Taking Issue

RUSTHOVEN: Lawsuit could rein in Obama overreachRestricted Content

July 19, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Speaker John Boehner’s plans to have the House file a lawsuit challenging President Obama’s refusals to enforce federal laws has elicited predictable derision in liberal and media circles (which overlap on a Venn diagram).
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KENNEDY: We need to connect the civic dotsRestricted Content

July 12, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
It isn’t only democratic institutions and behaviors that are affected by profound ignorance of our history and government.
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RUSTHOVEN: Things you don’t know about Hobby LobbyRestricted Content

July 5, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
From reaction on the left to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, you’d think it ruled that corporations have First Amendment “free exercise of religion” rights, allowing them to refuse contraceptive coverage for women employees despite the Affordable Care Act’s statutory command. You’d be wrong. Literally none of this is true.
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KENNEDY: Maybe it’s a systems failureRestricted Content

June 28, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Next weekend is the Fourth of July. Along with the barbecues, parades and neighborhood get-togethers, we’ll hear speeches about Truth, Justice and the American Way. We might raise a toast to the Founders, and count ourselves fortunate to live in a (mostly still) democratic country.
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RUSTHOVEN: Tea Party victories send wrong messageRestricted Content

June 21, 2014
One benefit of writing a regular column is reader feedback. Occasional kind comments from friends are, of course, encouraging. But critiques are more frequent and often more interesting.
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KENNEDY: Constitutional convention is idea whose time is not nowRestricted Content

June 14, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Periodically, lawmakers impatient to change government policies of which they disapprove will call for a constitutional convention.
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RUSTHOVEN: Tea Party, Chocola never seem to learnRestricted Content

June 7, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
On June 3, Mississippi Republicans took a step down the path traveled two years ago by their Indiana counterparts. Ordinarily, Hoosiers might think Mississippians would do well to follow our lead. Not this time.
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KENNEDY: A rose by any other nameRestricted Content

May 31, 2014
What was that line from Romeo and Juliet? “That which we call a rose. By any other name would smell as sweet.”
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RUSTHOVEN: Pence pushes plan to national stature

May 24, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
A while back, we wrote about Gov. Pence’s efforts to use federal health care dollars for our state’s successful Healthy Indiana Plan, rather than expanding the failure that is Medicaid.
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Kennedy demonized makers and producers

May 24, 2014

Sheila Suess Kennedy’s [May 19] column is downright scary in light of anti-Semitic history. Jews were demonized with the same words she uses in her column to disparage 1 percenters: “They are disproportionately the manipulators and rent-seekers, speculators and financiers—not the producers, entrepreneurs or ‘makers’ many believe themselves to be.”

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KENNEDY: The luck of the (economic) drawRestricted Content

May 17, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz recently testified before a Senate committee on the issue of America’s growing inequality. His observations were sobering.
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RUSTHOVEN: The union vote proved toothlessRestricted Content

May 10, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
Two races on my 2014 watch list were challenges to GOP state representatives Bob Behning of Indianapolis and Jerry Torr of Carmel. The issues differed, but each race showed continued erosion of union political power.
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KENNEDY: The tax-cutters are too clever by halfRestricted Content

May 3, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Tax cuts have consequences as predictable as the sunrise. The politicians who cut taxes boast about their concern for taxpayers and their superior efficiency; they assure us that our low taxes will lure new business, then they run for higher office or otherwise head for greener pastures where the accuracy of those claims is unlikely to be tested. The politicians who have been left to operate with less money engage in equally predictable behaviors.
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RUSTHOVEN: High court opted for common senseRestricted Content

April 26, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
In Plessy vs. Ferguson, decided in 1896, the U.S. Supreme Court held it constitutional for states to discriminate on the basis of race, pronouncing the now-discredited notion that “separate but equal” comported with the Fourteenth Amendment’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws.”
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KENNEDY: First, eat the spinachRestricted Content

April 19, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
There is probably not a parent on the planet who hasn’t delivered the time-honored dinner lecture, “No dessert unless you eat your vegetables.” We want our children to understand that first things come first—that consuming healthy food has to come before sugary treats, no matter how tempting.
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RUSTHOVEN: Glad Kentucky went down in the finals

April 12, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
In sports, I typically root for my team to win, not for another team to lose. Exceptions are the New England Patriots (Colts loyalists need no explanation) and the New York Yankees, justly despised by all us Boston Red Sox fans and other real Americans.
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KENNEDY: Hobby Lobby’s unintended consequencesRestricted Content

April 5, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
All eyes are on the Hobby Lobby lawsuit before the U.S. Supreme Court. Most of the commentary revolves around whether a for-profit corporation should be able to disregard a law of general application if that law offends its shareholder/owners’ “sincerely held” religious beliefs.
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RUSTHOVEN: Why Pence is winning at the LegislatureRestricted Content

