Other Voices: Governor sticking to his playbook
Posted: 01/30/2013 at 1:15 am
Indianapolis Business Journal:
Gov. Mike Pence followed his campaign playbook in his first State of the State address by keeping a lid on social issues and pushing economic proposals designed to play to the masses. Whether his primary plan for adding jobs can win approval ó or is viable ó remains to be seen.
Pence continues to push for a 10 percent, across-the-board cut in Indianaís personal income tax rate, a suggestion with obvious appeal to many Hoosiers. But one important group remains skeptical of the idea: Republican lawmakers.
The governor insists Indiana can cut taxes, maintain its strong financial position and fund its priorities and that the tax cut will stimulate spending and put businesses in a position to add jobs. Whether thatís realistic depends to a great extent on how the stateís priorities are defined and how much should be spent on them.
Certainly, leaving more money in the pockets of Hoosiers and small businesses could have a stimulative effect on the economy. But is that a wiser path to growth than funding pre-kindergarten and vocational education, or coming up with a long-term strategy to fund transportation? To suggest that the only responsible thing to do with the peopleís money is to give it back implies that it canít be invested on their behalf in a responsible, beneficial way.
We agree with the governor that pre-kindergarten education and vocational training should be a state priority, but neither of them will come close to achieving their full potential without significant resources invested in a strategic way. Imagine the revenue that could be generated, the jobs filled and the variety of costs avoided by putting more young Hoosiers in a position to succeed in their school and work lives.
Itís time to move beyond platitudes and lay out a plan ó and a budget ó for making those priorities happen.
As for transportation, Pence recognizes the need to repair and upgrade the stateís roads and bridges, but shifting $347 million out of the stateís budget reserves doesnít strike us as a sustainable vision for our transportation infrastructure. ...
The governor is fond of saying that Indiana is poised to go from good to great. We donít disagree. The question is how to get there.
The Times, Munster:
State Sen. Frank Mrvanís plan to issue driverís licenses to illegal immigrants, like a similar plan in Illinois, opens a real can of worms.
Mrvan, D-Hammond, hopes the roads will be safer if illegal immigrants get driverís licenses and insurance. Getting a license means proving the ability to drive well. And insurance would protect other drivers.
Mrvan said having licenses available to the stateís estimated 200,000 illegal immigrants would ensure all motorists on Indiana know the rules of the road and how to properly operate a vehicle.
ďI personally canít see why anyone would vote against it,Ē Mrvan said. ďOf course, a certain population is going to go crazy, and I anticipate that.Ē
But what person in the United States illegally ó whether overstaying a welcome after a visa expired or having entered without permission ó would eagerly identify himself as a criminal in order to get a government-issued photo ID?
We understand the many concerns associated with illegal immigration. There are complaints about people here illegally not paying their fair share for education, health care and other facets of everyday life in the United States. Ultimately, those complaints come down to a matter of fairness. There is also talk about how difficult it is to enter the United States. These are all arguments that should be heard and discussed.
But immigration isnít a problem that should be solved at the state level. Itís a federal responsibility. ...
Solve the immigration problem in Congress, not the Bureau of Motor Vehicles. And if Congress wonít end the political gridlock, the voters have the solution in their own hands.