Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Breaking News


March 26, 2012

HAYDEN: Hoosier anxiety returns

Gas-price spikes deflate consumer confidence

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana General Assembly closed out its 2012 session early this year, and many legislators left crowing about their accomplishments.

They increased funding for full-day kindergarten, repealed the so-called “death tax” (phasing out the state’s inheritance tax over nine years), gave away some more tax credits, and kept intact the new automatic taxpayer refund.

Good issues to campaign on in a campaign year: Every Indiana House seat is up for election, as are half the state Senate seats.

But what you may not hear them talking about is how they – actually, we – are going to pay for this?

After Indiana capped property taxes, it came to depend more heavily on revenue from sales taxes, gaming and personal income taxes. The health of the economy is intimately linked to state revenue that pays for much of what we depend on, including schools, critical social services, and local police and fire protection.

Last December, just as the 2012 Indiana General Assembly was about to start the session, the economy seemed to be looking much rosier than it had in several years.

One of the indicators of economic health is consumer sentiment – how good we feel about spending our hard-earned dollars. Last December, we seemed to be feeling good. The often-cited Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan’s reading of the overall index on consumer sentiment rose to its highest level in six months.

It was an indicator that Americans were feeling better about the economy’s prospects for the year ahead.

That looked like good news for the Indiana budget, too: The more stuff Hoosiers buy (and the more money we gamble away at the state’s casinos and racinos) the bigger the tax revenue stream.

Still, even back in December, people must have had some worry. That Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan survey also revealed consumers’ views of their own finances were guarded: A majority of families said they expected to see no increase in their incomes this year.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership' On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than

    April 16, 2014

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • BRIAN HOWEY: Mike Pence for president in 2016? Stay tuned Mike Pence for president? The swirl of 2016 national ticket talk surrounding Gov. Pence intensified over the past few weeks. I sat down with the governor in his office on Tuesday to find out what he's really thinking. A few hours prior, the Weekly S

    April 14, 2014

  • DICK WOLFSIE: Such a thing as too much My wife and I went on a binge last week. If you think I'm talking about an eating binge, you've never seen how thin we both are. If you think I mean a shopping binge, you don't know how cheap we are. And if you think it was a cleaning binge, you've n

    April 14, 2014

  • ED VASICEK: Chewing over news in bite-size vignettes Today, I am going to share a few "opinionettes" about current news items. Ready? Let's go! City prosperity The unemployment rate in the United States is down to 6.7 percent. This is its lowest level since October 2008. When I remember government effo

    April 13, 2014

  • MICHAEL HICKS: Finding measure of value One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives

    April 13, 2014

  • PUBLIC EYE: Right across the county line

    Grant County has wind problems, and as an editor recently and quite rightly noted, “Wind doesn’t care about county lines.”

    So Grant County’s issues over a proposed E.ON Climate & Renewables wind farm are becoming Howard County’s issues as well.

    April 13, 2014

  • RAY DAY: My wife and life, Ramona Today, I will tell you a story about my soul mate and wife, who has been with me for more than 57 years now. Time has gone by so quickly, it only seems like yesterday when we met. Her name is Ramona; I call her Moni for short. Her friends call her Ra

    April 12, 2014

  • OPN - KT041114 - matt mug MATT CONRAD: Chrysler, Purdue alliance It takes about an hour to navigate the route from Purdue University in West Lafayette to Chrysler Group LLC's Kokomo and Tipton plants. But the new partnership between the university and the global auto manufacturer moves Indiana's automotive industr

    April 11, 2014 1 Photo

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Raw: Ferry Sinks Off South Korean Coast Town, Victims Remember Texas Blast Freeze Leaves Florida Panhandle With Dead Trees At Boston Marathon, a Chance to Finally Finish Are School Dress Codes Too Strict? Raw: Fatal Ferry Boat Accident Suspicious Bags Found Near Marathon Finish Line Boston Marks the 1st Anniversary of Bombing NYPD Ends Muslim Surveillance Program 8-year-old Boy Gets His Wish: Fly Like Iron Man Sex Offenders Arrested in Slayings of CA Women India's Transgenders Celebrate Historic Ruling Tributes Mark Boston Bombing Anniversary Raw: Kan. Shooting Suspect Faces Judge

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.
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller