Cleveland, August 6 – Gov. Bobby Jindal calls for government to work as an assistance, not as a barrier, for people with disabilities wanting to enter the workforce.
“We could change some of the incentives in our government programs to give folks the support, instead of an all or nothing approach, a more flexible approach,” Jindal said to The RespectAbility Report following the Fox News debate. “Folks, if they are able to, can use these programs to actually get jobs and become more self sufficient.”
“Too often government acts as a barrier rather than an assistance in terms of helping people get back to work,” Jindal continued. “Too often people face this dilema that they may lose the assistance they need if they try to go back to work and I think there are things we can do to make sure the government’s helping people go to work, not being a barrier to people going back to work.”
The Republican presidential hopeful also called for growing the economy for all Americans.
“I think we need a stronger economy and it needs to benefit every American, whether it’s an older American, a young person, whether it’s someone with disabilities. The solution for every American is to have a stronger growing economy.”
Only 31 percent of Louisiana’s 366,000 working-age people with disabilities are employed. This lack of opportunity creates poverty, powerlessness, and can even increase the likelihood of developing a mental health condition.
Moreover, Jindal sent $17.5 million from the federal government – money that was dedicated to help solve this problem – back to Washington. By denying job efforts for people with disabilities, the state harmed many of the 22,900 youth with disabilities between the ages of 16 and 20 who will not receive the support that they need to become independent. They literally may spend years sitting on their parent’s couch, living on government benefits, until their parents die. Then, in many cases, they will move to the couch of a sibling or an institution. This lifetime of potential benefits will be very expensive to taxpayers.
In addition, there are a number of federal contractors in the state of Louisianna as well as some major federal government offices. In the debate Jindal said he would revoke all of President Obama’s executive orders. This would thus include President Obama’s Executive Order 13548, which opens up more govt jobs for workers with disabilities.