This morning’s paper carries a story of about thirty column inches headed "$75 million borrowing plan divides Indy council." There are numerous references to individual municipal needs or problems, each with a multimillion dollar price tag.
At one point, the city controller is quoted as saying, "I can’t in good conscience stand before you and tell you to spend a penny out of the $39 million at a time when we face a structural deficit." (Referring to road or rainy day funds on hand.)
We’ve been seeing the term "structural deficit" for some time, and quite frankly, we’re not sure what it means. In looking at the historical perspective we thought about this explanation.
The "structural deficit" refers to the billion tax dollars committed to build palatial structures for the benefit of millionaire professional sports franchise owners. Add to that the multimillion dollar annual subsidy to the same people so that their games could be played in appropriately plush surroundings - for fan comfort and team revenue increases.
As always, at no point does the story make any suggestion that a serious look at past - and continuing - spending programs be reviewed before adding additional taxation or borrowing debt.
At random, a few of the itemized proposals before the Council are: $8 million for two fire stations; $5 million for parks; $3 million for fire equipment.
Well, not really at random. That $16 million just happens to match the number of tax dollars we’re stuffing into the pockets of the Pacers organization every year.
Maybe the first "structural" problem to be faced is the elimination of the Capital Improvement Board and its profligate generosity with dollars filched from taxpayer wallets.