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
  • Former Indiana synagogue to get historical marker LIGONIER, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana museum that originally served as a synagogue for a thriving Jewish population will receive a state historical marker next month. The marker honoring the 125-year-old former temple will be unveiled Aug. 31 in t

    July 28, 2014

  • Evansville officials want more local fireworks say EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Evansville will ask lawmakers for more local authority to restrict private fireworks displays.The Evansville Courier & Press reports council members consulted the city attorney after receiving numerous complaints during the Ju

    July 28, 2014

  • Deputy: No vehicle involved in fatal Cicero bike crash CICERO (AP) — Investigators say a 20-year-old bicyclist who was killed in a crash in a central Indiana town wasn't struck by a vehicle. Nicholas Camp of Cicero was pronounced dead at an Indianapolis hospital after he was injured in the crash in Cicer

    July 25, 2014

  • Holiday World plans new winged roller coaster SANTA CLAUS (AP) — The Holiday World amusement park in southern Indiana says it's building a new roller coaster that will launch riders to 60 miles an hour in 3.5 seconds, with a 14-story loop among four inversions. Plans for the Thunderbird were ann

    July 25, 2014

  • Man dies after being hit by sheriff's prisoner van INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Police say a man has died after he was hit by a sheriff's department prisoner transport van on an Indianapolis street. City police spokesman Officer Christopher Wilburn says witnesses told investigators that the man was lying on t

    July 25, 2014

  • Murder, rape charges filed in SW Indiana attack BLOOMFIELD (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a 35-year-old man with fatally shooting a man outside his rural southwestern Indiana home and then raping a woman inside the home. Greene County prosecutors filed murder, rape and other charges Thursday agai

    July 25, 2014

  • Teen Pilot-Crash [Duplicate] [Duplicate] Family: Indiana teen pilot who crashed in ocean knew risks PLAINFIELD (AP) — Haris Suleman knew that flying around the world carried risks. But like adventurers before him, the 17-year-old pilot from Indiana also believed dreams aren't achieved without taking chances. "Why does any explorer undertake the nec

    July 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Indy. Man who avoided prison time for rape resentenced INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — An Indianapolis man who was placed on home detention after being convicted of drugging and raping his then-wife is going to prison for violating his probation. The ex-wife of 52-year-old David Wise said she felt "sucker punched" b

    July 24, 2014

  • Judge rules Indiana hog farms protected by law WINCHESTER (AP) — A judge has ruled state law protects the operator of large hog farms from lawsuits filed by residents of an eastern Indiana county. The lawsuits against North Carolina-based Maxwell Farms accused it of allowing hog waste to accumula

    July 24, 2014

  • Ex-Indy officer appeals convictions in fatal crash INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — A former Indianapolis police officer is appealing his convictions for killing one motorcyclist and seriously injuring two others while driving drunk in his police cruiser. A brief filed by public defenders Wednesday claims the jud

    July 24, 2014

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

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

Should grocery and convenience stores be allowed to sell cold beer?

Yes
No
Unsure
     View Results
Featured Ads
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
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.