Okay, so he hasn’t announced “yet.” Just read…
This past July I schlepped out to Indiana for the Young Republican National Federation’s convention. That’s right, some people go to the Bahamas; I go to the Hoosier State. How’s that for being born under a bad sign? Either way, I learned two things from that trip: 1) there’s a great little hole in the wall called the Wild Beaver Saloon, and 2) Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels is mad popular.
After reading up on him lately, I can understand why. He coasted to an easy re-election last year in a year that saw the Democrat presidential nominee win his state. All the reforms that conservatives say this country needs, he actually has the experience of implementing and doing so successfully. And when cats like Newt Gingrich keep bragging aboot him for being a model of a future Republican leader, I pay attention.
So when a model of a future Republican leader, who people throw around as a potential player in 2012, decides to write an editorial for a national publication like the Wall Street Journal, there’s probably a reason why…
The “progressive” states that built their enormous public burdens by soaking the wealthy will hit the wall first and hardest. California, which extracts more than half its income taxes from a fraction of 1% of its citizens, is extreme but hardly alone in its overreliance on a few, highly mobile taxpayers. Both individuals and businesses are fleeing soak-the-rich states already. Those who remain in high-tax states will be making few if any capital gains tax payments in the years to come. Even if the stock market comes roaring back to life, the best it could do is speed the deduction of recent losses.
Indiana was near bankruptcy five years ago but is relatively solvent today because we have spent the intervening years making hard choices. We have reformed state procurement, contracted out some jobs, cut costs, and relentlessly scrutinized expenditures in pushing for annual improvement in departments large and small. We’ve also reduced the number of state employees by some 5,000 from the 2004 level. In contrast to the national pattern, our per capita state spending has cut, on average, 1.4% each of the past five years. Indiana is now the sixth thriftiest state by this measure. And if we Hoosiers are realizing that we need to re-examine what we can afford to have our government do, what must they be thinking in Albany, Lansing or Trenton?
Obviously you should read the entire article, but the gist of in while blue state governance seems to be failing miserably as states slowly go bankrupt, his red state of Indiana seems to be doing better than the rest, all because of a little common sense conservatism. And if he’s doing this well with Indiana, imagine what he can do with the country?
(Ok, I through that last part in myself).
I like Mitch Daniels a lot. I’m still in the tank for Mitt Romney, but since my Romney/Sanford dream ticket was ruined thanks to the later half doodling the Argentinean, Romney/Daniels?