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Tuesday, January 4, 2011

So Tell Me About Mitch Daniels

I previously asked you to tell me about Tim Pawlenty, and I learned a lot.

Mitch Daniels also is presented as a conservative with the credentials to unite the base with the establishment without a lot of negatives (other than being conservative, of course).

So tell me about Mitch Daniels.

Update 1-5-2011:  I am surprised to have received so few responses.  For the Pawlenty post, people were much more opinionated.  Anyway, The New York Times ran an interview with Daniels yesterday:
"Congressional Republicans have spent much of the last decade voting for tax cuts and spending increases, all the while giving speeches decrying the deficit. Mr. Daniels, who took office in 2005, has reduced the number of state workers by 18 percent and held spending growth below inflation. He has raised the sales tax to help make up for a property tax cut. Largely as a result, Indiana finds itself in better fiscal shape than many other states."
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  1. Mona Charen favors Daniels. Heard her speak along with Cliff May and David Horowitz in L.A.

  2. Well Newsweek seems to like him, so that settles it for me. No way.

  3. The impression he gives is that of a bean counter who really isn't going to take it to the left too much (in terms of attempting to reverse the Gramscian march through the institutions.) That's how I interpret his "truce" noises anyway -- cowardice.

  4. Mitch Daniels profile:

    Rides a motorcycle. Balanced the budget. Wants a "truce" on all issues other than economics & national defense - which pissed off many social conservatives, and he was elected with over 60% of the vote in 2008: the same year Obama won the state by 30,000 votes.

  5. He favours a VAT of some kind ....... uh oh

  6. A vat is not a bad thing if it comes after the repeal of the income tax, followed by the implementing of the flat tax. I think that is what Daniels is for. As is Herman Cain.

  7. He served in the Bush (43) admin . . . as budget director. If that's not enough, he also supports VAT, and he supports increasing gas taxes (or he did at one time). VAT is a disaster for this country, it opens a door that should stay firmly shut and sealed. Gas taxes? Um, no.

    Guess you could say that I'm not a Mitch "compassionate conservative" (i.e. progressive) Daniels fan.

  8. He has no chance because he is single....

  9. I like what I know of Daniels's domestic policies. What I would really like to know is his foreign policy, in particular how he really feels, personally and deep down, about Israel. I hate to say it, but I am very uncomfortable with the idea of an Arab president; I can't help but feel that when push comes to shove his sympathies will lie with Israel's enemies, and I just couldn't bring myself to vote for such a person no matter how good his domestic policies were. Merely parroting the standard "we stand by Israel" rhetoric would not be enough to persuade me. What would do so would be a sincere statement of complete support for Israel, not just for political reasons but because it's the right thing to do. If Daniels made an outright zionist statement like Allen West's, or if he showed where he stands as Sarah Palin did, then I could overlook his ancestry. But without something as unequivocal as that I couldn't.

  10. Wow, what a disgusting comment from Milhouse, preceded by Roux's incorrect assertion about the Governor. He is married

  11. Fuzzy Slippers neglects to mention that Daniels was only at OMB until June 2003, and left before Bush's great fiscal insanity started. The economic downturn that helped turn a surplus into a deficit was not his fault, and the tax cuts he helped supervise brought in more money to the federal government long-term than they cost in the short-term. So I'd say he's a solid fiscal conservative.

  12. Actually, Herman Cain supports the Fair Tax, not a VAT. They are not the same thing. A VAT is the tax that is imposed at every level of production and has crippled European economies. The Fair Tax is simply a national consumption tax, to be imposed only once the 16th Amendment is repealed and thus taking away the ability of Congress to tax income.

    Daniels supports a European-style VAT, which in my view makes him unacceptable as an alternative to the Chocolate Jesus.

  13. @Mason, a solid fiscal conservative who supports VAT? Is that like a solid fiscal and social conservative who supports socialized medicine (Romney)? If so, then, yeah, I think Daniels fits the bill.

  14. "He has raised Indiana’s sales tax. He has mentioned the possibility that the federal government may need to adopt a national sales tax (VAT)to close the deficit."


  15. FS: Setting aside the crazy comparison between Daniels's position on a VAT and RomneyCare, your implication is just wrong. Daniels has not said that he supports a VAT. He has said that he WOULD support one "under only the right circumstances," which would involve coupling it with a flat income tax. Therefore, both you and theundergroundconservative have mischaracterized Daniels. Here is a link to an article that discusses what he actually said:


    Further, this information is available in ten seconds with a simple Google search. So I'm forced to conclude that, in descending order of culpability for your error, you either: a) misinterpreted Daniels's remarks in the first place, b) heard them from someone else who had misinterpreted or mischaracterized them, and never bothered to check, or c) know perfectly well what Daniels said, and are engaged in misrepresenting him for some reason. In any case, I don't think I'll trust your views on Daniels, considering that you have now TWICE made easily-correctable mistakes about his record.

    viator: Both of those things are true. But it should be added that because of his economic stewardship, Indiana is firmly in the black while almost every other state is careening out of fiscal control. If the test of an idea is how well it works in practice, then I'd say Daniels has had some mighty good ideas.

  16. I haven't been very impressed with Mitch Daniels over the years, though I have never failed to vote for him. He has always been the better choice for one reason or the other. Still its hard to get excited about "the better choice".

    He adopted daylight savings time, which made business happy, but few others.

