- Special Sections
- Public Notices
In the June 11th issue of The News, Democrat (State Rep.) Russ Stilwell wrote a misleading piece titled Governor's budget would hurt Hoosiers. Here is what he didn't tell you.
Gov. Mitch Daniels made an honest attempt to meet House Democrats in the middle but they wouldn't have it. The Democratic proposal violates all of the governor's parameters and will go down in history as the least taxpayer-friendly budget of all time. If this budget is adopted it is a surefire path to the bankruptcies and tax increases that many other states are experiencing.
Let's take a look at the most onerous aspects of the Democrat's proposal as of this writing, June 15.
1. Gov. Daniels didn't want any tax increases but the Democrats insisted. The House Democratic budget would create at least a $1 billion dollar structural deficit with virtually no reserves. Without that safety net, the only option to eliminate a budget deficit of the magnitude they propose is a massive tax increase on Hoosier families and businesses.
2. Gov. Daniels wanted to have at least $1 billion in reserve. The one-year House Democratic budget obliterates the state's reserves. Before including the House Democrats' new spending proposals for year two of the budget, reserves are $175 million on June 30, 2011, enough money to run the state government for four days. In fact, the $1 billion parameter wasn't even achieved in the House's one-year budget. Total reserves on June 30, 2010 are $989 million
3. Gov. Daniels wanted to cut a dollar for each dollar spent. The one-year House Democratic budget increases spending on almost 100 separate items totaling $300 million in fiscal year 2010 alone. The only five cuts proposed by the House Democrats to the governor's budget were to three job creation tools, funding to prevent voter fraud and the State Board of Education. Combined, those cuts total less than $40 million.
4. Gov. Daniels wanted to use the stimulus money for one-time purposes. The one-year House Democratic budget uses all of the remaining one-time stimulus funds to increase base operating budgets for numerous institutions and programs. Because those stimulus funds are all spent in year one, taxpayers will be left with a gigantic spending cliff in year two of the budget that they cannot afford.
5. Gov. Daniels wanted no gimmicks. Deliberately underfunding the debt-service costs of university construction projects and raiding the Teacher Pension Fund to support more spending are consistent gimmicks in every House Democratic budget. This budget is no different, with a $35 million per year unfunded liability for university construction and a $30 million raid on the Teacher Pension Fund.
The House Democratic budget raids $250 million from the Major Moves Trust Fund designed for the next generation of highway and bridge projects. The House Democratic budget increases spending on the legislature itself by providing a 13-percent increase compared to current year expenditures.
What Stilwell and his fellows don't want you to notice is that the money they want to spend doesn't belong to them. It belongs to you, fellow taxpayers. The same goes for legislators nationwide from the top on down. They are spending your money and it will have to be paid back; by you or your children.
Because of Mitch Daniels, Indiana remains in vastly better shape than most states. Everywhere else the reserves are long gone. They are slashing education by as much as 10 to 15 per cent.
They are releasing convicts from prison early and when families are struggling, they are raising taxes.
There is only one reason that Indiana is so different: under the leadership of Gov. Daniels we have held government spending down to the level of our income. If we lose our sense of discipline now, in no time we'll look just like Michigan, Illinois, or, heaven forbid, California.
It's as if Gov. Daniels is the only adult in a room full of teenagers with a set of newly minted credit cards. He is trying to convince them of the folly of spending money that they don't have, but they just don't get it.
Somebody needs to tell Russ Stilwell and his cronies that it's time to grow up before we all wind up in the poorhouse.
Adkins lives in Tell City.