Sunday, August 08, 2010

Fox News Sunday Checks Out Daniels

Although Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace billed Gov. Mitch Daniels as one of the prime contenders for president in 2012 during an appearance on the show this morning, Daniels insists he remains focused on his work as Indiana governor and has no current plans to run for president, noting he has turned down many invitations to speak in places like Iowa and New Hampshire, early testing grounds for a national campaign. Wallace opened his questioning of Daniels by noting Indiana has added 46,000 new jobs this year--nearly three times the rate of national job growth and ended the most recent fiscal year with an $830 million surplus.

Daniels told Wallace spending is the number one issue. He said the state was facing bankruptcy when he took office and he's done the things necessary to control government spending, actually bringing down per capita spending during the time he has been governor. He says he has brought about these spending restraints without compromising services, which he describes as being better, not worse. I'm not sure Indiana's unemployed or welfare recipients will agree that the state is doing a better job delivering those services in light of a plethora of recent damaging state news reports on both.

Wallace hit Daniels on his record as OMB Director for President George W. Bush. You inherited a $236 billion surplus from Clinton Wallace said but left three years later with a $400 billion deficit. Daniels blamed the deficit spending on the recession following the 9/11 attacks without mentioning the costs of the Iraq War, which he pegged at the time as being about $50 billion dollar. Nearly $1 trillion has been spent on that war over the last decade.

Daniels defended the Bush tax cuts, which are set to expire this year. "Why raise taxes in the middle of a recession?" he asked. He said we need a national policy that encourages investment. Instead of more federal stimulus spending, he said we need an "emergency program to encourage investment." He suggested placing a moratorium on government regulations or speeding up government approvals to kick start the economy. He thinks the president needs impoundment authority similar to what he has in Indiana to reduce out-of-control federal spending.

Daniels told Wallace he believes federal entitlement programs like social security and Medicare must be fundamentally changed. Means testing and raising eligibility ages were two suggestions he made for cutting the costs of those programs, ideas that may not sit well with many hard-working Americans who have made maximum contributions to support those systems all of their lives only to be told in retirement they won't get anything in return as had been promised to them their entire working lives regardless of their station in life.

Wallace tried unsuccessfully to bait Daniels regarding his 2012 presidential ambitions. He insisted he has no plans to start raising money or otherwise organizing a presidential campaign. He said he is entirely focused on his job as governor of Indiana. That's not to say he isn't talking about national issues though. He insisted the country must face the "Republic threatening dimension" of our current fiscal policies. At one point, Daniels likened the onerous national debt to child abuse.

On an image note, Daniels wore a particularly bland looking, long-sleeved oxford shirt sans tie for his appearance this morning.


Citizen Kane said...

Daniels is full of it. His and Stevie's G's (I mean Ballard) public-private partnership and privatization nonsense is nothing but a transfer of wealth from their general public to their corporate benefactors. As for Social Security, he should not just talk about means testing, he should reject all SS and medicare for himself and his family - lead by example Mitch.

He falls into the same sphere as the rest of the ridiculous so-called potential Presidential candidates who are posturing, lying and stealing their way to the top of the heap.

Downtown Indy said...
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Downtown Indy said...
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dcrutch said...

Can't disagree with your point re lead by example on SS. As far as a general "transfer of wealth", what's an example besides the failed FSSA program and it's cousin, the IPALCO stock fiasco? I'll spot you those two.

In contrast, the governor reduced spending when we didn't have the tax revenue. Compare that to the fiscal reality in many other states. Our Federal and City public servants seem to believe that with 10% unemployment and more taxes coming next year, it's a dandy time to expand entitlements and give more money to the Pacers.

If somebody's got a better idea than Daniels, I'm all ears. The Presidential bar is set mighty low for now.

Cato said...

Can you imagine the image of Daniels standing next to Obama? It will be Bush-Dukakis, Part 2.

Obama will have in Daniels an easy punching bag on whom he can lay all of the problems he's trying to correct. Right on stage will be the source of all the problems the Obama administration faced when it came into office.

People voted out the Bush administration. Bringing the Bush administration back to the debate will give Obama a very easy foil.

Daniels missed his chance. He should have run for Bayh's seat.

This discussion neatly underscores that the Republicans have no emerging talent. If you try to rise in the Republican Party, you won't get anywhere unless you're a corporatist, and the principled Republican, the average man on the street, despises government-for-profit.

Cato said...

Dcrutch, Mitch lowered spending?

When did this happen?

Cato said...

Oh, oh, oh, it just occurred to me that the other Republicans would crush this guy in the primaries.

Mitch has raised taxes at least 20 times. The anti-Mitch ads would say something like:

"Is someone who raised taxes over 20 times really a Republican, at all? Is raising taxes five times, a year, the conservative course America needs to be taking?

We don't think so.

On Election Day, join your fellow Conservatives in telling Mitch Daniels that we don't want more big government in the White House."

Blog Admin said...

Cato, Daniels has openly complained about the legislative process. While we, as political observers, might see a Senate seat as a step up, I don't think Daniels would.

Cato said...

Indy Student, Daniels does know that the vast bulk of governance, and the greatest weight of governmental authority, is to be done by and resides in the Legislative Branch, right?

I'll answer my own question. No, he doesn't. This authoritarian streak and desire for unicameral government infected the Bush administration. The Republicans inverted the proper relationship of the President to Congress.

dcrutch said...

ABC News, 11/6/2009, 'Indiana Governor Announces More Spending Cuts'

Seattle Times, 12/17/2009, "... Governor Daniels 6% reduction in state aid to education...."

Inside Indiana Business, 11/6/2009, "...ordered spending cuts designed to save up to $400M over it's two-year budget cycle."

If we want to quibble over choice in what to cut, why, how much or how little of a real "net" cut, with how much credit that needs to go to bipartisan cooperation, blah, blah,... Fair enough- we can quibble over some of it.

As imperfect as the guy is, I think Daniels tried to reduce spending at a time when that needed to happen.

Would he be a great President? Compared to whom?

Marycatherine Barton said...

I am sure that Chris Wallace would pefer Governor Mitch Daniels for president, over the Honorable Ron Paul for president. Not me!