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"Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!" - Patrick Henry

Kathy Richardson's Legislative Survey

We recently received Indiana House member Kathy Richardson's 2007 Legislative Survey in the mail at the Kole household, and we filled it out. The questions found in these surveys often point to issues that are important to the legislator, or to issues the legislator really is undecided on but are perhaps part of their party's agenda. I think there are a little of both on Richardson's survey. Most would make government bigger, more expensive, or more intrusive. Here are the questions:

1. Would you favor giving local governments the ability to assess a local option sales or income tax as a partial alternative to property taxes? Double-edged sword. It is time to eliminate antiquated property taxes that make sure you only rent your property from the government, not own it. However, I fear municipalities raising taxes above what property taxes are now. Begrudgingly favor, but this has the significant potential for making government more expensive in the by-and-by of the shell game.

2. Do you support the creation of civil unions for same-sex couples? Government has no business regulating marriage, which is a private concern that churches should govern. But, as long as government is in the business, the next best thing towards the greater ability of all people to enter into the agreements they choose. Regardless of outcome, this issue demonstrates the intrusiveness of government.

3. Would you support a 40-cents per pack cigarette tax increase if the funds were only used to provide health insurance for Indiana's uninsured, as well as anti-smoking campaigns? If you want proof that Republicans are not fiscal conservatives, here it is. This shouldn't even be a question for them, as this is a reinforcement of socialized medicine. This is the worst possible bill as it is the unholy trinity: it would make government bigger, more expensive, and more intrusive.

4. Do you support the use of embyonic stem cells for research? Typical government-speak. The question assumes there is no difference between privately funded research and publicly funded research. Libertarians oppose publicly funded research as a matter of principle, regardless of the nature of the research. Does this question reflect a ban on publicly funded research? Privately funded? We'll have to find the bill that discusses this to see what is being proposed.

5. Would you support the creation of a central Indiana bypass that would be funded by tolls if it eliminated the potential need for tolls on the I-69 expansion from Indianapolis to Evansville? Another twisted government shell game. Let's sort this out. Libertarians oppose the expansion of I-69 through new terrain. If an upgrade is truly warranted, Libertarians support using the existing highway and upgrading it to interstate quality. We have no opposition per se to toll roads. They are user fees. Problem is, we already have a user fee in the gasoline tax. One or the other, please. Libertarians oppose the new terrain Central Indiana bypass as a huge pork project that nobody is clamoring for. This all stands to make government much bigger and much more expensive.

6. Would you support a program that gives more funding and control to local law enforcement to detain illegal aliens for deportation? No. Border control is a federal issue. The issue of illegal immigration is much deeper than catch and release. Local employers might be more inclined to hire US citizens if the tax and compliance burdens placed on employers were reduced. This proposal would make government bigger and more expensive at the least.

7. Would you support a requirement that limits state-funded college tuition increases to the rate of inflation? Again, this is coming from Republicans? It may feel good to cap tuition hikes, but the reality of state-funded colleges is that either the student pays tuition, or the taxpayers subsidize that tuition. Capping tuition hikes is a clever way of saying 'tax hike'. The user of education should pay for their education. This proposal makes government more expensive.

8. Do you support the creation of a state-funded full day kindergarten program? Another of the unholy trinity proposals that would make government bigger, more intrusive, and more expensvie. FTK is just another means for warehousing kids, providing extra free day care, and extending the period of state indoctination. The last place I want my little girl is in the hands of the state for an extended period of time.

9. Would you support voluntary teacher competency testing if teachers who chose to be tested received bonus compensation for passing the test? This is patently absurd. Teachers should be competent in order to receive a paycheck, let alone a bonus. Feast your eyes on this government-think. This would obviously make government more expensive.

10. Would you support a "Truth in Sentencing" law that requires those sentenced to state prison to serve at least 85% of the time demanded by the sentence? This is coming from the tough-on-crime GOP? What a joke. An excellent bill would demand 100% time served of all violent criminals- those committing murder, rape, arson, assaults, etc. At the same time, the bill would de-criminalize non-violent offences and unclog the system. Sending a non-violent drug offenders to prison for 15 years makes no sense when rapists get out in 8 years. Priorities, please. This proposal would make government more expensive.

Nothing to back strongly here. It is hoped that most of this legislation goes to die in a bi-partisan struggle, or by a veto. Alas, Governor Daniels is backing much of this nonsense, so we're in the unfortunate situation of hoping Democrats will kill these items so as not to make government bigger, more intrusive, or more expensive. Hoosiers must really like big government to keep voting Republican and Democrat as they do.

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posted by Mike Kole @ 9:45 AM, , links to this post