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  • A questionable 'no'
    The legislature is used to paring or turning down requests for more money. But the Indiana Department of Child Services’ decision not to ask for increased staff next year merits further examination.
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Furthermore …

Trafficking in hyperbole

From the back-patting and high-fives, it would seem the Indiana General Assembly rescued the state from the grasp of moral depravity by rushing a human-trafficking law to Gov. Mitch Daniels’ desk before Sunday’s Super Bowl.

So, were the thousands of football fans descending on Indianapolis likely to seek out young women and children for sexual gratification? Was Indiana’s law strengthened just in the nick of time?

Not so much, it turns out.

In spite of claims that the sporting event draws a criminal element eager to meet demand for illegal sexual activity, a review of last year’s Super Bowl in Dallas found a grand total of one – yes, one – arrest. “This is a far cry from the ‘thousands’ of victims that the hysterical Texas Attorney General’s office … assumed would be illegally trafficked in the Dallas area for the Super Bowl,” observed a blogger after the 2011 event.

Turns out that the hype over increased human trafficking in Texas last year was almost identical to the hype behind the Indiana legislation this year. Similar cries also are being raised over the Summer Olympics in London.

This is not to say a stronger human trafficking law isn’t a good thing. But shouldn’t some lawmaker have asked why the Super Bowl, which will draw about 68,000 fans, poses a more serious trafficking threat than the Indianapolis 500, which draws more than 250,000 fans every May?

An overtaxed system

File your tax return super early and get your tax refund super early, right?

Don’t count on it, the IRS says.

Because of new software designed to catch fraud in refunds, the IRS says refunds on taxes filed before Jan. 26 will be about a week late. Those filed after Jan. 26 should not be affected.

So, go to the IRS website and click on the “Where’s My Refund” link to find out exactly when your money will arrive, right?

Well, not really. That date is only an estimate.

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