Thursday, January 19, 2017

Obama's Impact on Indiana

Brian Howey, Indiana politics columnist, published an analysis of President Obama's impact on our state. Below are a few highlights.

In February 2009 at the beginning of Obama's term "the U.S. had a 7.8 percent jobless rate, Indiana stood at 10 percent and Elkhart County stood at 15 percent, on the way to 19.5 percent later that April. Kokomo would see its jobless rate hit 18.9 percent. As Obama leaves office, Indiana now stands at 4.2 percent, Elkhart 3.3 percent and Howard County at 4.1 percent." Thanks, Obama.

As a result of Obama pumping $80 billion into the auto industry to save it, "Indiana is now second in auto production in the United States. The GM plant in Fort Wayne has seen its workforce grow from 2,400 to 4,000. Almost $5 billion have been invested in plants in Kokomo, Tipton, Bedford, Marion and Fort Wayne." And $70 billion was repaid by the automakers. Thanks, Obama.

Though Hoosiers rejected Obamacare politically, they did not reject its services. "Former Gov. Mike Pence’s innovative Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0 (which is part of Obamacare) has seen enrollment increase from 193,573 in 2015 to 359,612 in 2016 and a projected 457,739 in fiscal year 2020. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1,489,805 people in Indiana are covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program. An estimated 224,000 Hoosiers have health insurance today because Indiana expanded Medicaid under the ACA. In the individual market, HHS says 168,884 people in Indiana have coverage through the ACA marketplace. Up to 2,796,375 people in Indiana have a pre-existing health condition but have access to insurance." Thanks, Obama.

Don't let anyone tell you Obama did nothing for Indiana! You can read Howey's entire analysis here.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Obama's Good-bye

The speech you never wanted to see. We'll miss this.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Buttigieg Announces Run for DNC Chair

South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said today, "I have decided to run for Chair of the Democratic National Committee.” Also running are Minnesota Rep. Keith Ellison, New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison, Idaho Democratic Party Executive Director Sally Boynton Brown and Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Brian Howey quotes Party Chair Dan Zody saying, "Pete Buttigieg has the capability of bringing a much-needed Midwest voice to the Democratic Party that will resonate across the country. Pete is a young and dynamic talent that we need at the top of our party, and I am happy to support a Hoosier for DNC Chair."

You can read a New York Times article about Buttigieg's candidacy here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Joe Donnelly on Obamacare Repeal

Senator Joe Donnelly has long advocated for improvements to the health care law, however, he reiterated today that he won’t support any effort that would create chaos in the insurance marketplace, increase premiums, or take away insurance from Hoosiers and Americans, including those with pre-existing conditions.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Buttigieg for DNC Chair?

Politico reported that South Bend's Democratic mayor Pete Buttigieg may be considering entering the race for chair of the Democratic National Committee. The 34-year-old rising star of the party, Buttigieg won re-election to his mayoral office with more than 80 percent of the vote. His competition for the office would likely be Tom Perez, current Secretary of Labor, Minnesota Representative Keith Ellison and others. Buttigieg was the subject of a flattering story by Frank Bruni, columnist for the New York Times.

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Trump Attacks Indiana Union Leader

Chuck Jones, president of United Steelworkers 1999 in Indianapolis, did some checking on President-elect Donald Trump's claim to have saved 1100 Carrier workers' jobs from being moved to Mexico. What he found out from Carrier adminstrators, was that the actual number was about 800, and that Trump's count included research and development jobs that we never going to move. In an interview with CNN (below), Jones said he is grateful for Trump's intervention to save 800 jobs, but he was concerned that many workers at Carrier thought their jobs had been preserved when they weren't.

For trying to be honest with Carrier workers, Jones was rewarded by being personally attacked by the President-elect of the United States in a Tweet, which said: "Chuck Jones, who is President of United Steelworkers 1999, has done a terrible job representing workers. No wonder companies flee country!"

After campaigning for two years on the idea that manufacturing jobs were leaving the country because of taxes and regulations, Trump's legendary thin-skin (Remember Hillary's warning about a president who "can be provoked by a Tweet"?) prompted him to declare that job flight was actually the fault of workers in a second tweet: "If United Steelworkers 1999 was any good, they would have kept those jobs in Indiana. Spend more time working-less time talking. Reduce dues."

How long will workers tolerate being lied to and insulted by the President who promised to be their voice?

