Something Old, Something New…

Reading the news lately, I was reminded of the old rhyme for brides: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”

Something old? This morning’s Star had a story about the nearly three million dollars in fees being paid by the Ballard Administration for services in connection with the ill-conceived fifty year lease of Indianapolis parking meters. This may have been a bad deal for the city, but law firms and mortgage bankers did quite well. I believe this gets filed under “blessed are the deal makers, for they shall inherit the goodies” or perhaps the even older “he who has, gets.”

Something new? I vote for the absolute brazenness with which the current Indiana legislature has favored the haves over the have-nots. Although people who can afford to make contributions and pay lobbyists have always had an edge, this year the majority has been absolutely shameless.  The rhetoric has been about “shared sacrifice” at a time when money is tight. So they reduced corporate tax rates and made up the difference by requiring “shared sacrifices” from the most vulnerable: eliminating dental coverage for most Medicaid recipients, cutting the number of children who will be eligible for CHIP, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (despite the fact that 75% of that money comes from the federal government), increasing co-pays for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities, and depriving poor women of desperately-needed healthcare by de-funding Planned Parenthood.

Something borrowed? Citizens Action Coalition issued a news release yesterday about legislative approval of higher profits for utilities, allowing shareholders of those utilities to “borrow” from the school corporations and municipalities–and ultimately the taxpayers–that will have to pay higher rates. That’s small change next to the smoke and mirrors that accompanied the Ballard Administration’s deal to sell the water company to Citizens. The deal allowed the administration to get a big up-front payment it could use to pave streets and make infrastructure improvements. That “saved” tax dollars, which will have to be “borrowed” from rate-payers later.

Something blue?  Indiana citizens.