Friday, January 19, 2007

Glad I Fled Marion County, Part 9

Pity Fred McCarthy, myself, and about 273 people or so who are actually concerned about the finances of Marion County. We were left shaking our heads, or trying to collect to skull fragments after heads exploded, when we learned that the City of Indianapolis is going to shovel a mountain of money at a hotel project.

Indianapolis is the city that has a murder every three days, and a carjacking every 30 hours or so. The crime is so bad that Mayor Peterson is talking about raising taxes, because there isn't enough money to put enough police on the streets, enough courtrooms, or jail space.

And yet, there is $48.5 million lying around to gift to a developer. Astonishing. I am so glad I fled Marion County. From the Indy Star report:
The city of Indianapolis is willing to spend as much as $48.5 million of taxpayer money to help build a mega-hotel of up to 1,000 rooms to service the expanding Indiana Convention Center.

It used to be that Republicans were guilty of giving away public money to developers. At least in other cities that's true, and Democrats cry foul, correctly, on the basis of corporate welfare. Do Indy Democrats give Mayor Peterson a pass because he's a Democrat, or because he's a developer? More from the Star:

Democratic council member, Jackie Nytes, said the city should gain from the hotel deal because it will create jobs and a larger tax base. "Whatever incentives we give them will be paid for by the increased taxes we get," Nytes said.
It just doesn't seem to matter who's in charge. Whether Republicans or Democrats are in charge, the taxpayers are robbed to benefit the politically connected.

Indeed, I was talking with Abdul Hakim-Shabazz the other day about whether or not things will change in Indy. My assertion is that they will not. Marion County's murder rate could increase to a daily occurance, and there would be no appreciable shift in policy. Will the voters of Marion County vote Peterson out? No way. The Democrats wouldn't dream of putting a primary challenger up, because it is more important to the Democratic Party to have 'D' in the Mayor's office than to have safe streets and otherwise sane policy. The voters who are glad that they have a 'D' in the Mayor's office are a majority of Marion County voters, and they too would rather have a 'D' in the office that safe streets, and all sooner than see an 'R' or an 'L' there. Not that the 'R' would make that great a difference either.

So, once again I sing the praises of my good decision to flee Marion County, for the temporarily safer streets of Hamilton County. As we reinvent Marion County north of 96th, I'm sure I will flee here some day too. Until then, I hum contentedly in my suburban home.

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