    His privatization of welfare was a disaster, but a good idea, nonetheless. The initiative lacked attention to detail and was rushed through. Not to mention, the bureaucracy in the welfare system weren't about to cooperate.

    His privatization of the toll road brought a much needed influx of cash into the State coffers, and initial worries about upkeep have proved to be exaggerated. Toll rates, however, are starting to go up, so we will see if this pans out in the future.

    Raising the sales tax was O.K.; it was needed, but such moves need to be coupled with lowering the state income tax. What I would like to see from Daniels and the rest of the Republicans is a push to lower federal and state income taxes.

    Otherwise, he has been very fiscally conservative, making much needed cut backs in government spending over the years. He has managed to cut school spending in some areas without causing too much of a backlash from liberals and the teacher's union.

    When it comes to education, he is another blame-it-on-the-teachers politician, meaning he offers nothing new in theory for education or the public school system. (When will someone in government have the brass ... to come out say it like it is? The parents suck!)

    I don't know much about his stance on immigration, and I would imagine he would be your typical Ronald Reagan conservative (pro-Israel) when it comes to foreign policy.

    Biggest problem: he supports divorcing social issues from the Republican platform. According to remarks he made prior to the election, he doesn't want to talk about "hot button, divisive" issues, a.k.a. abortion, fetal stem cell research, and homosexual unions/marriage. With this attitude, I can see Daniels revealing himself as an Olympia Snow style RINO if he goes any higher than governor.

  17. "Daniels has not said that he supports a VAT. He has said that he WOULD support one "under only the right circumstances," which would involve coupling it with a flat income tax."

    A VAT should ruled out. Period. End of subject. I did not mischaracterize Daniels' position. We do not need any new taxes in America. Our problems are not a lack of revenue. Our problems stem because government spends too much.

    A flat tax as proposed by Steve Forbes and others is something that merits discussion, as does the Fair Tax as proposed by Neal Boortz and others. The VAT ... is ... not ... the ... same ... as ... the ... Fair ... Tax.

    How much plainer does that have to be made? Do not confuse the two. They are not the same. Daniels wants a VAT along with an income tax. That is unacceptable.

  18. @Mason, look, a VAT is a disaster on every level. If it is allowed, even as a replacement for the current horrendous system, then eventually it will be added to. We know this. It always happens. VAT is a scam straight down the line. I suppose you also defend his support for ethanol? That's fine if you do. I do not. In fact, it's totally cool if you support Mitch Daniels. I do not. That is also totally cool. Cooler, really, because I'm right. / heh

  19. All you people who support consumption taxes but oppose a VAT, please explain why. These crazy claims that VAT has "crippled Europe" don't bear scrutiny. What tax could be fairer than a VAT?

  20. underground: I don't believe I ever said a VAT and the Fair Tax proposal WERE the same. I'm not confusing them at all. And yes, you DID mischaracterize Daniels's position. You said: "Daniels supports a European-style VAT," and that's just not true. He has said he WOULD support a VAT under the right conditions. Since you're busy telling me not to confuse things that don't equal each other, a similar piece of advice for you: Do not confuse "would support under the right conditions" with "supports." They're not the same.

    FS: If you'll look above, you'll notice that I am professing support for neither Daniels nor a VAT. Admittedly, Daniels is one of the people I'm looking at seriously, but I haven't made up my mind yet -- we're still twelve months out from the primaries! As for the VAT, I'm not blind to what it can do when misused. I've seen what it's done to European production when coupled with a progressive income tax...I'm not blind. And I certainly wouldn't support adding it to our current system for that reason. But I've seen several economic names I pay attention to -- foremost among them Greg Mankiw -- advance some decent theoretical arguments in its favor. No offense, but if my choices for people to take economic advice from are reduced to these two, N. Gregory Mankiw and Fuzzy Slippers...

    Also, it takes a lot of chutzpah to assert that you're "right" to not support someone after twice misrepresenting their record and positions. And "chutzpah" is the nice word. :)

  21. Daniels once again is open to a VAT. That door needs to be closed. If he is open to it, in my mind he is able to support it.

    We do not need a VAT in the United States. We either need to go to a flat tax a la Steve Forbes or the Fair Tax. If it's the latter, the corporate and personal income taxes must be abolished.

    I don't care what Greg Mankiw says. He can be wrong as well as the next person. If he supports a VAT, then he is wrong. If you want Europe, please move there.

  22. "Do not confuse 'would support under the right conditions" with "supports.' They're not the same."

    Six of one, half a dozen of the other. It's a matter of semantics. I'm sick of the parsing of words, "depends on what the meaning of the word 'is" is" approach to public policy.

    Either you're for it, or you're against it.

  23. Fascinating...

    Arab American Institute: Mitch Daniels and 2012


  24. Newsweek lurves them some Mitch:


    Big buddy of liberal Lugar

    He even spends 10 minutes telling me how he “never use[s] the word ‘conservative’ ” to describe himself. [See ya at "C"PAC, buddy!]

  25. So where does he stand?

    Domestic drilling - FOR IT

    ObamaCare - Against it and understands why

    illegal immigration - FOR IT by enabling those already here to stay.

    NO to Mitch Daniels, he doesn't pass the big three and why should we settle for 2 out of 3 when we can get all 3? As much as I respected W, he is basically on the same page as W regarding illegals and that's not acceptable.

  26. On the issue of Cap & Trade, he was always against it: