I Hate My Governor

Note: This is a post about Indiana politics—and the havoc currently being wreaked upon Hoosiers under the leadership of Mitch "The Blade" Daniels—but it's indicative of how horribly conservatives govern in general.

I may have mentioned before that I'm not fond of my governor. This total dipshit, who earned his nickname "The Blade" as Bush's first budget director in 2001 when he spearheaded the massive tax cut plan, is now solving all the resulting budget problems in Indiana by regularly raising taxes on Hoosiers. In 2004, the average per capita income for Hoosiers was $30,094—$2,843 less than the national average. We have fewer people who benefit from the federal tax-based welfare for the rich designed by Governor Asshole than many other states, but we're broke as shit, and so now he's raising our taxesagain. This time it's just on cigarettes, which, even though I'm a smoker, I can hardly argue with. If you've got to raise taxes, a statewide vice tax makes more sense than raising property taxes, except they've already done that in large parts of the state. As I've mentioned before, ours nearly doubled last year. Of course, Daniels won't say whether the additional revenue will be used to reduce property taxes—of such grave concern that both parties are making it a priority.

Among Daniels' other brilliant ideas:

Deregulating Telecommunications. I won't go into the whole history of telephone monopolies and the resulting sorry state of affairs in Indiana (because it's the same as everywhere else and because it's boring, but suffice it to say, I don't even have a landline anymore), but now Daniels is seriously suggesting that telephone companies be removed from state oversight, which will likely only make the problem worse.

Government Consolidation. Daniels has endorsed rerouting the responsibility for property tax assessments from local townships to county assessors. Aside from this not remotely solving the problem of Hoosiers who are already experiencing extraordinary property tax increases (some people in the county over from ours experienced 1000%—no, that's not a typo—property tax increases), this also means that 178 elected township assessors would lose their jobs and 830 township trustees who also do assessments would lose those responsibilities, meaning that in townships where trustees primarily do assessments, they’d lose their jobs, too.

Transportation Privatization. This is my personal favorite. We'll raise revenue by selling off some Indiana highways to private firms. Now let's do a little logical extrapolation here. If Indiana State is making $100 an hour on its toll roads after deducting maintenance and other costs, to increase revenue, they'd have to lease it for more money. So let's say they lease it to ScrewU Inc., a subsidiary of Halliburton, for $150 an hour. Now ScrewU Inc. has to charge enough to make back the $150 an hour they're paying to lease the road, plus enough on top of that to pay for maintenance and other costs. My 50-cent toll in Hammond just doubled, at least. The best part about this is that it will primarily affect Northern Indiana, but revenues will be used to pay for "the long-awaited extension of I-69 from Indianapolis to Evansville" in Southern Indiana. Daniels says that the plan will "trigger tremendous job growth using in large part a very handy tool: Other people's money." Ho ho ho. You see, Daniels claims that "the increased tolls on the road would be mostly paid for by out-of-state motorists," but apparently he's never been on the Indiana Toll Road. It's mostly used by people who drive to and from Chicago every day for work—people who are already paying state income tax in both Indiana and Illinois, because Illinois got sick of providing jobs to Hoosiers with no payback. Once the mills collapsed, Illinoisans were left with little reason to travel to Indiana for work, so it became a one-way street. And that one-way street is the Indiana Toll Road.

So now the price of working in Chicago, which is really one's best option, unless—as it was put by the host of the Indiana unemployment seminar I just attended—you're a nurse or a truck driver, is being taxed by two states on your income and—coming soon!—outrageous tolls. Or you can, like Mr. Shakes, take the slow-ass train, which makes for three hours of commuting a day and costs almost two hundred dollars a month.

People here are stuck. Stuck without decent jobs, stuck in homes they can't sell because of regionally-inappropriate property taxes, stuck with a shithead of a governor who only makes things worse. Welcome to the failure of conservative governance.

(Hat tip Political Wire.)

Shakesville is run as a safe space. First-time commenters: Please read Shakesville's Commenting Policy and Feminism 101 Section before commenting. We also do lots of in-thread moderation, so we ask that everyone read the entirety of any thread before commenting, to ensure compliance with any in-thread moderation. Thank you.

blog comments powered by Disqus