Mitch Daniels on Budget & Economy

Republican IN Governor

Desperately alarmed about national spending

I am desperately alarmed about the condition and direction of the American republic. What recently seemed a secure, ever more prosperous, internationally dominant nation is now endangered in a way it never has been before. As a people, we have discovered the ability to vote ourselves largesse from the federal treasury in such vast sums that we are destroying our own chances at prosperity.

The level of government spending we are engaging in may soon leave us with a defunct, bankrupt, destitute economy. If we don't find a way to restore the goose to good health, we will soon run out of golden eggs.

The risk is even higher than lost jobs, income, or hope for a better future and higher living standards. Our position of world leadership could be eclipsed and with it the power of our free political system as a model for other countries. It's not out of the question that the American republic could undergo a full economic and social collapse, with consequences beyond our ability to imagine.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p. 3&19 , Sep 20, 2011

Spend less money than you take in

Halfway through my second term [as Indiana governor], a reporter asked me how we had turned things around. "Prepare to be dazzled," I said, "We spent less money than we took in." Total state spending had been held almost flat, growing at about 1% per yea for 6 years, 1/3 the rate of inflation, while revenue caught up & surpassed it."

One tool that I had at my disposal was the power not to spend money budgeted by the General Assembly. On the federal level, this tool is called the power of "impoundment" or "rescission." It is a powerful tool because it enables the chief executive to react to changing budget circumstances and stop agencies from spending money the government doesn't have. Unfortunately, Congress effectively stripped the president of this power along with others, in the post-Watergate period. I appreciated the power to save unspent funds--which in Indiana is called the power of "reversion"--because it not only made budgetary sense, but also changed the politics of government spending.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.107-109 , Sep 20, 2011

Downsize federal employment: freeze hiring & freeze pay

Major reductions in federal spending are likely to cause far less discomfort to the general public than is commonly claimed. Every newspaper story about even the most modest cut includes the word PAIN. That is usually nonsense. If massive government spending prevented pain, we wouldn't have had so much of it in the past few years. Today's grossly oversized and overly expensive federal government is itself a major source of pain in America, through the jobs and opportunity it stifles. Left in its present shape, it promises to bring far worse pain than anything we have recently endured.

An obvious starting point is a major downsizing of federal employment. This should be accompanied by a hiring freeze, which should last for years. Reductions in head count should be coupled with a federal pay cut, followed by a long-term pay freeze. This is only secondarily a matter of debt reduction; it is even more about reasserting the principle that the private sector comes first.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.209 , Sep 20, 2011

Reinstate impoundment: spend less than appropriated

When a pro-solvency Congress and president are elected, they would be well advised to reinstate the power of impoundment, to spend less money than Congress has made available through appropriations. Stop and think: In what other context in life does an enterprise lock itself into spending money it does not have?

In the hands of an administration willing to use it aggressively, some version of impoundment authority would produce billions in savings immediately. Impoundment ought to be part of an urgen strategy to bring the beast back to a size the nation can afford.

Impoundment can be limited--for example, by providing opportunity for a prompt congressional disapproval vote before each reduction took effect. Or the authority could be granted on an emergency basis; our current debt condition certainly qualifies as one. But the degree of surgery required to bring the federal budget back within even hailing distance of balance more than justifies the use of this tool.

Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.212 , Sep 20, 2011

Automatic taxpayer refund when reserves exceed 10%

I ask you to vote for lasting spending discipline by enacting an automatic taxpayer refund. When the day comes again when state reserves exceed 10% of annual needs, it will be time to stop collecting taxes and leave them with the people they belong to. Remember what the Hoosier philosopher said: "It's tainted money. 'Taint yours, and 'taint mine." Beyond some point, it is far better to leave dollars in the pockets of those who earned them than to let them burn a hole in the pockets of government.
Source: 2011 Indiana State of the State Address , Jan 11, 2011

Growth-friendly tax cuts reverse Indiana’s economic decline

The top priority for Governor Mitch Daniels is to begin to reverse Indiana’s economic decline, because future success in every other area depends upon it. During Governor Daniels first year in office, Indiana became a much more growth-friendly place. Taxes on research and development and small business were reduced. The Daniels Administration reordered state government to become an ally and not an obstacle to growth. And, a new public-private job-seeking agency replaced a failed state bureaucracy.
Source: Gubernatorial website, www.in.gov/gov, “Issues” , Nov 11, 2006

