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Strengthening Indiana Plan – Part 4: Standing Up to Washington, D.C.

In my fourth and final installment of my review of the “Strengthening Indiana  Plan” produced by the Indiana House Republicans as their 2011 session agenda (see part 1, part 2, part 3), I’ll be looking at how they plan to stand up to Washington, D.C.  Washington is incredibly unpopular right now.  The excessive spending,  job crushing and higher taxes inducing legislation have more than you’re average Hoosier feeling down on their luck.  Because of that, House Republicans are willing to take steps to invoke Indiana’s 10th Amendment rights.

But how exactly?

Two of the leas  popular pieces of legislation (as far was Hoosiers and Indiana jobs are concerned) are Obamacare and Cap and Trade.  Obamacare is law (for now) while Cap and Trade has stalled in the Senate.  Recently, Indiana joined 6 other states, in addition to the original 13 states that filed a lawsuit against the Federal government over being forced to participate in Obamacare.

But consider that medical device makers will see a $20 billion tax increase in 2013.  Now realize that one of the world’s largest medical device manufacturers is based in Warsaw, Indiana.  All in all, the medical technology industry employs more than 20,000 workers in Indiana and pay an annual wage of $1.1 billion.  What we’re bound to see come 2013, without any hope for change, will be massive layoffs of Hoosier jobs.

Of course, let’s not forget the ridiculous requirement for all businesses to submit a report to the IRS payments of more than $600 to any vendor using a 1099 Form starting in 2012.  I’m still trying to figure out whose bright idea that was.  Then again, the President did say that he was going to hire 16,000 new IRS agents to handle casework.  Now we know why.

So what do the House Republicans plan to do?  They will work aggressively with our congressional delegation to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA aka Obamacare).  If repeal doesn’t happen (hey, there should always be a contingency plan) they will opt-out of applicable portions of the PPACA.  They will continue to support Attorney General Greg Zoeller in his lawsuit and will even hold a public referendum similar to the one held in Missouri opting-out everyone from the requirement that we all should obtain health insurance or face a tax penalty.  While liberals have dismissed that move as a symbolic gesture that will hold no sway in court, conservatives disagree and the Republicans are showing that they will take every means necessary to stand firm on our 10th Amendment rights.

While Cap and Trade has stalled in the Senate (and the southern Indiana coal mines couldn’t be more grateful) state Republicans will continue to oppose it for three simple reasons:

  • Job losses – Indiana jobs are estimated to decline by 43,510 (low estimate) and by 59,269 (high estimate) by 2030
  • Loss of personal income – Disposable household income reduced by $131 to $258 per year by 2020 and $863 to $1,402 by 2030. By 2030, higher energy prices mean that low income families in Indiana (with average incomes of $15,129) will spend between 39.9% and 42.3% of their income on energy under W/M compared to a projected 33.2% without Cap and Trade. Others on fixed incomes such as the elderly will also suffer disproportionately.
  • Increased Expenditures – Indiana’s 2,882 schools and universities and 171 hospitals will likely experience a 28.2% to 42.0% increase in energy expenditures by 2030.

Seems like good enough reasons to oppose this legislation to me.

House Republicans will also seek to adopt meaningful immigration reform.  With Arizona setting the standard to states rights (and the federal government’s inability to enforce their own laws) other states have sought to pursue similar legislation, Florida being one of them.  Indiana State Senator Mike Delph has already promised to introduce “Arizona style” immigration legislation.  House Republicans would seek similar (though not the same) legislation as well while encouraging our congressional delegation to secure our national borders.

In addition to all of that, they will continue to discourage Washington’s out of control spending.  Should Republicans win nationally and take back the U.S. House, it appears as if there will be some help in the (non)spending department.

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