MARK KIESLING: I'm just saying, $111 will buy a lot of cheese

2012-11-28T00:00:00Z 2012-12-20T21:25:34Z MARK KIESLING: I'm just saying, $111 will buy a lot of cheese
November 28, 2012 12:00 am

When it comes time to get your $111 share of Indiana's surplus, take the money and run.

The refund is automatically triggered by law when the budget reserve tops 10 percent of the next year's budgeted spending.

Which it has.

There are some suggesting or outright asserting that this budget surplus of $360.6 million was pretty much stolen from the public schools.

But it wasn't.

In fact, outgoing Gov. Mitch Daniels said it was state revenue growth and restrictions on state spending.

It's money derived from you. The average Hoosier pays $850 annually in state income taxes.

It's only $111, you say? Send it to the public schools, where one person who claimed teachers now spend $35,000 to $40,000 on supplies because of budget cuts.

That might shock the average teacher, who makes about $50,801 in Indiana, according to teacher/portal, a website aimed at teachers.

It was amazing how much unsubstantiated "fact" was generated by the story over the rebate.

Maybe people just don't trust rebates.

In 1982, President Ronald Reagan, not having any cake handy, released about 30 million pounds of warehoused government cheese.

It wasn't bad cheese. It was not a simulated cheese product. It was given to our military, to our schoolkids and to the needy.

But the government farm subsidy program just made too much, and rather than let the cheese mold in a warehouse, it was given away.

Blocks of cheese, lunch of champions.

Then there was the Economic Stimulus Act of 2008, the brainchild of George W. Bush, which doled out on your tax form 1040 from $300 (filing singly) to $1,200 (married filing jointly).

But the king of the rebates was former Mayor Chester Stranczek, of nearby Crestwood, Ill., who gave back nearly all municipal taxes as well as giving back his $6,000 mayoral salary.

(He owned a trucking company in Phoenix, Ill., which his son Robert now runs. Robert has been Crestwood's mayor since 2007.)

Unfortunately, the village largess was cut short after a whistle blower released the story of how the village's water supply came from a well tainted with dry cleaning fluid.

The village has spent about $1 million in legal bills since 2009, but Chet Stranczek gave $48 million back to the 11,251 folks of Crestwood.

Whether the water was tainted is still in litigation.

Strange thing about all this, though. Reagan, Bush, Stranczek and Daniels are all Republicans, those greedy politicians who want to keep your tax money and spend it on themselves and their friends.

Could it be we've had it wrong all along? How much free cheese did you get from President Barack Obama this year?

The opinions are solely those of the writer. He can be reached at or (219) 933-4170.

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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