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Saturday, September 26, 2009
Star Editorial Lies To Marion County Voters About Wishard Referendum
This is what we are up against, folks. The news media outlets in this town are deliberately lying to the public about the Wishard Hospital referendum, just like the Health & Hospital Corporation is. The Sunday edition of the Star is carrying an editorial in support of the referendum that continues to spread lies to deceive the public into supporting the referendum. "Again, no tax increase is being presented on Nov. 3," the editorial reads. Uh, did anyone on the editorial staff bother to read the public notices the newspaper ran in this week's Star? Those public notices make clear the new debt will be backed by increased property tax levies. While the editorial acknowledges the "whopping size" of the hospital project, it asserts that it "will require no new tax dollars, Wishard leaders have pledged." "[T]he bill will be paid by a combination of philanthropy, cash flow for services, and $150 million Wishard has on hand," the editorial assures us. Citing Mayor Greg Ballard's and the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce's support for the Wishard referendum, the Star tells us "[t]heir endorsement vouches for the incalculable importance of Wishard to the health and social progress of Central Indiana, as well as its $1.2 billion annual impact on the local economy." And these are the same folks who supported the bailout of the Capital Improvement Board with higher taxes and increased debt. Marion County's combined debt is now more than $4 billion. With this latest proposed borrowing, taxpayers will be footing the bill for at least $5 billion in borrowed funds.
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I think you meant 5 billion not million.
Of course, all the Star will do is repeat the lies, then after the referendum is approved, they will have someone write a big front page story about how we were deceived about the hospital project and then they will write an editorial explaining why we should support the higher taxes.
Apparently the Star has now adopted the policy of don't confuse me with the facts. CK is exactly correct in the Star's behavior; prior to whatever new project they are endorsing the Star can't say enough positive things about the project, phase two after the project is built is all about how we weren't given the facts and finally phase three, is the denial phase. You know, now that it is built you must support the project with an ever increasing outpouring of tax dollars.
Papers also often fail to report how much taxes might DECREASE if certain projects aren't undertaken and those funds are used to pay down existing debt or are returned to taxpayers.
It's always "taxes will not go up" (leaving out the "again") but never "taxes may or may not go up but they could drop if the funds allocated for project X were used to pay off other debt obligations (sports stadiums, water company, etc...) or were just refunded to taxpayers.
van Notten explains that a perfectly orderly and peaceful country can exist when people respect property rights and honor their contracts. While natural laws denote peace, liberty, and friendly relations, statutory laws represent commands. Statutory laws reflect the preferences of legislators, who impose "morality" on those they govern and regulate their ability to voluntarily enter into contracts.
That last comment had nothing to do with this and was the result of a failed cut (and paste) operation. I kept getting errors trying to post my comment - I think ultimately restarting my browser helped clear the problem and the van Notten bit was from older activity - still some good wisdom in there thought. ;-)
Apparently, Sean and I are having the same problems because I posted this on something different.
Didn't know if you knew that the Health Finance Commission is meeting per the announcement below, and "Wishard Hospital Project Update" by Matt Gutwein is on the agenda.
Meeting Date: September 29, 2009
Meeting Time: 10:00 A.M.
Meeting Place: State House, 200 W. Washington St.,
Meeting City: Indianapolis, Indiana
Meeting Number: 3
I believe if you attend this meeting, you will see that Matt can answer the questions posed by the General Assembly, unless you are writing them all off as dupes of the elite class as well.
iPOPA - the trouble isn't that the right questions haven't been asked - the trouble is the incomplete and misleading answers that have been given.
Our message should be clear:
Vote 'No' on the Wishard Referendum:
1. Matthew Gutwein has stated unquivocally that the hospital will pay for its project using its nursing home revenue stream.
2. Wishard only needs the referendum to pass so that property tax dollars could be used to secure the debt.
3. Since Matthew Gutwein doesn't need property tax dollars, he doesn't need the referendum to pass.
Taxpayers must protect themselves from cap-exceeding property tax rate increases by voting 'NO.'
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