Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

News

January 10, 2013

Coplon calls fiscal cliff deal a patchwork of uncertainty

Greensburg — Greensburg-Decatur County Economic Development Cooperation (EDC) Executive Director Marc Coplon was glad to see the US Congress recently avert the country’s so-called “fiscal cliff” with last-minute legislation.

He’s by no means convinced, however, the so-called “fiscal cliff solution” will completely avert the economic repercussions of Washington’s continued financial mismanagement.

In fact, in a recent follow-up interview to a late-2012 session with the Daily News, the executive director characterized Washington’s recent bi-partisan deal as a “fiscal cliff patch.”

Late last year, Coplon said the impending fiscal cliff had helped bring local economic expansion to an almost-complete standstill. Since Washington’s late-December/early-January compromise, though, Coplon doesn’t see much difference in Decatur County’s economic climate.

The so-called fiscal cliff was a series of tax hikes and spending cuts enacted by previous budgetary legislation designed to motivate the US branches of government to work together in crafting a sensible balanced budget.

Had the fiscal cliff not been averted, the take-home pay of virtually every American would have been significantly decreased, while vital services such as Medicare and Medicaid, unemployment and social security — to name a few — would have been severely curtailed. The US military, along with several other government entities, wouldn’t have been spared, either, and neither would the American milk buyer. The fiscal cliff would’ve also nearly doubled the price of milk, causing a serious ripple effect on consumer prices.

The executive director, however, didn’t solely contribute the county’s recent economic slowdown to fiscal cliff uncertainty. He added that the “normal year-end business operations crunch,” almost always produces “a slowdown of expansion and new business activity during November and December.”

“Combine those factors with fiscal cliff worries,” he said, “and we’re now experiencing a ‘wait-and-see’ posture by companies who were actively considering our community for their expansion and new location projects.”

He continued, “Around the time of the election, we started hearing rumblings that some of the companies currently interested in locating in Greensburg will be postponing or curtailing their plans. These companies don’t come out and say it, but it just looks so obvious. I’m hearing that state economic development officials are seeing the same things.”

For example, Coplon mentioned a major food processing company who’d expressed serious interest in moving to Greensburg, but who’s since postponed expansion.

“Due to confidentiality agreements, I can’t tell you the name of this company,” Coplon said, “but I can say that it’s a brand name just about everyone would recognize. This company’s addition would be a huge addition to the Greensburg economy.”

Coplon also cited a “very large aluminum manufacturing company” who’s been considering a site near Honda.

“They’ve fallen behind in the expected time table,” the executive director said. “This is an $80 million facility who’s narrowed their Indiana choices to Scott and Decatur County; they may be considering a couple of other mid-west states as well. This facility would bring 77 high-paying jobs.”

Coplon also mentioned the recent decision by Menards to postpone its decision on expanding into Decatur County.

“Companies just don’t want to make these kinds of big decisions when the fiscal cliff and its impact on payrolls, corporation taxes and general expenses is so uncertain,” he said. “I can’t, with 100 percent certainty, say these companies are basing their decisions based on fiscal cliff uncertainty, but all indicators and evidence point in that direction.”

Coplon added that, depending on how the fiscal cliff situation plays out in the next few months, companies will begin reevaluating their projects and reconsidering whether they still want to be as large as previously envisioned.

Contrary to prevailing sentiment among many economists, however, Coplon doesn’t think the fiscal cliff will wipe out the country’s (or the county’s) ongoing, albeit slow economic recovery.

“The fiscal cliff situation isn’t over, though,” he added. “There’s going to be another huge showdown in Washington over the debt ceiling in March, which is an extension of the fiscal cliff. If our leaders can’t agree on that issue, the US will be in great danger of yet another downgrade in our credit rating, which will force government to pay higher interest rates on outstanding loans. That would be very bad. That’s yet another reason these companies are still in a holding pattern.”

Coplon also mentioned the recent expiration of the “payroll tax holiday,” which was enacted in 2010 and temporarily reduced the tax rate workers pay toward Social Security from 6.2 percent to 4.2 percent.

