For immediate release:
July 3, 2012
INDIANAPOLIS - Indiana House Speaker B. Patrick Bauer of South Bend today issued the following statement on the closeout of the fiscal year, which ended June 30:
“Congratulations to Governor Daniels for hitting his magical $2 billion in surplus and giving $100 tax credits to Hoosiers. Nevertheless, one has to ask, ‘What were the human costs paid in order to achieve this goal?’
“Despite the token increase in funding announced by the Department of Child Services last week, we must continue to ask the question, ‘How many at-risk children are still waiting for services that could be funded with money in the governor’s vault?’
“How many more public school teachers will lose their jobs? How many more educational programs will be eliminated for public school students?
“How many Hoosiers could have been put to work if a portion of this surplus would have been used for incentives to create good-paying jobs that actually exist, instead of some of the imaginary ones found on state documents?
“Taxpayer refunds are good. We proposed them long ago. However, $100 per taxpayer is less than $2 per week. It buys only about a half gallon of gasoline each week. The question has to be asked, ‘How much more are you paying for other necessities?’
“Are parents paying more in school fees? Are average Hoosiers paying more for services that used to be free? So, ask yourself, am I paying more than $2 per week from our family budget than I was just a few years ago? Is that $100 per year really a bargain or are you being nickel-and-dimed to death? Would it be wiser for the state to invest in the creation of jobs, in needed services and in our children or better to hoard our taxpayer money in a vault?
“Is the surplus real money or is it an illusion, a slight-of-hand by a accountant who moonlights as an amateur magician?
“Let me remind you that in December the state ‘found’ $320 million in corporate tax money that had been collected for several years, but not properly deposited in the state’s general fund.
“If that was not incredible enough, for an encore in April, the Daniels administration ‘discovered’ $205 million in local income tax revenue that had not been distributed to Indiana’s counties.
“What is real and what is not?
“We know that the Daniels administration made money disappear from public schools as well as from programs for at-risk children and the poor. Then, ‘abracadabra,’ there is the reappearance of millions of dollars from the magician’s hat, money that seems to be part of the surplus.
“The white rabbit-in-the-hat trick has left the state with a rather large white elephant.
“Congratulations Gov. Daniels, but, please, no more magic tricks. Let’s invest in Hoosiers, so they get the jobs they deserve and the help they need.”