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First Stories Hitting The Web: Tax Increase, Tax Increase, Tax Increase

Can we get George Will on the line? Grover Norquist? Your boy Mitch just loves those tax increases. We'll see if this year's proposal fares any better than last year's 1 percent income tax plan did.

As for the speech, well, it would seem that Mr. Partisan hasn't quite come to grip with the fact that he's a year into his term, and it's time to run on his record. "Stuff is better than it used to be, but it's still screwed up because of the Democrats" was tonight's prevailing theme.

Oh, and did anyone find it funny that he used a baseball metaphor? If only Joe and Maggie Kernan had been invited, they could have witnessed in person the political co-opting of our former Governor's favorite pastime.

But back to the cigarette tax hike, since that's what will make headlines across the state tomorrow. If the Guv truly is interested in addressing health issues, why not push for a statewide indoor smoking ban like Florida and California? Why not tax junk food or alcohol (how many people die each year from smoking and driving, as compared to drinking and driving)? How about a tax on tall people?

Meanwhile, he said nothing terribly convincing to justify selling the Toll Road, and he pretty much ignored Indiana's job loss and poor economy. He's pushing to give schools more money, but isn't that kind of ironic, since he signed the budget last year that flat-lined education spending?

Anyway, feel free to continue commenting. This little TDW is going to enjoy a glass of wine and the rest of the IU game. Enough with the rhetoric, already.

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I appreciate the comments above by TinyRippleOfHope and by the anonymous commentator awake at 4:30 a.m. (two or three comments above this).

Last night, immediately after the SOTS speech, AFSCME issued this statement:


----AFSCME statement text follows----

Statement by David Warrick, executive director of Indiana Council 62 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in reaction to Gov. Mitch Daniels' "State of the State" speech tonight:

"Which lie do I start with?

"The governor says caseloads are going down. Our members report case loads are going up in social services. There are higher caseloads in welfare, including food stamps, temporary assistance to needy families and Medicaid. Child protection caseloads are about even. The citizens of Indiana are not getting good service from the governor's management of social services.

"The governor says state government is more open. But decisions are being made behind closed doors. The decision to extend the management company's contract at the Fort Wayne Developmental Center is an example of closed-door government. The administration's shocking decision to close the Silvercrest child services center in Southern Indiana – the only facility of its kind in the state – was made behind closed doors. The Legislature created a citizens panel for Silvercrest that was available for consultation. No one from the administration asked to be heard.

"As for the state of the economy, the governor says a turnaround is in progress, But more Hoosiers were on unemployment at the end of 2005 than a year earlier.

"In the whole state, in every department, state employees report things are worse than they ever were – with the singular exception of child protection. Judge James Payne's management of that department should be praised as the exception to an otherwise bleak picture for state workers. They are hamstrung in their ability to provide services Indiana citizens expect.

"It is a coincidence worth noting that the governor's speech came on the one-year anniversary of his decision to terminate collective bargaining for state employees."

Reporters'/Bloggers' Contact:
Douglass Davidoff
Davidoff Public Relations, Inc.
(317) 917-2151 -- including Wednesday night
doug@davidoffpr.com

On the positive side, it was nice to see he still owns a suit, dress shirt and tie.

Once again, Governor Daniels delivers a dense, dissembling oratory long on syllables but short on solutions that communicates not to legislators in the room and certainly not to average Hoosiers but to George Will and Bill Kristol and the DC think-tank crowd (and, of course, the Concerned Alumni of Princeton). I kept wondering if little Mitch was so brutally tormented by the school jock growing up that he's now exacting the ultimate poetic revenge on the world: soporific sports metaphors. Here's a tip, you Analogy All-Star. Selling off our assets and outsourcing our jobs ain't cool, no matter how many times you remind us that it's a marathon and we're only in the first inning but we're running for the end zone so start waiving the checkered flag . . .

This speech is a textbook example of the cause-effect relationship between lazy, unquestioning, captive Indianapolis-Star-type reporting and our state's elected leaders. He made several sweeping assertions of fact in support of his proposals that are either implausible or erroneous but that he knows and we know will never be examined or scrutinized in any meaningful way by local media. Essentially, he's been given free license to fictionalize the true state of our State.

Governor Daniels never sounds more arrogant or effete than when he's delivering the obligatory "self-deprecating joke" and attempting to emote "average Joe/lifelong Hoosier" modesty. It's so phony, it's funny.

I was shocked to learn that Indiana is not attracting jobs because we are fat here.

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