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Apr 25, 2023

In his 2012 comedy special, “In This Economy?”, Gary Gulman discusses the thrill of finding a twenty-dollar bill in an old coat when he was dead broke. He remembers the find being such a big deal, it caused him to change his weekend plans. He even added the guacamole to his bowl at Chipotle the next day.

The funny part was wondering out loud what it would take for Bill Gates to have a similar thrill. At the time, Gates was only worth a paltry $69 billion. 

Thanks to the April revenue forecast, Indiana just found an extra $1.5 billion. That could buy an avalanche of guac, without a fiscal care in the world. 

Of course, that would be silly. Especially for a state government that seems to find itself with extra money so often, so routinely, that the thrill is entirely gone. When the state’s books were closed at the end of the fiscal year last summer, our total surplus was $6.1 billion. The number was celebrated, that’s right, celebrated, as evidence of great Republican leadership. 

Great economy? Thank the GOP. Fiscal restraint? Thank the GOP. A complete void of any creative and meaningful idea to use our fortuitous fortune? Without question, thank the GOP.   

As the 2023 legislative session ends in the coming days, I want to try and inspire the Indiana General Assembly to think big. As a teacher, this exercise is becoming a general operating procedure at the end of every semester. My young college students often think big but spend too much energy trying to restrain their dreams. Part of my job, according to me, is to get them to stop doing that. 

So, legislature, I will now turn my eyes on you. 

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