Published On: Wed, Oct 5th, 2016

Mike Pence, Indiana economy attacked by critics, but what do the facts really show

While Mike Pence faired well during Tuesday night’s debate with Tim Kaine, critics have targeted the Indiana governor, claiming that his record is not that praiseworthy.

From HillaryClinton.com: “Donald Trump has cited Mike Pence’s record on the economy as the ‘single most important’ reason for choosing Pence as his running mate.  One problem: Pence’s economic record in Indiana has been mediocre at best.” They listed the following as examples.

  • USA Today: “Trump said it was ‘very unusual’ that Indiana has added 147,000 private-sector jobs. Not really. Florida (12.7%) and Utah (12.4%), for example, grew jobs at twice the rate of Indiana (5.9%).”  Under Mike Pence, Indiana’s job growth rate has lagged behind 19 other states.
  • Factcheck.org: “Trump praised Pence for balancing the state budget. ‘Can you imagine a balanced budget,’ Trump marveled. But Indiana is legally required to balance the budget, as are all states except Vermont.”
  • NBC News on Trump’s claim that Pence’s policies led to a low unemployment rate in Indiana: “While the unemployment rate in Indiana has declined since 2013, this mirrors national trends rather than being an outlier.”
photo/donkey hotey

photo/donkey hotey

It would be fair to note that the USA Today broke a 34 year trend to endorse Hillary Clinton and bash Donald Trump, Factcheck.org’s credibility and bias has been called into question and NBC is regularly leaning left.

With that said, some points are valid.

For example, during 2014, Indiana’s economy was among the slowest-growing in the U.S., with 0.4% GDP growth, compared to the national average of 2.2%; this was attributed in part to sluggish manufacturing sector and the state was/will be hit hard by Carrier Corp. and United Technologies Electronic Controls (UTEC) announcing in 2016 that they would be closing two facilities in Indiana, sending 2,100 jobs to Mexico.

During Pence’s tenure, the Indiana economy has pretty much remained the same, hovering between 16th and 18th in the country. Since the economic collapse in 2008, Indiana has grown every year in GDP, continuing the success under Gov. Mitch Daniels. We see a similar trend in personal incomes, see the chart here, but hear this from critics:

Some truths interwoven in political talking points.

A couple of noteworthy facts:

In 2013, Indiana’s poverty levels were rising while surrounding states saw improvement. From the Incap data: “poverty rates for senior citizens increased from 7.2 to 7.9 percent in 2013. Poverty”

The SNAP program and poverty data illustrates a real problem in the state: “An average SNAP household has only $333 in assets. The average monthly SNAP benefit per person is $133.85, or less than $1.50 per person, per meal.”

To summarize that data, Indiana is nothing special.

While the critics may be heavy-handed, Trump picking for his expertise and record on the economy is totally false and doesn’t add up. Liberals and Hillary Clinton supporters include other attacks:

  • Pence opposed Obama economic policies that helped Indiana recover from the recession.  He voted against the economic stimulus and bragged about fighting the auto rescue that saved thousands of jobs in Indiana, saying, “I even opposed bailing out GM and Chrysler.”
  • Pence signed a law allowing skilled workers in Indiana to be paid less.  The law repealed the common construction wage, a tool used by state and local governments to set pay rates on building projects.

Conservatives and Trump supporters look at that at and pat Pence on the back for doing what they want done. Pence has basically continued the success/failures of Daniels with little to no change.

photo donkeyhotey  donkeyhotey@wordpress.com

photo donkeyhotey [email protected]


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About the Author

- Catherine "Kaye" Wonderhouse, a proud descendant of the Wunderhaus family is the Colorado Correspondent who will add more coverage, interviews and reports from this midwest area.

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