Mitch Daniels on Government Reform

Republican IN Governor

Experiment in trickle-down government hurts middle class

In three short years, an unprecedented explosion of spending, with borrowed money, has added trillions to an already unaffordable national debt. And yet, the President has put us on a course to make it radically worse in the years ahead. The federal government now spends one of every four dollars in the entire economy; it borrows one of every three dollars it spends. No nation, no entity, large or small, public or private, can thrive, or survive intact, with debts as huge as ours.

The President's grand experiment in trickle-down government has held back rather than sped economic recovery. He seems to sincerely believe we can build a middle class out of government jobs paid for with borrowed dollars. In fact, it works the other way: a government as big and bossy as this one is maintained on the backs of the middle class, and those who hope to join it.

Source: GOP response to the 2012 State of the Union speech , Jan 24, 2012

Declare a multi-year moratorium on new rules of any kind

Federal agencies have acted as if nothing mattered but their chosen mission, as if no new cost they piled onto a staggering economy might be too much to bear. Aside from a revamped tax system, no move the nation could make would be more pro-growth, pro-jobs, and pro-solvency than some kind of regulatory relief. The best and most direct way to do this would be to declare a multiyear moratorium on new rules of any kind. As an alternative, we could commit to a period of self-certification, in which businesses would agree to meet standards of emissions, effluents, reclamation, and so forth, and proceed to build, retool, drill and employ Americans now, rather than wasting time and money begging for the government's permission. Any employer later found to have fallen short of the standards could be sanctioned heavily. In the meantime, we'd be growing our economy and getting back to work.
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p.244 , Sep 20, 2011

Expansion of public power shrinks the citizen

People who are coached to shift the cost of their own bad luck, or their own mistakes, to their neighbors are actually being told, "You are incompetent." People who are supplied with increasing amounts of money transferred from their neighbors in an open-ended fashion by the force of government are being told, "You are not fit to provide for yourself and your family." Those who are described as helpless victims, at sea in an ocean of private-sector sharks, are being told: "You are incapable of looking out for yourself." Every expansion of public power shrinks the citizen, automatically and axiomatically. Americans accepting these premises are not the kind of citizens Jefferson hoped to educate. Beyond all the arguments about spending, taxing, deficits, health care, regulation--and on and on--lies the largest decision of all: What kind of people do we want to be?
Source: Keeping the Republic, by Mitch Daniels, p. 76 , Sep 20, 2011

Government should enable private life to flourish

We Hoosiers believe that government works for the benefit of private life, and not the other way around. We see government's mission as fostering and enabling the important realms--our businesses, service clubs, Little Leagues, churches--to flourish. Our first thought is always for those on life's first rung, and how we might increase their chances of climbing.

Every day, we work to lower the costs and barriers to free men and women creating wealth for each other. We build roads, and bridges, and new sources of homegrown energy at record rates, in order to have the strongest possible backbone to which people of enterprise can attach their investments and build their dreams. When business leaders ask me what they can do for Indiana, I always reply: "Make money. Go make money. That's the first act of 'corporate citizenship.' If you do that, you'll have to hire someone else, and you'll have enough profit to help one of those non-profits we're so proud of." We place our trust in average people.

Source: 2011 Conservative Political Action Conf. Keynote , Feb 10, 2011

At OMB, first loud critic of Congressional earmarks

Our morbidly obese federal government needs not just behavior modification but bariatric surgery. The perverse presumption that places the burden of proof on the challenger of spending must be inverted, back to the rule that applies elsewhere in life: "Prove to me why we should."

Lost to history is the fact that, in my OMB assignment, I was the first loud critic of Congressional earmarks. I was also the first to get absolutely nowhere in reducing them: first to rail and first to fail. They are a pernicious practice and should be stopped. But, in the cause of national solvency, they are a trifle. Talking much more about them, or "waste, fraud, and abuse," trivializes what needs to be done, and misleads our fellow citizens to believe that easy answers are available to us. In this room, we all know how hard the answers are, how much change is required.

Source: 2011 Conservative Political Action Conf. Keynote , Feb 10, 2011

No limits on individual nor PAC campaign contributions

Q: Do you support limiting the following types of contributions to gubernatorial candidates: Individual?

A: No.


A: No.

Q: Corporate

A: No.

Q: Political Parties

A: No.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state-level political campaigns?

A: No.

Q: Should Indiana participate in the federal REAL ID program?

A: Yes.

Source: Indiana Gubernatorial Election 2008 Political Courage Test , Nov 1, 2008

Other governors on Government Reform: Mitch Daniels on other issues:
IN Gubernatorial:
Mike Pence
IN Senatorial:
Daniel Coats
Joe Donnelly

Newly elected Nov. 2012:
IN: Mike Pence (R)
NC: Pat McCrory (R)
NH: Maggie Hassan (D)
MT: Steve Bullock (D)
WA: Jay Inslee (D)

Re-elected 2012:
DE: Jack Markell (D)
MO: Jay Nixon (D)
ND: Jack Dalrymple (R)
UT: Gary Herbert (R)
VT: Peter Shumlin (D)
WI: Scott Walker (R)
WV: Earl Ray Tomblin (D)

Up for re-election 2013:
NJ: Chris Christie
VA: Bob McDonnell
Up for re-election 2014:
AK: Sean Parnell
AL: Robert Bentley
AR: Mike Beebe
AZ: Jan Brewer
CA: Jerry Brown
CO: John Hickenlooper
CT: Dan Malloy
FL: Rick Scott
GA: Nathan Deal
HI: Neil Abercrombie
IA: Terry Branstad
ID: Butch Otter
IL: Pat Quinn
KS: Sam Brownback
MA: Deval Patrick
MD: Martin O'Malley
ME: Paul LePage
MI: Rick Snyder
MN: Mark Dayton
NH: Maggie Hassan
NM: Susana Martinez
NV: Brian Sandoval
NY: Andrew Cuomo
OH: John Kasich
OK: Mary Fallin
OR: John Kitzhaber
PA: Tom Corbett
RI: Linc Chafee
SC: Nikki Haley
SD: Dennis Daugaard
TN: Bill Haslam
TX: Rick Perry
VT: Peter Shumlin
WI: Scott Walker
WY: Matt Mead
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Page last updated: Apr 25, 2013