Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Eli Lilly, Hamilton County and Whirlpool: Three Clear-Cut Wrongs in 2010 Indiana Election

I can understand how rational, well-meaning people can disagree on key issues like the economic stimulus, tax cuts, and health care. There is no Solution Manual on these issues.

Unlike many Democrats, I think the economic stimulus could have been better targeted at private sector job creation.

Also, unlike many Democrats, I don’t think that some families making say $300,000 or $350,000 should pay higher income tax rates in 2011 and 2012. From a fairness standpoint, some families at this higher income level could now be unduly burdened economically with an underwater mortgage, with very high college tuition, with living in an area with a very high cost of living, or with an inappropriate alternative minimum tax penalty from poorly designed tax legislation. I think somehow these and other fairness factors should be considered….for instance, keep the $250,000 cut off for lower tax rates, but then allowing tax credits for certain fairness factors for taxpayers making above $250,000.

I like most of the Obama Health Care plan, but unlike some Democrats, I would have liked to have seen even more cost containment in it. I think Big Pharma, Big Health Insurance, and Big Hospitals all made out like bandits in the Health Care plan. And what was the Congress ever thinking with the burdensome 1099 requirements for small businesses? Although I don’t agree with repealing the Obama Health Care plan, I can even see why some people might hold that view. I think we should just change it to make it even better.

But I think there are three issues in this Indiana Election that nearly all open-minded Republicans, Democrats and Independents, particularly those in Southwestern Indiana, should agree are flat out wrong.

First, Indiana large companies like Eli Lilly should not be allowed to pay no Indiana State Corporate Income Tax for the past twelve years, while at the same time earning $37 bil. Closing this massive tax loophole could substantially help to solve the State’s current fiscal problems.

Second, in comparison to the smaller, poorer rural K-12 schools, and the poorer inner city schools, the rich North and Northeast Indy suburbs have been granted too much State Education funding. And for the very wealthy Hamilton County to now pile on by suing the State to get even more State Education Funding at the expense of nearly the rest of the State is clearly wrong.

And third, for a candidate to run on a tax plan related to large corporations, like Whirlpool, who have moved Indiana jobs overseas for decades to lower wage and lower corporate income tax jurisdictions, and now for this candidate to reward Whirlpool by letting them repatriate all of these very low-taxed foreign earnings to the US and to initiate a 15% lower tax rate for doing so….this is flat out wrong. And the tax reward to Whirlpool under this candidate’s tax plan is in the range of $450 mil and $550 mil, and relates to all Whirlpool foreign earnings since inception. Having a mother who worked many years for General Tire, a local supplier of Whirlpool, I know first hand the gross wrongdoing here is not just to all Whirlpool employees laid off in the past fifty years, but also to all of the many employees that worked for Whirlpool suppliers in the last fifty years. Dr Bucshon is clearly a gifted heart surgeon, but on his mean-spirited tax proposal here he is being flat out cold-hearted.