Political Notebook

  • Messer wants GOP leadership position
    Another Hoosier seeks a leadership post with the U.S. House Republican caucus.
  • Lugar Series taking applications
    The Richard G. Lugar Excellence in Public Service Series, a political leadership development course for Republican women, is taking applications for its next class until Aug. 1.
  • Zoeller mum after ban ruling
    Attorney General Greg Zoeller has never been shy.He regularly comments on cases, files briefs around the nation and issues a ton of press releases about office activities.

Could go either way

Republicans in recent years have made a lot of political hay out of structural deficits: When Democrats would announce a balanced budget, Republicans would point out – correctly – that it may be balanced in the sense that spending does not exceed the amount of available money, but only because some of that money was already on hand. In other words, the government was still spending more than it was taking in, a practice that cannot continue for long, and does not address the issue at hand – spending.

Fort Wayne City Councilman John Crawford, R-at-large, has a well-deserved and long-standing reputation as the numbers guy on the council, able to cut through the debate with hard and fast facts. So it was puzzling when he tried to explain away the structural deficit he and other Republican councilmen are calling for in the city budget – they want to use the city’s cash reserves and money from selling the city’s electric utility rather than raise taxes or cut spending. He did it this way:

“Do you have a structural deficit if you have a large amount in a cash reserve that you’re not going to use?” he asked. “You do and you don’t.”