March 29, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
The Indianapolis Star is developing a pattern in covering Gov. Mike Pence and his dealings with the Legislature.
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KENNEDY: My very own litmus test for lawmakersRestricted Content

March 22, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
I’ve been casting about for a shortcut, a vote on an issue that will give me an insight into individual lawmakers. Is he/she irresponsible? Despicable? Crazy?
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RUSTHOVEN: Donnelly wisely bucks his presidentRestricted Content

March 15, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
On March 5, Joe Donnelly joined six other Senate Democrats and all Republicans, including Dan Coats, in rejecting President Obama’s nomination of Debo Adegbile to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Hoosier senators did the right thing.
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KENNEDY: We’re getting what we deserveRestricted Content

March 8, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Anyone who has ever written a book, mounted a PR campaign or started a new business has confronted a threshold question: Who’s your audience? Who will read your book, be persuaded by your campaign, or buy your widget?
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RUSTHOVEN: Pence isn’t playing politics with SebeliusRestricted Content

March 1, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
The Post spins this as surreptitious grabbing for Obamacare dollars.
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KENNEDY: The costs of rejecting scienceRestricted Content

February 22, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Count me among the many Hoosiers increasingly dismayed by the assault on science from people who seem threatened by the notion that empirical evidence might conflict with their worldviews.
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RUSTHOVEN: Obama’s shifting sands of definitionsRestricted Content

February 15, 2014
Peter J. Rusthoven / Special to IBJ
When this column first talked about Obamacare, a reader called the term disrespectful. The president disagreed—well, he did in 2012—saying he was "fond of this term" and "actually like[s] the name, because I do care—that's why we fought so hard to make it happen."
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KENNEDY: Thinking outside the bankRestricted Content

February 8, 2014
Sheila Suess Kennedy
Let me begin with a caveat: I’m no expert on financial services or the economics of banking. Like most middle-class Americans, my interactions with banking are all decidedly “retail”—checking and savings accounts, mortgages and car loans.
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  1. Apologies for the wall of text. I promise I had this nicely formatted in paragraphs in Notepad before pasting here.

  2. I believe that is incorrect Sir, the people's tax-dollars are NOT paying for the companies investment. Without the tax-break the company would be paying an ADDITIONAL $11.1 million in taxes ON TOP of their $22.5 Million investment (Building + IT), for a total of $33.6M or a 50% tax rate. Also, the article does not specify what the total taxes were BEFORE the break. Usually such a corporate tax-break is a 'discount' not a 100% wavier of tax obligations. For sake of example lets say the original taxes added up to $30M over 10 years. $12.5M, New Building $10.0M, IT infrastructure $30.0M, Total Taxes (Example Number) == $52.5M ININ's Cost - $1.8M /10 years, Tax Break (Building) - $0.75M /10 years, Tax Break (IT Infrastructure) - $8.6M /2 years, Tax Breaks (against Hiring Commitment: 430 new jobs /2 years) == 11.5M Possible tax breaks. ININ TOTAL COST: $41M Even if you assume a 100% break, change the '30.0M' to '11.5M' and you can see the Company will be paying a minimum of $22.5, out-of-pocket for their capital-investment - NOT the tax-payers. Also note, much of this money is being spent locally in Indiana and it is creating 430 jobs in your city. I admit I'm a little unclear which tax-breaks are allocated to exactly which expenses. Clearly this is all oversimplified but I think we have both made our points! :) Sorry for the long post.

  3. Clearly, there is a lack of a basic understanding of economics. It is not up to the company to decide what to pay its workers. If companies were able to decide how much to pay their workers then why wouldn't they pay everyone minimum wage? Why choose to pay $10 or $14 when they could pay $7? The answer is that companies DO NOT decide how much to pay workers. It is the market that dictates what a worker is worth and how much they should get paid. If Lowe's chooses to pay a call center worker $7 an hour it will not be able to hire anyone for the job, because all those people will work for someone else paying the market rate of $10-$14 an hour. This forces Lowes to pay its workers that much. Not because it wants to pay them that much out of the goodness of their heart, but because it has to pay them that much in order to stay competitive and attract good workers.

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  5. It is sad to see these races not have a full attendance. The Indy Car races are so much more exciting than Nascar. It seems to me the commenters here are still a little upset with Tony George from a move he made 20 years ago. It was his decision to make, not yours. He lost his position over it. But I believe the problem in all pro sports is the escalating price of admission. In todays economy, people have to pay much more for food and gas. The average fan cannot attend many events anymore. It's gotten priced out of most peoples budgets.

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