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Opening Arguments

Real money

I'm not sure what to make of the new poll of Hoosiers by Ball State University. It found that we would support higher state taxes -- by margins ranging from 58 percent to 70 percent -- to fund public schools, colleges and universities, health care and environmental protection. On the down side (if you're a public official):

But the poll also found that 53 percent oppose raising local taxes to address problems in their communities and 67 percent rate government efficiency second among their top legislative priorities, just below jobs.

We trust the state more than local government to address our needs? That seems backward to me, but in a time when everyone is looking to the federal government to save us all from imminent doom, perhaps it's not so surprising. But the closer government is to us, the more likely it is to be dealing with real needs, things like streets and schools and clean drinking water. The further up the chain we go, the more likely our money will be wasted or stolen or spent on things government shouldn't even be doing.

Maybe we think of "state money" spend on things like "the environment" as somehow not real -- the governor will keep our air unpolluted, and the folks in Indianapolis and Evansville will pay for it, and we can just get on about our business. Local taxes are real money taken out of our pockets.