Indiana Daily Student

Pence's budget means luxury chairs

As a student who both studies and works in the political science realm, barely a day goes by when I don’t witness Indiana Republicans cramming budget surpluses down the throats of any person who is brave enough to listen.

And in the true fashion of a 7-year-old with a piggy bank, Gov. Mike Pence cannot control himself and his urges.

The governor, known mostly for opposing the stimulus bill and then accepting stimulus funding, which he claimed credit for, has recently gone on a shopping spree.

Taking time out of his pitiful pandering to presidential philanthropists, Pence unveiled his latest brainchild, a $338,000 renovation of the basement of the Statehouse.

But, this isn’t just any basement — it’s a basement with a fancy floor!

The renovation has the normal, key components of any government office. It has a $53,600 raised floor, chairs that cost about $400, frosted glass sliding doors and four touch-screen wall monitors that cost about $10,000 apiece.

You know, just the ?necessities.

Pence also entered into a $500,000-a-year contract with a software programmer and a $1.3 million consulting fee.

The newly furnished space will be home to employees who will research and address policy issues within Indiana, such as infant mortality. Pence said this “new data hub” will give policymakers real-time data.

I, for one, was woefully unaware that receiving real-time data was made possible solely through $10,000 monitors or $400 chairs. I always thought that, you know, Google still existed. And I hear it even works on normal computer screens.

Considering IU was forced to cut $10 million in spending after Pence’s budget experienced a shortfall, you’d think the governor would be putting this extra money toward something such as education or healthcare or ?infrastructure.

Personally, I think the employees in this data hub could operate perfectly fine with normal, mass-produced computers and chairs.

And while the governor did receive grants and cancel other leases in Indianapolis, that doesn’t change the fact that he spent more than $2 million on a glorified computer lab for policy analysts.

Of course, this news comes less than a month after the Republican-approved renovations for the Statehouse were released.

These renovations included chairs for the legislative chambers that cost $760 apiece.

I’m not sure what Republicans love about big, fancy, expensive chairs, but it smells suspiciously like overcompensation and a false sense of superiority.

“Welcome to the future of state government,” Pence reportedly said during the tour. If this is the future of Indiana government, we should all be deeply concerned.

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