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Are We There Yet?

I never thought I would live to see the day that I would have to reference an Ice Cube film in order to make my point that folks need to chill out when it comes to criticism that Governor Mike Pence isn’t moving fast enough.

For those of you over 40 and melanin-challenged, Ice Cube is a rapper-turned-actor. He was a hard core “gangster rapper” in his early career and later changed his image somewhat as he got older. Part of that transformation was starring in the film “Are We There Yet.”

The plot was really simple – make that simplistic. Ice Cube plays a bachelor who is dating a single mom. When the mom’s job conflicts with travel plans, Ice agrees to take the kids on the road and meet up with her later. While on the road, a series of madcap hilarity (sarcasm) ensues. And in the end, all’s well that ends well.

I couldn’t help but think of that film as the chorus of critics began to rise regarding Gov. Mike Pence. House Democratic Leader Scott Pelath offered an end of first quarter assessment of the governor’s performance for the legislative session, saying he was squandering time and not moving fast enough to create jobs.  A number of my fellow pundits and analysts have echoed those comments, saying Pence was doing more wandering than taking Indiana anywhere.

With all due respect to my friends and political colleagues, relax people! The man hasn’t even been in office a month yet. I’m not sure what exactly it is people want the governor to have accomplished 23 days into the job, but if you take a look at his record, he’s not off to a bad start. When you break down his “Roadmap for Indiana,” more than 60 percent of the governor’s agenda has found a home in a House or Senate bill, executive order or the governor’s proposed budget.

On the jobs front, Pence has made 12 jobs announcements, presided over two ribbon cuttings, and by the time this goes to print, six economic development roundtables. And by the way, those 12 jobs announcements equal about 1,054 projected new jobs and nearly $100 million in new investment in Indiana.

And please note: On any given day Pence is out making the case for his income tax cut to Hoosiers outside of Indianapolis.

So once again, what more do people want the governor to do? I know for a lot of people there is a comparison to former Gov. Mitch Daniels, who came in like gangbusters and literally rewrote the book on state government operations. However, Mike Pence is not Mitch Daniels and 2013 is not 2005. Indiana is not on the verge of bankruptcy with a bloated state government that is the laughing stock of the nation.

Instead Indiana has become a model for the nation. If you don’t think so, why did Michigan pass right to work? Why is Ohio looking at cutting taxes? And why in the past couple years have 21 Illinois companies made plans to move all or parts of their operations to Indiana, accounting for 1,870 new jobs and more than $320.9 million in capital investment?

It would be one thing if we were halfway through Pence’s term and Indiana was pretty stagnant. But give the man at least a month. Or – if I can use the roadmap as part of the analogy – can we at least get out of the driveway before we start complaining about the driver?


  • joe

    Abdul…..I am glad that the new year finds you still able to recycle Republican talking points furnished by the party….in this case, either the State GOP or the nascent Pence administration.

    Nonetheless, I take exception to the basic premise of your party, and here’s why:

    The entire rationale of Mike Pence becoming Governor was to position him to run for President in 2016 or beyond. Pence realized he needed a record other than being an extreme ideologue in the US House of Representatives. Running a staff of 20 as a member of Congress or managing a producer on his right wing radio show really does not give the electorate a whole lot of confidence in his administrative wherewithal — especially with a Congressional record like Pence’s.. Hence, run the executive branch of state government for four to eight years and make a record as an executive — sounds like he is borrowing the playbook from George W.

    But things have changed rather swiftly among the electorate. The country has changed, both demographically and idealogically. The Republican playbook: cut taxes, intervene needlessly in the affairs of foreign countries (and with little regard for the cost of wars) appease the fundamentalist/racist/homophobic branch of the party, prop up big banks and big business — are all running out of favor among a majority of voters. Simply put, the Republican playbook has become ancient history — and is a loser.

    And then there is the gnawing perception that Pence really does not have a plan to govern Indiana. Is there another Planned Parenthood battle looming that Mike can sink his teeth into? How about the Girl Scouts? Even if Pence could manage to rally the base — and they are base — troops in Indiana, these issues do not resonate across the country. Even Texas will be in play for the Democrats soon.

    It seems to me that Pence needs another Playbook — and in the mean time, he needs to figure out how to run a rather sizeable (30,000 some employees) $28B (two year) enterprise. I, for one, am not confident that the next four years will be good years. Even though Bosma and Long are trying to derail the extremists in their caucuses (nullifcation/UN Agenda 22 etc) the truth is the loons are in charge, and Pence’s hands off strategy will not work. The lukewarm response his own party is giving his core program — the 10% tax cut — illustrates how dated the fundamental GOP playbook has become.

    You cite all of those job commitments and investments. We all know how credible those have become…..

    Does the Emperor have any clothes?

    And Indiana voters — especially the Republican party — have no one to blame but themselves. That the party could and would nominate this empty suit as their nominee is a sad testament to how low the party has fallen.

    I guess my question is this: can Pence re-make himself with a new playbook so that he has half a chance for the prize that this 4-8 year misguided experiment really is aiming for: the presidency? Given the changing demographics of the national electorate and the pending demise of the GOP, I think not

  • Dave

    Competition between the states will be free market possibility vs fee market limitation; free market health vs fee market infection. Crony capitalism is statism not capitalism.

    States are governments & as such they are net consumers not producers. Government consumes the production of the private productive sector; which sustains them, not vice versa. Government doesn’t “create” jobs, the private productive sector does that.

    Government doesn’t earn revenue, it collects a tax on the earned revenue of others. However witting, the term revenue is misapplied by politicians; the terminology of condescension, dialogue of deception, branding tactic of statism.

    Texas Governor Perry travels to invite CA businesses to escape their new November tax burden (prop 30). TX has likewise joined a list of states in their 10th amendment standing, to reject the so called “Affordable Care Act,” aka Obamacare. Does anyone think that adoptive states will be more competitive than those rejecting federal over-reach?

    Scant or improperly disclosed confiscation schemes (tax & fee) that can’t survive SEC scrutiny & don’t attract free will investment of private equity markets; these are unconstitutional demands of clandestiny clubs not “investments.” Public / private partnerships are a contrivance of half-pregnant “logic.”

    Regardless of intent, these schemes are predatory, subverting the organic health & natural authority of the individual participating in what’s supposed to be a free market; lest we consider self service & power grabbing as civilized pursuits.

    Our governments are overrun with “representatives” acting under a delusion that they are in business rather than service- we have the failed results as proof. Added layers of lipid bureaucracy won’t make the beast better or more responsive; but more inhumane, disconnected, arrogant & dismissive.

  • pascal

    It is Agenda 21 and it is so extreme that the National Association of Scholars devoted an entire issue of Academic Questions to it. When you have read that issue you will note that they have been covering Agenda 21 for a decade. You will also kick yourself for being deceived. Mike’s unchanging mantra is that he is a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican, in that order. On a scale of conservatism v liberalism where 100 is Nancy Pelosi, et al, and 0 is whichever conservative you most fear, Indiana is about 35. So, Mike is home, congenial with the voters of Indiana, and is following a blocking back.

  • AWB

    The opposition are just hitting the road early with their choice of criticisms against Pence, in preparation for the next gubernatorial election. When it comes to democrats you can never start the sophistry too early.

    And it’s ironic you mentioned “cube.” My wife and I were talking how those old NWA/Gangsta rappers went mainstream. Cube (who didn’t change his image a little but a LOT), Ice T, Snoop, Dre. They were at the right place when the trash music crossed over. They then adapted and went on to better things (films, music producers, etc)

  • Dave

    Look at California & you’ll see Indiana’s future as another village of the referen-damned. Radio ads to the contrary, Indiana is losing ground to the Orwellian advance of statism; where the liberty hostile, perjority rules.

    Now that the GA has pushed Blight Fail out of a proponent sculpted “committee” (unlike mportant but parked bills, i.e. SB230), regional transit authorized crass transit (unconstitutional), is a one sided inequitably drafted hallmark card away from passage; much like the Wishard scheme where proponents drafted that… “referendum” too / two.

    Banana Republicans are selling out the citizens of Indiana; by expanded percents, unelected boards & regulations. Dancing metrics to suit a narrative doesn’t improve reality.

    Pascal is right about the evil known as Agenda 21, connected to Gates funded programs like Common Core & one world market branding of terms like “sustainable” & “smart growth,” but it takes a little time & reading to find that stuff out…

  • http://www.yandroidapps.com/android-application-development/ Android Apps Development

    I agree with you… you must have to wait a more time..