2010 Governor, House and Senate candidates on Budget & Economy: Mitch Daniels on other issues:

IN Senatorial:
Daniel Coats
Richard Lugar

2011 Special Elections:
CA-36:Jane Harman(D)
CA-36:Janice Hahn(D)
NV-2:Dean Heller(R)
NY-9:Anthony Weiner(D)
NY-26:Chris Lee(R)
NY-26:Kathleen Hochul(D)
Retiring 2012:
CA-6:Lynn Woolsey(D)
OK-2:Dan Boren(D)
MI-5:Dale Kildee(D)
TX-14:Ron Paul(R)
Running for Mayor:
CA-51:Bob Filner(D)
Running for Governor:
IN-6:Mike Pence(R)
WA-8:Dave Reichert(R)
Running for Senate:
AZ-1:Jeff Flake(R)
CT-5:Chris Murphy(R)
HI-2:Mazie Hirono(D)
IN-2:Joe Donnelly(D)
MO-2:Todd Akin(R)
MT-0:Dennis Rehberg(R)
ND-0:Rick Berg(D)
NM-1:Martin Heinrich(D)
NV-1:Shelley Berkley(D)
UT-3:Jason Chaffetz(R)
Dem. Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-7:Terri Sewell
CA-33:Karen Bass
DE-0:John Carney
FL-17:Frederica Wilson
HI-1:Colleen Hanabusa
LA-2:Cedric Richmond
MA-10:Bill Keating
MI-13:Hansen Clarke
RI-1:David Cicilline
GOP Freshmen
in 112th Congress:

AL-2:Martha Roby
AL-5:Mo Brooks
AZ-1:Paul Gosar
AZ-3:Ben Quayle
AZ-5:David Schweikert
AR-1:Rick Crawford
AR-2:Tim Griffin
AR-3:Steve Womack
CA-19:Jeff Denham
CO-3:Scott Tipton
CO-4:Cory Gardner
FL-12:Dennis Ross
FL-2:Steve Southerland
FL-21:Mario Diaz-Balart
FL-22:Allen West
FL-24:Sandy Adams
FL-25:David Rivera
FL-5:Rich Nugent
FL-8:Dan Webster
GA-2:Mike Keown
GA-7:Rob Woodall
GA-8:Austin Scott
ID-1:Raul Labrador
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IL-10:Bob Dold
IL-11:Adam Kinzinger
IL-14:Randy Hultgren
IL-17:Bobby Schilling
IL-8:Joe Walsh
IN-3:Marlin Stutzman
IN-4:Todd Rokita
IN-8:Larry Bucshon
IN-9:Todd Young
KS-1:Tim Huelskamp
KS-3:Kevin Yoder
KS-5:Mike Pompeo
LA-3:Jeff Landry
MD-1:Andy Harris
MI-1:Dan Benishek
MI-2:Bill Huizenga
MI-3:Justin Amash
MI-7:Tim Walberg
MN-8:Chip Cravaack
MO-4:Vicky Hartzler
MO-7:Billy Long
MS-1:Alan Nunnelee
MS-4:Steven Palazzo
GOP Freshmen
in 111th Congress:

NC-2:Renee Ellmers
ND-0:Rick Berg
NH-2:Charlie Bass
NH-1:Frank Guinta
NJ-3:Jon Runyan
NM-2:Steve Pearce
NV-3:Joe Heck
NY-13:Michael Grimm
NY-19:Nan Hayworth
NY-20:Chris Gibson
NY-24:Richard Hanna
NY-25:Ann Marie Buerkle
NY-29:Tom Reed
OH-1:Steve Chabot
OH-15:Steve Stivers
OH-16:Jim Renacci
OH-18:Bob Gibbs
OH-6:Bill Johnson
OK-5:James Lankford
PA-10:Tom Marino
PA-11:Lou Barletta
PA-3:Mike Kelly
PA-7:Patrick Meehan
PA-8:Mike Fitzpatrick
SC-1:Tim Scott
SC-3:Jeff Duncan
SC-4:Trey Gowdy
SC-5:Mick Mulvaney
SD-0:Kristi Noem
TN-3:Chuck Fleischmann
TN-4:Scott DesJarlais
TN-6:Diane Black
TN-8:Stephen Fincher
TX-17:Bill Flores
TX-23:Quico Canseco
TX-27:Blake Farenthold
VA-2:Scott Rigell
VA-5:Robert Hurt
VA-9:Morgan Griffith
WA-3:Jaime Herrera
WI-7:Sean Duffy
WI-8:Reid Ribble
WV-1:David McKinley
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Page last updated: Nov 05, 2011