Pence, Gregg helping themselves to help Hoosiers
By Rick Yencer
ANDERSON, IN - It was hard to tell who wanted to help Hoosiers more, Republican Mike Pence or Democrat John Gregg, when they appeared on different stages Tuesday to propose tax cuts and equal pay.
In the middle was stay at home mom Barbie Fauss who was watching her daughter, Emily, play at the Anderson Town Center across from the historic Paramount Theater.
Fauss liked what Gregg, a former Indiana House speaker, had to say about men and women being paid equally, and what inequity existed between the sexes in the Hoosier state. Women only make about 74 cents to the dollar that men make, making Indiana the fifth worse state in the nation.
In Indianapolis, Pence, an Indiana congressman, got a standing ovation when he told the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce when he pledged to cut state income taxes by 10 percent, given the state's $2.15 billion surplus.
Fauss, who receives Medicaid and public assistance, said she has met Pence and likes what he has to say too, but has not made up her mind in that race. She has decided to support Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney because she thinks Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act will reduce her benefits.
Gregg did not have an audience for his pitch for equal pay or plans to recognize employers who ensure equal pat for equal work. He ended the day criticizing Pence for his congressional voting record that does not support equal pay or tax cuts, adding that Pence had no credibility when it comes to cutting taxes or balancing the budget.
Christy Denault, Pence's campaign spokesman, said Pence strongly supported equal pay for equal work, adding he best way to help Hoosiers was to cut taxes and show fiscal restraint.
During the chamber lunch, Pence said government had to live within its means, explaining, "State government should not collect more money from taxpayers than it absolutely needs."
Cutting taxes will create jobs, Pence said, which is what Fauss and others having lunch at the downtown Anderson park said they wanted. Fauss's boyfriend has been out of work and cannot find a job in drywall or construction.She said the next governor had to create more jobs and improve the economy for all Hoosiers.
And cutting income taxes will help attract employers to the state, Pence explained, while an average family of four would save more than $228 a year.
Gregg recently offered his own tax cut, saying the elimination of sales tax on gasoline would save the average family as much as $522 a year. And the Democrat already proposed to eliminate corporate income taxes. He again pointed to Pence's congressional record over the past decade that reflected voting against tax cuts for the middle class and also support for raising the federal deficit.
As Gregg continues to hammer away at Pence's voting record , Pence still has more television air time and millions more to spend on the campaign. For example, the congressman got $1 million from a super PAC representing the Republican National Governor's Association while Gregg only got $43,000 from the Democratic National Governor's group.
And the lack of a crowd and even no local media at Gregg's press gathering illustrated deeper problems within the Democrat's organization. campaign and message that got little play compared to Pence's big announcement of cutting state income taxes before a crowd of business supporters.