31 January 2005

Monday, Monday...plus a Super pick

Whoo, what a day! Getting published, doing homework, talking politics, and getting a new cell phone all in one day can cramp one's style. I must move on.

As I mentioned earlier, I was in attendance for the "Talk of the Town" meeting at the Statehouse last week. I was frustrated at the lack of talk over shrinking the state government. So like any reader who wants his side heard, I wrote a letter to the editor, and it was published...link here:


Tonight was the monthly Hancock County LP meeting, and we were joined by LPIN Political Director Brad Klopfenstein and Secretary of State candidate Mike Kole. I have formally endorsed Mike in the race, because I believe if he can serve Libertarians well, then the state should be just as fortunate to have him serve them.

Anyway, I digress...the Super Bowl is on the way and I'm calling for *sigh* another Patriots win. I don't know what it is, but Bill Belichick has a plan for everyone. Catch you on the flipside.

27 January 2005

Open Forum, eh??

Two days ago, a local TV station and the local newspaper hosted a town hall meeting at the Indiana Statehouse, inviting all to attend to present their thoughts to some of the state's legislators. Many pertinent topics were discussed, mostly the new terrain I-69 and Medicare/Medicaid.

My friends from the Green Party were the muscle behind bringing I-69 to the immediate forefront. For those that don't know what I'm talking about, the state is going to spend $3 billion to extend I-69 from Indianapolis to Evansville through Bloomington, which will save only 12 minutes. TWELVE STINKING MINUTES!!! Currently the route is I-70 west to Terre Haute, then US 41 south onward to Evansville. Money to pay for the project would be diverted from the state, so counties would be left high and dry to maintain their own roads.

Medicaid was also brought up, with potential waivers being eliminated. A ten-year old girl talked about her autistic brother, and it reduced me to tears. The state has a responsibility to help those that cannot legitimately help themselves, and should not eliminate this program that helps middle-income families. However, I do not advocate increasing spending on this program because right now, the state's fiscal situation is a huge shit sandwich, and everyone's taking a bite.

Gay marriage was also mentioned, and the libertarian solution to that is removing the government from marriage altogether. I know Dan Carpenter of the Star called that issue the slab of red meat sitting in the fridge for the GOP, but people need to realize, that once again, morality cannot be legislated.

A libertarian solution, which I've said all along, involves a current flatline of the budget, no new taxes (income or sales), staying away from the gay marriage issue, and upgrading the I-70/US 41 for Evansville at a savings of almost $2 billion to the state. If you agree with this, I suggest you go to the next Libertarian Party meeting. The link to the state site is over on the right, and you can go from there. Talk to you soon.

19 January 2005

State of the State

Ladies and gentlemen, Mitch Daniels has been governor for eight days. In this week-plus he's been in office, he's created more layers of government, cancelled collective bargaining contracts with state employees, visited flood-stricken areas of the state, and now, proposed a tax increase.

The way I understand it, Gov. Daniels wants a one-year, one percent increase on income taxes of individuals and businesses making over $100,000 a year. Some of you are thinking, they're rich, they can afford it. My question is, what about the small-business owner who's struggling to meet government regulations as it is, and now will have to pay at least an extra $1,000?? That could mean that Small Businessman X goes out of business, and the economy suffers. Gov. Daniels says that the money generated from this temporary revenue adjustment (don't ya love the spin on that) will balance the books for the state and he can begin his economic plan.

Once again, a "slash and burn" Republican is acting like his "tax and spend" Democrat counterparts. A libertarian solution, flatlining or a uniform cut in spending (ten percent is a good start), is much more palatable to everyone versus raising taxes. I hope Governor Daniels realizes this isn't a budget spread over 295 million people, but only five or six million, so the effects of his plan will hit home a lot harder. 27 lawmakers, 25 of them Republican, signed a no new taxes pledge. It will take more than the Republican name to push this legislation through a GOP Assembly. Let's see if those 27 can make the stand they said they would.

14 January 2005

What a Week!

The title sums it up right there! A new governor, school's started again, and there's a new affiliate in the LPIN!!

Mitch Daniels was finally sworn in as Indiana's 49th governor, and true to his word, got right to work. He signed 13 executive orders on his first day, and toured flood-stricken areas yesterday. Between now and then, he also rescinded the Executive Order providing for the collective bargaining agreement with state employees. Another hot-button issue was the DST situation we have, and it looks like we'll be switching our clocks (FINALLY!!!)

