CBS News: Enter Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, who worked as director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush. Daniels has beenbuzzed about by political insiders all year as a strong candidate against Mr. Obama, in part because his charm lies in his very lack of it. "He is the un-Obama. Republicans--notably some wealthy and powerful ones who have decided he should be president--seem to like that."
That line comes from a flattering cover story on Daniels that seems designed to generate buzz for a possible candidacy; it casts the popular governor as an unflinching fiscal conservative willing and able to take on government waste.
If your wondering if Mitch Daniels would be a good candidate for president, check out this interview from the spring of 2001 with Meet the Press' Tim Russert about the Bush tax cuts, despite economists warnings (a video tape clip I no longer have):
RUSSERT: Mr. Daniels, we've had nearly a million layoffs since George Bush became president. The Dow Jones slipped below 10,000. The surplus is vanishing quickly. How long will we be in this recession?Our next president? Oh, there's more. According to the Washington Post:
MR. MITCH DANIELS: Hard telling, Tim. But it remains the president's first concern and obviously was one motivation for the tax cuts that he pushed through
Congress, which now we can all see were very, very well timed and well conceived.
MR. RUSSERT: But as CBO pointed out, if you look out for 10 years, the surplus is more than $2 trillion less than projected. Many people are suggesting scaling back on the tax cut, or scaling back on government .... Bottom line, Mr. Daniels, where are you going to find a way to keep the budget out of deficit? … Where do you find the money?
MR. DANIELS: Tim, another penalty flag. You're a smart guy. When you take in $158 billion more than it costs to pay all your bills, including interest, that's called a
surplus. And we are going to run gigantic surpluses as far as the eye can see.
In his 29 month time in the Bush administration, Daniels oversaw a $236 billion annual surplus turn into a $400 billion deficit. Daniels also leased out Indiana's toll way, for a one time payment, and the promise of higher tolls for drivers who then can't blame government. Daniels also knew this dirty little secret about the AMT, where it would eventually start taking away middle class tax cut savings"
CNN, May 27, 2001: Tax experts said the new bill (Bush tax cut) gives families with children the largest tax breaks. At the same time, they said, it makes more taxpayers subject to an additional tax designed originally to keep the very wealthy from avoiding their fair share of the tax bill. The tax cuts in the new bill will bring many taxpayers closer to the threshold that would require them to pay the AMT -- and as more cuts are gradually implemented, more taxpayers will have to pay it.
Now as a way to do away with entitlements, Republicans want to repeal the AMT and blow a gigantic hole in the budget, and increase the already high national debt.