Monday, February 22, 2010

Possible Candidate for President in 2012, Ind. Gov. Mitch Daniels Once predicted: "We are going to run gigantic surpluses as far as the eye can see."

Republicans are coming out of their shell. Like Rep. Paul Ryan's plan to give people the free right to ration their own life saving health care costs, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels is also pushing the "grown-up conversation" that would shift the burden of care to seniors.

My dad once told me that in the old days, when we had actual poor houses, the elderly and the poor sometimes used the "black bottle" as their final solution to their pain and poverty. I guess it's time to return to the good old days.

As a possible 2012 Republican candidate for president, Daniels, who served as Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget said:
Washington Post: Two months ago, (I said) "we're going to have to have some grown-up conversations in this country," Daniels alluded to the survival issues … debt and deficits, and the size and role of government … "It is one thing for people to say, 'oh my gosh, this is unaffordable -- these deficits, these entitlements, these unfounded liabilities … It will be another when people find out exactly what it would take to prevent that. Are we still a country where people would prefer freedom, personal autonomy, with the risks and responsibilities that go with it, or do we want to socialize all the risks we can and settle for what I think is the false security of statism and so forth?" Daniels acknowledged that the solutions to the problems of debt and deficits could involve sacrifices that would make the messenger unpopular. He admitted that making those problems the focal point of a Republican campaign could impede a potential comeback by the party. But he said he has become convinced that the issues will have to be raised in any case.
Let me repeat: If the government can't afford health care and retirement spending, how can individual Americans. 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*:

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?

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.

* Sorry, no link. I didn't save links or attribution way back when, at a time I used this stuff on my radio program. This transcript is probably available in the Meet the Press archives.

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