As far as school goes, it's 15 hours....GRRR

A new member came into the LPIN family tonight. Madison County (Anderson) was affiliated this evening by three Libertarians who are as committed to the cause as anyone! I look forward to the good things to come from my neighbors to the north!

05 January 2005

Think Big

My Man Mitch becomes My Governor Mitch on Monday, January 10. Gov.-elect Daniels has a big challenge ahead of him, mostly on the budget, but also how to run one-party rule. As a Libertarian, my wish list of his administration has potential of happening, only if he sticks to his "small-government" roots.

-Shrinking the deficit and actual spending in the Statehouse.
---The $800 million deficit is staggering to anyone, and a flatline/10% reduction in spending is necessary to make this state financially solvent again. Daniels says that nothing is off the table...I don't like the sound of that :(

-Adopting Daylight Savings Time (DST) across the state
---As I mention time and time again, my own family doesn't know what time I'm on here in the Hoosier State. Putting us on Chicago (Central) time puts us on a clock that makes more sense culturally and economically. Daniels has already pledged this :)

-Avoiding the gay marriage issue
---We don't need to legislate morality, PERIOD. If they can legislate that, then they can turn around and take away my rosary and Bible, no frickin way!! The government does not need to be in an individual's bedroom. Daniels is against gay marriage, so it's kind of : on this

-Charter schools
---Mitch agreed with Our Guy Gividen about charter schools. Charters are out of government control, and in control of the parents. It also doesn't cost government because the money is private. :)

-Crane Naval Warfare Center
---One of the largest military installations in the world is headquartered about 30 minutes south of Bloomington. This brings in jobs, and money for this area in southwestern Indiana. The federal government is considering closing it and I hope Daniels fights for this key base to remain open as much as his predecessor did. Closing Crane would further depress southwest Indiana, right as I-69 is being built (BOO) :(

That's my wish list for Mitch Daniels. Some of it is pipe dream, some of it can become reality. Let's see if he truly represents all Hoosiers.

04 January 2005

Up in Smoke (Part 2)

As some of you know, Morgan County, located southeast of Indianapolis, enacted a smoking ban on all restaurants and bars on January 1st. This is another form of government control if you ask me. I don't think it's necessary for government to legislate morality on any level. It's simply a matter of personal choice. I voiced my opinion and was published in the Indianapolis Star today. The link is as follows:


I was short and sweet, to the point really. It takes taxes away from businesses and forces them back on the individuals. Kind of unfortunate really, seeing that Morgan County is mostly Republican, supposedly the party of smaller government. Seeing this, true conservatives can only look one way for a government that trusts them with their personal choices, that being the libertarian way.

03 January 2005

What Do I Look Like...a Bank??

Hey everyone, hope we had a good Christmas season and a safe and happy New Year! The tsunami has everyone around the world focused on southeast Asia and the aftermath that continues to unfold. Jan Egeland, the United Nations (there's an oxymoron) Emergency Relief Coordinator, said that the USA's initial pledge of $10 million was not enough! So Bush upped the ante to $35 million, and there was still grumbling, then outgoing Secretary of State Powell said it was now at $350 million. That appeased the world. It doesn't appease me. If the government is going to spend $350 million, why not take care of the problems in their own country??

It has always been America's "duty" to help those that can't be helped, but I find it easier to stomach donating $20 to the Red Cross to help (which I did), rather than see money I work for taken from me involuntarily to help someone else. What if I needed that money to feed myself or pay for my shelter?? The US is not the world's ATM, contrary to popular belief. Can I apply for federal aid when I get a flat tire on my way to work?? Will I get money for running out of gas?? The answer to those two questions is obviously no.

Private charities come into this equation immensely, such as the Red Cross/Red Crescent, Doctors Without Borders, etc. It's those organizations that specialize in emergency support and aid dispersal, not some bureaucrat in Washington, DC. When 9/11 happened, millions of dollars in private donations came into the coffers to help those traumatized. Now money is re-entering those coffers, not because people are forced to give via the government, but through the goodness of their hearts. Get the government out of foreign aid, and get it back to getting this nation on track.