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  • 2/14/2019 Yoga classes for bureaucrats. Brown snake eradication program. Congressional pensions. Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund. Those are actual lines in recent federal budgets totaling $150,000, $668,000, $38 million, and $65 million respectively.
    All are “chump change” compared to $363 billion (with a “b”) to be spent this year on interest on the debt. That’s $53 billion higher than last year, a 17% increase. Interest payments are now 8% of the budget and increasing, crowding out vital programs and priorities. 
    What do Americans get for $363 billion? Absolutely nothing. Interest is the price paid for decades of spending beyond revenues, as finance charges on credit cards pay for privileges to spend beyond one’s income.
  • 2/2/2019 Whatever else you may think of her, first-time Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) is a great American success story. Hers is a classic “triumph of the underdog” tale. Nobody expected her to upset 10-term incumbent Congressman and Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Joe Crowley, in last June’s Democratic primary in her New York City congressional district, but she did. Using her apartment as her campaign headquarters and going door to door in her district, AOC proved once again that a motivated, hard-working American can succeed against long odds.
  • State legislators trying to hide information
    1/28/2019 I had the great privilege of testifying at the Indiana Statehouse last week. The House Committee on Financial Institutions, chaired by Rep. Woody Burton, a Republican from Whiteland, was considering House Bill 1212, a terrible piece of legislation authored by Rep. Wendy McNamara.
    McNamara is a Republican from Evansville. She has been in the Indiana Legislature for nine years and has repeatedly drafted bills designed to keep the public more in the dark by taking public notices out of newspapers. I’ve no idea what she has against all of you and the newspaper industry, but that’s hardly the point.
    More importantly, our friends in the Statehouse are once again trying to create new laws to take those public notice ads out of general circulation newspapers and put them in the hands of, well, themselves.
    How very convenient.
  • 1/4/2019 I’m spending a lot of time at City Council meetings these days trying to understand the reasons behind their decisions. A couple of weeks ago, just before Christmas, the council made three decisions on an issue that continues to confound me. Why do we repeatedly give tax breaks to area businesses when they decide to move, build or expand here? This letter is about tax abatements and I know tax policy can make peoples’ eyes glaze over but stick with me because I think this issue hits all of us in the pocketbook.
    Here’s what happened: The City Council decided, unanimously, to give tax breaks to three businesses:
    -Applied Intelligence Corporation, a small (10 employee) manufacturing firm, wants to move its headquarters here from Indianapolis and build a building on an empty lot on Pleasant St. near Union Chapel Road.
    -Rockstone Investments, a small (10 employee) Noblesville builder currently renting space on Cumberland Road, wants to construct four buildings on an empty lot on Endeavor Drive, just off Cumberland Road, for its headquarters and for income property.
    -Gaylor Electric, a large (hundreds of employees locally) electrical contractor with a 10 year old Noblesville facility wants to build a new building on an empty lot next to its current building just off Pleasant Street east of SR37.
  • Guest Column - Continually inspired to help those in need
    12/31/2018 My first encounter with Betty Williams was when I started as a county commissioner in Evansville. Her strong voice and tireless advocacy for individuals who have Down’s syndrome, autism or cerebral palsy inspired me to help the 100,000 Hoosiers with an intellectual and developmental disability. Betty, who had cerebral palsy, showed me that people with disabilities are no different than the rest of us. They want to love and be loved in return. They want the opportunity to take risks and learn from their mistakes, but most importantly, they want to be as independent as possible and be successful.
  • 12/31/2018 Arrive at 2020 alive. Another full year of life will give you the opportunity you desire to pursue happiness and fulfillment. You can't achieve anything in this world if you are dead. Think about driving a bit slower, eating healthier, some daily exercise and monitoring your health. The reality of life is that at some time and in some way each of our lives will end. Be mindful of health and taking care of yourself in 2019.
  • 12/27/2018 The federal government desperately needs to diet.  Much of our spending is constitutionally dubious and it is immoral to pass our national debt, now exceeding $21 trillion, to our yet unborn children.  We need to return to constitutional limits to govern the distribution of our taxes.
    The one exception to the diet argument is national security. Without a physical barrier that works we cannot remain a country. History has demonstrated our southern border to be too porous and that only a physical barrier will work. “Kicking the can down the road” on border national security, as both major political parties have done for decades, only exacerbates the problem. Our national security now demands a wall.
    We’ve had 20 government “shutdowns” since 1977, according to the Congressional Research Service. Most Americans never knew when we were in one. In fact, “shutdowns” may be a good thing if they reduce the national debt, make expenditures more constitutionally based, or strengthen national security.  
  • 12/21/2018 The transition students make after high school graduation is one of the most important they face in their lives. It is exciting, but it can also be challenging to know the best course. In Indiana, we are taking steps to ensure the academic part of this transition is more seamless for students as they prepare for a fulfilling career and life.
    Over the last two years, we have focused our attention on science, technology, engineering, and math programs (STEM), Career and Technical Education (CTE), adult learner, and closing the achievement gap—all in an effort to prepare Hoosiers for a successful future. It is also important to focus on the transition between high school and college. Whether choosing to pursue a two-year or four-year degree or an industry certification, it is our shared responsibility to make sure students are prepared for the next step after high school graduation. 
  • 12/19/2018 Merchants around the world depend on the Christmas season each year for twenty to fifty percent of their yearly sales. 
    The travel industry from airlines to gasoline stations see a nice bump during the holidays. People are going to buy airplane tickets and buy gasoline. 
    Grocery stores do better during the holidays. People cook more for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. The alcohol industry does well during holidays. Wine, Beer and Bourbon Whiskey all do well normally and more so during December. 
    Charities and Churches enjoy December. People give more money to the church in December than any other month. People who want to give make sure their gifts are given by December 31st. Churches normally have special children and music programs during the month that increases attendance. 
  • 11/29/2018 It’s that time of year again. The 2018 Farm Service Agency’s (FSA) county committee elections are officially underway and we’re asking for your help. Please take a few minutes to vote in your local county committee election. FSA county committees are a vital and direct link between our farm community and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
    Earlier this summer, we put out a call for nominations for individuals who would be willing to serve on the committee. Elections are held annually in every county when FSA accepts nominations for a certain Local Administrative Area (LAA). The area up for election rotates each year. Nominations have been made and now it’s time for you to decide who will fill this role. 
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Thursday, February 21, 2019

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