This is written in response to the complaint of Hurley C. Goodall published on Jan. 25. His letter proclaims that "the Daily News and its Ivory Tower constituency" should join the real world. I write to proclaim that we do live in the real world, and many of us are fed up with the Indiana State Legislature and Gov. Frank O'Bannon.
The recent debate in this state deals directly with the state budget and its anticipated deficit. Mr. Goodall would have us believe that the only solution to this deficit is to do as the governor and many of our state representatives have proposed, and that is to raise taxes. There are two distinct issues involved I will use to dispute this course of action, and I hope it will be clear enough to Goodall so he can understand.
Indiana lays out its two year budget based upon estimates of income. If during the second year of this budget there are economic changes, the state has to adjust the budget to compensate. In the real world, when unplanned circumstances arise, we common folk have to sacrifice things we want to make sure we have what we need.
You can not go to your employer and say: "I ran out of money on Wednesday. Could you pay me more money, even though I'm not going to do any more work this week, and I'm not going to give it back next week?" Your employer would look at you like you were standing on your head.
But this is exactly what the state wants to do to the taxpayers of Indiana. The government ran out of money, so it wants to make you pay more sales tax (a 20% increase), more cigarette taxes, possibly an increase in the gas tax and an increase in gambling taxes.
When the economy recovers, does anyone honestly believe the government will remove those taxes? Of course not. The state will use that increased revenue plus the income from the revamped property taxes on more worthless, wasteful programs. Even with those increased taxes, Ball State isn't going to receive a funding increase, and most likely tuition will increase. We, the students of Indiana's universities, are going to get screwed all the way around.
The second issue is that Indiana has a savings account. Actually it is several accounts, but the concept is the same; Indiana's elected representatives do not want to invade this "rainy day fund." The simple question is: What kind of a rainy day are they waiting for? I guess a 1.3 billion dollar state deficit isn't a big enough storm to warrant using it.
I suppose we have to wait for an even bigger deficit to occur, and then instead of cutting costs, we'll use saved funds. Now is the time to use those stored funds to help avoid a deficit and raising taxes.
Goodall proposes we raise taxes on services, and uses the war effort, military servicemen and military families as an emotional draw for his argument. But I would encourage you to ask yourself if increased taxes will go toward the war effort, or the military in any way. Most likely not -- increased taxes will simply be used to offset the wasteful spending of Indiana representatives anticipating a big fat surplus.-á
I must agree with the Daily News in reference to Gov. O'Bannon's State of the State speech. It was completely devoid of substance. His comments only spoke of taking more money, not ways of cutting spending or saving the taxpayers money.
Goodall wants solutions; I'll propose a simple, common sense plan that will make sense to most everyone: If the state doesn't have the money to spend, it shouldn't spend it. Use savings, cut spending wherever it can be cut and don't be so foolish as to go to the Indiana people and ask for money after the money you took from us was squandered.