There are still 209,000 jobless people on the rolls. That doesn’t include the tens of thousands more who are so discouraged they are no longer being counted. The amount of workforce participation in Indiana - with 38 percent of the population idle - is at a historic high, which belies Pence’s slogan of Indiana being a “state that works.”
Hoosiers ranked 39th in the nation in per capita income in 2013, with residents making 87.2 percent of U.S. income $38,119, and 33rd in household income at $46,974, down from $47,399 in 2011 (32nd). In 2002, we ranked 24th at $53,482. That is a 13.6 percent decline in the last decade that coincides with all the business tax cuts. Indiana ranked 10th in bankruptcies in 2012, and sixth in the rate per 1,000 people.
If you listen to Pence, Bosma and Long, after a decade of GOP governors, the stage is set. Or as actor Roy Schneider would say in the 1979 classic movie “All That Jazz” . . . “it’s show time!”
I hope they’re right, but I’m skeptical given the track record. Perhaps next session they’ll focus on the middle class.
Brian Howey, a Peru native, is the publisher of The Howey Political Report. He can be reached at www.howeypolitics.com. Find him on Twitter @hwypol.