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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments

Give us some of that awful money

Our love-hate relationship with the federal government:

On the same day last week that state budget director Chris Atkins announced Indiana would be able to tough out a series of automatic federal budget cuts, Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann announced the creation of a new office that will lobby for more federal defense spending.

That dichotomy — saying the federal government is spending too much money, while looking for as much of that money as possible — is old hat around the Indiana Statehouse. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels wrote a book dubbing unchecked federal spending the country’s next “red menace” shortly after accepting billions in federal aid with the caveat that he’d be a fool not to take the money if it’s being offered.

I'm sure if this qualifies as hypocrisy, exactly. Criticizing the rules of the game doesn't free you from having to play the game as it exists, and Indiana certainly isn't the only state to wish the federal government weren't such a big player. That "we'd be a fool not to take the money" attitude is perfectly understandable but also why it's so hard to diminish the federal role.