseas.

But, third, Neil, I explicitly say we're reducing government revenue and we're proud of that. We need to shrink the size of government. We cut government revenue 22 percent over 10 years. I have reduced the size of government spending in Louisiana. We have cut our budget 26 percent in eight years.

If we're not serious about shrinking the size of government, we need to go home. This is one of the central arguments of this election. Do we allow government to continue to grow? You can't grow the American economy unless you shrink the government economy.

So, look, I know liberals are attacking me for requiring everybody to pay something. They're attacking me for shrinking government. We did that on purpose. Those aren't defects. Those are intentional features of our tax reform.

CAVUTO: What did you think of Hillary Clinton now coming out against this Trans-Pacific Partnership, this deal with our Asian partners, minus China, to counter China and help the American worker? The president thinks it will. She came out and said just a couple of hours ago it won't.

JINDAL: Well, Neil, look, it's hard to keep up with her shifting positions.

I guess she looked at a recent opinion poll. She was -- remember at one point she was kind of for the Keystone pipeline? Then she was going to be quiet about it until the president decided. Now she's against it. Now we're finding out she was involved in the early negotiations on this trade deal.

CAVUTO: What about you? Are you for it?

JINDAL: She seemed quiet about it.

Look, I'm for trade. I think free trade is good, fair trade is good for our country. I wasn't for giving this president fast track authority, only because I don't trust this president.

I want to see -- unlike Hillary, I actually want to see the details of the plan, of the trade deal, before I make a final decision. In general, I'm for trade. I think it can be good for our country.

And, Neil, one other point about our tax code. I do want folks to understand folks at every income level earn more under our plan. It's a pro-growth plan. It could add up to six million jobs, nearly six million jobs.

So, at every income level, people earn more. I still think that's consistent with a principle that folks should pay at least something, a little bit, at least something.

CAVUTO: Were you among the presidential candidates who got Hillary Clinton's book? I think she sent it to all of you guys.

JINDAL: I did. She sent her book to me. And I responded to her.

I'm be happy to read it as soon as she finds times to watch those Planned Parenthood videos. I would be more than happy to take time to read her book, if she can find time to watch those videos. Neil, I don't think I'm going to be reading that book any time soon.

CAVUTO: Did she sign it to you?

JINDAL: I do believe it was addressed to me by name.

CAVUTO: Really?

JINDAL: I don't know if she signed it or an aide signed it or it was auto-penned, but it was addressed to me.

But, like I said, I'm more than happy to read her book. I just -- I want her to watch those videos. We got a science denier. She refuses to say babies. She keeps saying fetal research or fetal tissue or specimens.  I think that if she will watch those videos, I will make that deal on the air. I'll read her book as soon as she watches the videos.

CAVUTO: All right.

In the latest polls -- and I know we're always focusing too much on this -- I think you're right about that -- but you're percolating in a couple of them here. You have moved up a little bit here.

And I'm wondering, how much do you focus on them? And do you worry if a Donald Trump continues to steal all the oxygen in the room, and all these other alternative candidates like a Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina continue to dominate the scene?

JINDAL: Oh, not at all.

Our strategy has been the same. And you're right. We are moving up in the polls. Here in Iowa, we have moved up significantly. We're spending time on the ground talking to voters. We're in the top five here.  Different polls have shown us doing very well.

But, Neil, our strategy hasn't changed. We're answering the tough questions. I'm the only one that's done things, not just talked about things. We canceled Planned Parenthood's contract. We're the only one with a plan to get rid of ObamaCare. We are the only one that has cut government spending.

What I think voters are saying is they're tired of both parties. They want somebody to fight for them. They're tired. They're angrier at the Republicans, who tell us one thing, get elected, do another. At least the Democrats are honest. They're honest socialists with Bernie Sanders, whereas the Republicans, they say they're going to stop Planned Parenthood and the Iran deal and ObamaCare and amnesty. Nothing gets done.

I think they're looking for somebody that is going to fight for them.  We have got that proven track record. We're going to earn it on the ground. I know the D.C. folks want to clear the field, but the voters in the early states get to decide. That's why I think we're doing better in these polls.

CAVUTO: All right, Bobby Jindal, thank you. Very good seeing you again.

JINDAL: Thank you, Neil. Always great to be with you.

CAVUTO: All right.

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