Read more about the attack on Chuck Jones here.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Campus Reacts to White Supremacy Posters at Purdue

On Wednesday posters promoting white supremacy were plastered across the Purdue campus. They were promptly taken down and President Mitch Daniels released the following statement to WLFI:
“Reading the dozen or so words on the posters in question, it’s not at all clear what they mean. But if one looks behind them, as I did, to the organization’s website, there are views expressed there that are obviously inconsistent with the values and principles we believe in here at Purdue. This is a transparent effort to bait people into overreacting, thereby giving a minuscule fringe group attention it does not deserve, and that we decline to do.”
Many on campus felt the President's response was inadequate, and Wednesday evening the Purdue Social Justice Coalition organized an emergency meeting to discuss possible action and to encourage a stronger university response; here is Exponent coverage of the meeting.

On Thursday a plainly irritated Presdient Daniels released another statement to the Purdue community:
"My condemnation of the apparent motives behind the posters at issue wasn't sufficiently strident for some, and that's fair enough. Each person can choose the language he or she thinks best meets an occasion like this. But Purdue University's opposition to racism in all its forms couldn’t be more clear, both from yesterday's statement and a host of others that preceded it. No action by a self-promoting fringe group can do anything to change that; in fact, it only furnishes another opportunity to underscore our committment to equal access and opportunity, inclusion, and respect for all people."
The Social Justice League will hold another rally on this issue will be held on the steps of Hovde Hall on Monday, December 5 at noon.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Some Facts About the Carrier Deal

President-Elect Trump and Vice President-Elect Pence are taking a victory lap in Indianapolis for a deal that will keep about 1,000 jobs in Indiana that Carrier had planned to move to Mexico. While it's great that a thousand Hoosier workers get to keep their jobs at Carrier, there are some other facets of the deal your Trump-supporting friends may need to hear about.

According to Fortune magazine, "some 1,300 jobs will still go to Mexico, which includes 600 Carrier employees, plus 700 workers from UTEC Controls in Huntington, Ind." From here it looks like net jobs saved for the Indiana and the US is zero.

During the campaign Trump mocked politicians who tried to keep companies from leaving their states with tax incentive packages. What carrot did Trump/Pence offer Carrier to keep jobs here? A $700,000 annual tax break over several years funded by (guess who) Indiana taxpayers via the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Ever wonder why Pence continued as governor when he had Trump's transition to run and his hand-picked successor was already in place as lieutenant governor? Now it seems likely that the decision had something to do with the fact that, as governor, Pence is chairman of the board of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and presumably wields some influence over how they spend their Indiana tax dollars. Rachel Maddow explains this eloquently here.

On the campaign trail Trump bragged that he would use the threat of a 35 percent tariff on the products of companies that left the US. But a primary motivator for Carrier was its fear of losing federal contracts, not tariffs. According to CNN Money United Technologies, Carrier's parent company, does $5.6 billion in federal contract business each year and receives another $1.5 billion in R&D grants. They calculated that the Mexico move would save them $65 million per year. You can do that math. And the $700,000 per year tax abatement was just icing on the cake.

The deal was done by Mike Pence in his role as governor using taxpayer money. It was unrelated to any purported deal-making superpowers of President-elect Trump, nor did it reflect the hard-line strategy he said he would take when companies threaten to leave the US. In fact, it may inspire companies to announce they're leaving so they can score a tax exemption like Carrier got!

You can read more about this deal in Politico.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Donnelly Will Oppose Price Nomination as HHS Secretary

Senator Joe Donnelly says he will oppose Rep. Tom Price's nomination as Health and Human Services Secretary. Price is known as an active opponent of the Affordable Care Act and, Donnelly says, Price has “led the charge to privatize Medicare,” a position the Donnelly opposes: “I have opposed efforts to private Medicare in the past and I will oppose any effort to privatize Medicare or turn it into a voucher program in the future.” Donnelly sees Price's nomination as a “direct path to end Medicare as we know it.” You can read more about Donnelly's opposition to Price here.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Join us for the Tippecanoe County Democratic Party
Holiday Party!
 
Thursday, December 15 5:00-8:00
Sylvia's Brick Oven in the Columbia Ballroom
625 Columbia St, Lafayette, 47904
$15 per person
Children are free
Heavy Hors D’oeuvres and Cash Bar
 
Sponsorship Levels
$250 Silver Bells
$150 Mistletoe
$75 Candy Cane
 
You must RSVP to Heather at hkm9@yahoo.com
You may pay online here
You may also pay at the door.