Pharos-Tribune

State News

October 7, 2012

Maureen Hayden: Republicans embrace Bosma’s ‘Own Your Own Dream’ agenda

INDIANAPOLIS — You may be hearing a lot more about the “American dream” from Republicans in the Indiana Statehouse in coming months.

Last week, Republican House Speaker Brian Bosma — confident that the GOP will continue to control the Statehouse after the November election — called a press conference to announce his caucus’s legislative agenda for 2013.

He gave the plan a theme: “Own Your American Dream.”

It’s about jobs and education and a balanced state budget. It lacks legislative detail but it’s aspirational.

“It is every parent’s hope that their children will be better off than their own generation,” Bosma said, after telling a story about his immigrant ancestors who came to the U.S. in 1908 with little more than a dream.

“But for the first time in history,” he continued, “the majority of Americans believe that the next generation will not enjoy a quality of life better than their parents.”

His lofty words were mostly lost on his immediate audience. Reporters who covered the event, myself included, latched on instead to his comments about social issues that may crowd the GOP agenda, including a pending constitutional amendment prohibiting gay marriage and civil unions. (No American dream for same-sex couples?)

That, and the declaration of independence he made on behalf of the Indiana Legislature when he questioned whether a big tax cut promised by his own party’s front-running candidate for governor, Mike Pence, would make it through the legislative budget process. (Ditto for Democrat John Gregg’s tax-cut plan.)  

“Our team has a long-term vision, not a campaign-oriented vision, for how we budget,” Bosma said.  

Bosma wanted us to pay more attention to the plan, which pledges action to create better-paying jobs and expand and improve educational opportunities for Hoosiers.  

Those are good goals. Because while Bosma called Indiana the “envy of every state in the nation” for ending up with a state budget surplus after some tough budget-cutting years, he knows that envy has a limit.

In per capita personal income — a measure that reflects the average income of state residents and is used to measure prosperity — Indiana ranks in the bottom 10 of all states. We’ve slid down there in the last decade. Collectively, we Hoosiers have less of the American dream than we once did.

What does it take to reverse the slide? The answer is simple: A better-educated workforce, which leads to better-paying jobs.

Getting to that answer is the hard part, of course. Indiana ranks in bottom 10 states for college attainment. We’re also in the bottom 10 states for the number of children attending early education programs.

The Republicans’ “American dream” plan calls for, among other things, promoting early childhood education and increasing accessibility to higher education.

The devil will be in the details. What does “promote” mean? No definitive word yet on that. It could mean expanding the state’s controversial voucher program that uses tax dollars to pay for tuition in private schools. And how do you increase access to higher education when the high cost of college these days means massive student loan debt? Indiana’s public universities have bitterly resisted efforts to tie more of their state subsidies to getting more of their students through college and out on time.

I like the American dream. I’m here because my starving Irish Catholic ancestors and my oppressed Russian Jewish ancestors were offered access to it. And jobs and education were their tickets to realizing it.

Maureen Hayden covers the Statehouse for the CNHI newspapers in Indiana. She can be reached at maureen.hayden@indianamediagroup.com.



 

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Gay couples' lawyers object to full-court hearing INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Attorneys on either side of a lawsuit over Indiana’s overthrown gay marriage ban are wrangling over how many federal judges should hear the state’s appeal, a technical issue that could make a big difference.Those representing gay

    July 23, 2014

  • NWS - KT072214 - Ryan Ledbetter mugshot - CLG [Duplicate] Bunker Hill councilman arrested for firing gun BUNKER HILL – A member of the Bunker Hill Town Council was arrested Saturday after police say he broke a no-contact order with his children’s mother and fired a gun inside a trailer park near Peru. Indiana State Police responded to the Woodland Hill

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Lowe's plans 1,000-worker Indianapolis call center INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Home-improvement retailer Lowe's says it will open a new call center in Indianapolis that could have up to 1,000 employees in the next couple years. The North Carolina-based retailer announced Tuesday that it would spend about $20

    July 22, 2014

  • 2 men die in separate apparent drownings near Rockville and Morocco ROCKVILLE, Ind. (AP) — State conservation officers say two Indiana men have died in separate apparent drownings. Officers say 29-year-old Terry Johnson of Veedersburg died after divers pulled him Monday from Raccoon Lake near the Parke County town of

    July 22, 2014

  • Former Hartford City councilman sentenced for child molesting HARTFORD CITY (AP) — A former northeastern Indiana city councilman and retired teacher has been sentenced to 10 years in prison on child molesting charges. A Blackford County judge ordered the sentence on Monday against 66-year-old John Adams. He ple

    July 22, 2014

  • 6 Indiana projects get national humanities grants INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Three universities in Indiana have been awarded a total of $1.25 million in grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities. The endowment announced Monday that Indiana University's Indianapolis branch campus is receiving $1

    July 22, 2014

  • Indiana governor's residence gets honey bee hive INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana's Governor's Residence is getting a bee hive to call its own. First lady Karen Pence was scheduled to unveil a honey bee hive Tuesday morning at the Governor's Residence on Indianapolis' north side. The hive and its bees w

    July 22, 2014

  • Indiana man pleads not guilty to courthouse threat HAMMOND (AP) — A man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges that he threatened to blow up an Indiana courthouse and kill judges and police officers. Twenty-two-year-old Samuel Bradbury of Pine Village entered the plea during a federal court hearin

    July 22, 2014

  • 2 in custody after Greene County man found slain in home SOLSBERRY (AP) — Indiana State Police say two men considered persons of interest have been taken into custody after a Greene County man was found slain in his rural home. Sgt. Curt Durnil says Indianapolis police took 35-year-old Jason Lee Caldwell o

    July 21, 2014

  • Indiana's bills for highway damage face challenge INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A trucking company is asking the state appeals court to limit the Indiana Department of Transportation's authority to sue over damage done to state highways. The challenge is in court as the highway agency is trying to collect mor

    July 21, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Poll

The Pence administration continues to cut Indiana agency budgets despite a state surplus of $2 billion. Is this wise management of state funds?

Yes
No
Not sure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.