“I’m not sure that many people understand that the fiscal cliff deal didn’t address the expiration of the payroll tax holiday,” he said. “People are now seeing 2 percent less money in their take home pay, and that’s another consideration that’s making these companies hesitant.”

Coplon nonetheless remains optimistic.

“Indiana is very well positioned right now to continue its forward momentum,” he said. “The problem will be states around us and the rest of the country who isn’t so fortunate as we are in regards to budgeting. The manufacturers of this state, especially here in Decatur County, I think they all feel their communities are doing pretty well.”

“I predict,” he continued, “if there’s a fiscal cliff setback for the country, the state of Indiana would be one of the last states to feel its impact. Based on what I read and on what my contacts around the country tell me about other states, in a worst-case scenario, Indiana is well-positioned to weather a recession.”

Contact: Rob Cox at 812-663-3111 x7011.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Decatur County Events Calendar Local clubs, service groups, fraternal organizations and others are encouraged to send their Coming Events information to the Daily News at news@greensburgdailynews.com or Daily News, PO Box 106, Greensburg, IN 47240. April 22 1 to 3 p.m. - Euchre at

    April 19, 2014

  • Hoosiers need to move over for workers GREENSBURG - Hoosiers need to slow down and move over to allow a cushion of space for vehicles stopped on the road's shoulder, particularly on the interstates. National Work Zone Awareness Week was last week and the 17th anniversary of Indiana State

    April 19, 2014

  • Lunch Menus April 21 – April 25 Good Shepherd Christian Academy Monday - Pizza, grape tomatoes, strawberries and cake, milk Tuesday - Spaghetti and meatballs, garlic bread, salad, ice cream, milk Wednesday - Chicken nuggets, tater tots, green beans, casserole, applesauce, milk Thu

    April 19, 2014

  • Graduation rates high GREENSBURG -- Greensburg and South Decatur High schools had among the best graduation rates in the state last year. North Decatur High School ranked near the middle, but still above the state average. Greensburg reported a graduation rate of 99.3 per

    April 19, 2014

  • nws-gb041914-pig virus photo Pig virus taking toll GREENSBURG -- When Decatur County farmer Jeff Smiley ducked into the nursery barn, about two dozen piglets rushed into a corner of their pen, their pinkish hides bouncing into one another like a porcine version of bumper cars. The piglet's round nose

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • nws-gb041914-santee fire station - pic1 (please place on pg1) Clarksburg Vol. Fire Department breaks ground on Station 2 CLARKSBURG -- In 2012, members of the Clarksburg Volunteer Fire Department (CVFD) Board of Directors proposed building a new Firehouse to service the Lake Santee Community. CVFD Board President Wayne Geiss recalls that construction of a separate Fire

    April 19, 2014 3 Photos

  • A pedicure that cured all my pet peeves Since I was a young person, I always had some pets around. Most of these have been dogs, hunting dogs in particular. And I loved my pets. In getting older, I discovered that having a pet dog around is a lot of work. More work than I care to do in lig

    April 19, 2014

  • Church Briefs Liberty Baptist Church Sunday, April 20 - Resurrection Sunday Liberty Baptist Church will have Sunrise Service at 7 a.m. in the Sanctuary, with the women doing the program. Following the Sunrise service the men of the congregation will serve Easter B

    April 19, 2014

  • Cards RHP Kelly on DL WASHINGTON -- St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly has been put on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left hamstring. The Cardinals also optioned righty reliever Keith Butler to Triple-A Memphis and recalled rookie right-handers Eric Forn

    April 18, 2014

  • nws-gb041814-ymca flat rock - pic2 Local retreat mostly unknown around Decatur County ST. PAUL -- Out in the northwest corner of Decatur County lies a place that's largely unknown within the county itself. Oddly enough, this hideaway of natural splendor is anything but secret to the rest of the world. From Spain and Hong Kong they com

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos