Monday, May 19, 2008

The Grass Is Not Greener In Indiana

Just recently, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels came to Michigan, touting how wonderful it was for business down there, talking about the billboards they were running to pitch some woo at Michigan businesses to "come on down!", and the comedy team of DeRoche & Bishop and all their fans made googly eyes at the red-state governor and dreamed of how wonderful life would be if we just could be like Indiana.

Daniels said he did not come to prescribe solutions for Michigan. But “maybe there is something in the approaches that we have taken, that you can learn from, or re-learn,” he said.

DeRoche, in introducing Daniels, said he hopes “we can gain from your knowledge and successes … as we’re trying to improve our economy in Michigan.” Bishop described himself as “a huge fan” of Daniels and said he has sought to borrow some of Daniels’ ideas.

Would one of those ideas be higher taxes, Mike? Some of the highest in the nation? According to the GR Press - Indiana business is not happy with Daniels new tax scheme.

Indiana's taxes have just changed substantially and, according to that state's chamber of commerce, business and industry did not come out ahead.

Like Michigan, Indiana lawmakers were busy last winter shuffling the tax cards. Responding to the howls of homeowners about high and unpredictable property taxes, Gov. Mitch Daniels and the legislature had laid out a sweeping change by spring.

The bottom line: Property taxes, especially for home owners, were slashed, and, as of April 1, the state sales tax was boosted to 7 percent from 6 percent. That places Indiana's sales tax among the highest in the nation, exceeded only by California at 7.25 percent.

Groceries and prescriptions are exempt, but Indiana is one of only a few states that levies sales tax on gasoline, on top of the state and federal gas taxes that go toward roads.

Indiana also levies a corporate income tax of 8.5 percent, which even an Indiana Chamber of Commerce spokesman called "fairly high."

Perhaps we should start to post our own billboards at the border. We have already lured a refrigerator manufacturer to Greenville, surely there are others that might want to consider a change of scenery.

And if Bishop and DeRoche are that crazy about Mitch, they might want to get on down to the Hoosier state and help Daniels with his re-election campaign. Seems he is in a bit of hot water.

A poll conducted for the Indianapolis Star just before the primary election showed that Long Thompson really lacked name recognition but still was 1 percentage point ahead of Daniels in a test match-up. In other words, a whole lot of voters were saying: "I don't know this Jill What'sHerName, but I'd rather have her than Mitch as my governor."

A poll conducted for The Tribune also showed a tie between Long Thompson and Daniels.

While a poll for Howey Politics Indiana showed Daniels doing much better in a match-up and in popularity, it also contained danger signs for the governor, with only 47 percent saying they favored re-election of Daniels and with a significant percentage saying Indiana is on the wrong track.

Michigan Republicans - not content with their own losers, they have to go out-of-state to find new ones. We will be happy to loan out Mike and Craig to help with the effort - it will be nice to have more "blue" neighbors.