Last week, State Auditor Tim Berry proved how strong leadership and fiscal responsibility paid off in the State of Indiana as he announced how Indiana still remains in the black despite the many economic obstacles and loss of revenue over the last year.
In 2010, Indiana spent 5.5 percent less than what was allocated in the 2009 budget, and ended with a reserve balance of $1.18 billion.
That statement is proof that raising taxes is not the only solution. As Auditor Tim Berry so clearly stated during a recent press conference, "For those who believe that raising taxes is the only way out of a fiscal crisis, I say take a look at the Hoosier State." I couldn't agree with him more.
While states across the nation are implementing tax increases or spending money they do not have, Indiana's leaders refuse to raise taxes on its Hoosiers and still manage to come out ahead. What is even more impressive is Indiana's ability to keep intact a reserve balance that we weren't predicted to have until 2013.
Yes, Indiana's unemployment rate is still higher than we would like it to be. But at 8.5 percent (as of May 2011), we are lower than the national average of 9.1 percent, but we are also lower than any other state in the Midwest. Illinois has 8.9; Kentucky has 9.8; Michigan has 10.3; and Ohio has 8.6 percent.
Our state was also ranked one of three recipients of Area Development magazine's Gold Shovel, the publication's top economic development honor-the award was based on job creation and capital investment data.
Our progress is due to the fact that since 2005, our state has had 1,125 businesses projected to create 132,931 jobs and invest $26.9 billion in their Indiana operations since January 2005. In 2011 alone, we have had 11,187 private sector jobs projected with $1.73 billion in capital investment.
Saying Indiana is leading the way through this recession, despite all the economic obstacles thrown in its path, is a fair statement. We have made a great amount of progress in Indiana and finding innovate ways to maintain that progress is not something I take lightly.