Mitch Daniels, governor of Indiana, is one of the rising stars of the reinvigorated Republican party. He is fiscally conservative, and has taken innovative action to put his state in the black. Like Chris Christie of New Jersey Mitch is comfortable speaking in plain common sense and seems to understand that the budget is not about complicated economic policy- it is about simple math.
From The Future of Capitalism.com Mitch Daniels on the State of the Nation:
Second was Mr. Obama’s suggestion, before a student audience, of a proposal to forgive student loans for those who go on to work in government or the non-profit sector for a given amount of time. Mr. Daniels said he thought Mr. Obama had it backwards; the loans should be forgiven only if graduates “go out and work in productive sectors.”
Mr. Daniels predicted that Americans would come to realize how much of what government now does “we can get by without.”
Some of the anger out there now, he said, is directed at “not just Wall Street or overpaid corporate CEOs but government employees and their unions.”
Public education, he said, used to be “the bloody shirt of American politics,” a kind of conversation stopper that could be invoked as a way of saying if you want cuts, “you hate children.” Not anymore, he said, putting himself in the shoes of a voter who says, “The teacher next door I just figured out makes a lot more than I do but doesn’t work all year.”
Of the Tea Party movement, he said, “A little hell-raising’s not a bad way to get a conversation going.”
He called for a “policy of maximum economic growth.” That apparently includes encouraging large families, at least among Republicans. Mr. Daniels recounted encouraging Young Republicans to reproduce, telling them, “it’s easier to conceive ’em than convert ’em.”
On Mr. Daniels’s first day in office, he decertified the state government employee unions; in the first eight months, 92% of government employees quit paying their union dues.
Mr. Daniels said that Republicans are “presumptively” the “party of the rich,” but said that there were Democrats out there who wouldn’t know a working person if their limousine drove over one. Mr. Daniels himself travels his state by motorcycle, staying not in hotels but in peoples’ homes.
De-certifying the state employee unions is a bold and productive step. For those who fear the grip that unions now hold on government office this should be a model action all levels of government should emulate.