Friday, January 21, 2011

Gov. Daniels' Job "Realization" Numbers Still a Fraud

Bob Segall of WTHR continues his award winning investigation into the job numbers that public officials such as Governor Mitch Daniels and Secretary of Commerce Mitch Roob often trot out in an attempt to impress the public.

Do read the entire article, or the entire series if you haven't been keeping up. Segall and his team have dug deep into the numbers and have had to fight Roob and Daniels every step of the way to get this data. It's worth keeping in mind that Roob, who has been in Indiana politics since the administration of former Indianapolis Mayor Steve Goldsmith, is not much of a people person. If you didn't already know that before, you'll certainly find out after reading Segall's reports.

Also, what in the hell is a "realization"? City-County Council President Ryan Vaughn used this same term when defending the water deal. It sounds as if "realize" means jobs or financial savings just magically fall from the sky. It sounded like nonsense then, and it sounds like nonsense now.

I've voted for Daniels twice, and I'm generally supportive of his overall agenda, but he has made some awful appointments to the Indiana Economic Development Corporation and the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. If this is the calibre of appointees we can expect in a Daniels' White House, there's no way he'll be getting my vote.


  1. Matthew -- I voted for Daniels in 2004, but I now consider that my worst mistake in voting. You mention Daniels' failings in his IEDC and IURC appointments, and I would be willing to bet you could find many other agency head failures throughout his term. Paul Ogden, as I'm sure you have seen, has often mentioned Daniels and his lack of properly overseeing his agency heads. I would venture to guess Paul would include DOI and FSSA as other agencies with problems. I know many other agencies have bad problems, but one of the worst agencies under Daniels, without a doubt, is Department of Workforce Development and its handling of the state's unemployment system.Indiana is in debt to the federal government $2 Billion (just made it last week); when Daniels came to office, the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund had over an $150 Million surplus. The DWD "Leadership Team" now comprises of 1 commissioner and 7 deputy commissioners (2 of these were created just 2 years ago, another was created last year), earning around $750,000 in combined salaries; there have also been numerous new "Director" positions created, some for political cronies, totalling another $1.25 Million in salaries). These people have publically-stated, many times, the loss of the Trust Fund money has been due to a "structural imbalance" of too low of business taxes and too high of benefits to unemployed claimants ("Rolls-Royce benefits", as Daniels erroneously and asininely calls them). Daniels and the DWD Lead Team ignore another problem as bad or perhaps worse than the structural imbalance: DWD has given away over a billion dollars to undeserving claimants not meeting basic requirements to get unemployment since Daniels took office and consisntently has one of the worst unemployment "Adjudication" departments in the country.

    From 2006-09, Indiana overpaid claimants $1.159 Billion (third worst in the country). DWD was responsible for $859 Million of that amount (THE WORST in the country by $Hundreds of Millions during that same time). The majority of these overpayments were because DWD had not ensured claimants were looking for work, nor were they properly "registered" so that DWD could help them look for work.

    Who pays for these errors (that were not made anywhere near this terrible extent in prior adminstrations, by the way)? Businesses pay big time (through increased taxes, including Indiana being only the 2nd state during this recession to have businesses pay $21/employee in increased federal taxes because we have been bailed-out from the US government the 2nd-longest). You and I may also be paying if a school corporation worker or government employee is getting unemployment improperly. Most government agencies (local and state) and most school corporations pay 100% for unemployed claimants if that claimant worked there solely.

  2. Besides overpayments, DWD fails taxpaying businesses and unemployed Hoosiers by being the worst in adjudicating (denying or allowing) claims. In the 3rd Quarter 2010 in a random-sample of 100 cases, DWD got 29/100 issues correct, up from the 25/100 in the 2nd Quarter (both worst in the country). This has been a downward trend since 2005 (and really started to hit rock bottom in late 2007). Additionally, DWD is required by the federal government to process these issues with in 21 days, but DWD is in the bottom 10 of the country even doing that much.

    This lack of quality, timely work has led to backlogs in claims and appeals, and the IACLU filed a lawsuit against DWD last year because of it. DWD is in chaos due to its continued poor leadership and disposal of long-time (and knowledgable employees) in favor of cheap, transitory labor. This lack of doing anything correct is compounded with the failure of the unemployment "Modernization" process started in 2005. The "Uplink" system was to be done in April 2008; 3 years later, and they are still not sure when it will be completed. Uplink was also to cost $23.9 Million, but now costs $35.8 Million, and will undoubtedly cost more when a new contract extension is signed, yet again, soon.

    These are the obvious surface problems with DWD; full analysis would take weeks of writing. So has the governor's DWD (and governor himself) failed Indiana, its businesses, its claimants, and its taxpayers? As he would say, "Can I get an 'Amen' to that?!"

  3. Bradley, I hope you read Gary Welsh's piece on the failure of FSSA's privatiation here (

    Your blogger profile is set to private, but I'd like to grab a drink with you sometime and pick your brain on these matters. You can contact me via Facebook or e-mail, both of which can be found on my Contact Me page here:

  4. You might want to have a drink with Morton Marcus also if you want to know about IEDC's inner workings and it's performance on placing "clawback" provisions in their financial contract agreements and actually enforcing them when things go wrong to protect taxpayer money.

    He will be speaking at the Indiana Economic Forum on Feb 2nd, 12:00 at Scottish Rite Catherdral.


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