Sunday, February 27, 2011

Daniels Tells House Dems To Get Out Of Hot Tub And Get Back To Work

Gov. Mitch Daniels was on fire this morning during an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox Sunday. Gov. Daniels once again cleared up any doubts he objected to the House Democratic caucus walking out on the business of the Indiana House of Representatives and fleeing to a hotel in Champaign, Illinois. Daniels reiterated his view that now was not the time for the House Republicans to push right to work legislation in Indiana, but after that issue was removed from the table, he sees the "ultimatum" the Democrats issued on a whole host of other issues "from a hot tub over there" unacceptable and undemocratic. He said he hoped the Democratic lawmakers would "get out of the hot tub" and come back to work at the State House.

Daniels defended remarks he recently made suggesting government workers were part of a "privileged elite." He didn't back down on that view when pressed by Wallace, suggesting government workers make more on average than the taxpayers who pay their salaries when benefits are included. He pointed to a study indicating teachers in Indiana make on average 22% more than the average taxpayers in Indiana.

While Wallace acknowledged Daniels success at turning at $600 million state deficit into a $370 million surplus, he reminded him that when he took over as OMB director during the presidency of George W. Bush he inherited a $230 billion surplus that turned into a $400 billion deficit by the time he left the administration. Daniels defended his record, saying events of 9/11 made the deficit spending unavoidable. Wallace pressed him on the new prescription drug entitlement for seniors the administration approved while he was OMB director and its role in adding to the deficit. Daniels insisted he should be judged in his role as Indiana's chief executive than his role as OMB director where he was part of "a supporting cast with no vote."

Daniels reiterated his view that federal budgets will never become balanced unless social security is on the table. As he has in the past, he touts a bifurcated approach that protects benefits of older workers, while changing the rules for younger workers to means test future benefits and raise the retirement age for eligibility. He also wants to give younger workers a greater say on investing and choosing their retirement benefits, including vouchers to purchase their own health care. Daniels continued to defer any final decision on a presidential bid while sounding increasingly like a presidential candidate.

I'm going to be curious to see what Democratic lawmakers' reaction is to Gov. Daniels hot tub comments. I'm also becoming increasingly convinced that Indiana Democrats are coordinating their attack on Daniels in Indiana with the Obama campaign machine run out of Chicago by David Axelrod in preparation for the 2012 presidential race. They want to create a complete train wreck at the State House this year to deprive Daniels of any legislative victories that might benefit his presidential campaign should he ultimately decide to run or join the ticket as a running mate for another candidate.


rohshack147 said...

If Daniels is going to keep saying that he was just following orders while in the White House. That is reason enough to totally reject him as a candidate for President. He should have had the guts to stand up for the taxpayers. Instead he decided to be the "go along to gett along" RINO he is!

Gary R. Welsh said...

I'm not aware of any budget director who has had any success at holding the line on federal spending. The last one who tried was David Stockman and he was totally demonized by the Democrats in Congress and the media. Unfortunately, he tends to forget that part of his service and only remembers the tax cuts Reagan got through the Congress that he personally opposed, although he supported tax cuts when when he was a member of Congress.

Jenny said...

Most employees with a college degree make more than the average Hoosier. I would like to see a comparison of teacher salaries to those of employees who have a bachelor's degree.