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Mitch Daniels leaves Indiana the fiscal envy of the Midwest

Home - by - January 3, 2013 - 09:45 America/New_York - 11 Comments


Eight years ago, Mitch Daniels took office facing a $600 million budget deficit, cash-strapped public services and a promise to turn the state around.

He will leave Indiana the fiscal envy of the Midwest, with a sterling AAA credit rating, a more than $500 million budget surplus and $2 billion in reserves.

But such a dramatic turnaround has its costs. While he ushered in reforms, nearly every area of government, including education and child services, faced Daniel’s hefty financial ax. He also cast his cost-cutting gaze to limit the ability of local governments and schools to increase property taxes, thus keeping rates low but leaving communities searching for money to pave roads, hire police officers and keep teachers.

Supporters say Daniels made hard choices to streamline government during the toughest economic meltdown in eight decades. Critics say he cut too deeply and should have done more to protect the most vulnerable.

“The fact that a few years out of a recession … Indiana has a surplus, a balanced budget and has reduced taxes in several areas puts it in an enviable fiscal position,” said John Ketzenberger, director of the nonpartisan Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute.




  1. Tim

    January 3rd, 2013

    Gov’t has no business with a deficit or surplus -

    all budgets should be balanced and should finance essentials, ONLY.

    Thumb up +6

  2. demonrat dave

    January 3rd, 2013

    Population shift: Indianapolis is now the second largest city ( after Chicago)in the midwest. a spot once held by Detroit; super democratic city in a super deomcratic state. Lesson learned?

    Thumb up +2

  3. Irish

    January 3rd, 2013

    I was disappointed when Daniels chose not to run for POTUS. We used to live in Indy and Daniels did a great job. Listening blue states?

    Thumb up +2

  4. Noodengr

    January 3rd, 2013

    First off I spent all but 3 of my 52 yrs as a resident of Indiana. Nice state. I voted for Daniels both times and do not regret it.
    Tim, I agree gov’t doesn’t need a surplus,and Daniels thinks that way too that is why there is already a refund in the works to give back excess.
    details skill sketchy but we will get something.
    I am also happy he is retiring to be pres of my alma mater PURDUE. I know he can work his magic there too.

    Thumb up +3

  5. scr_north

    January 3rd, 2013

    That won’t last. They elected a Dem over a GOP candidate (who beat Lugar in the primary) and as soon as segments of the people realize that money and stuff is to be had you can be sure that the organizing to take the state house will start. @Noodengr; a refund is a good idea but I suspect that it will be blocked by the Dems somehow(even with their small representation in the Capitol).

    Thumb up +4

  6. Noodengr

    January 3rd, 2013

    scr_north my understanding is there will be a super majority in both houses. Which means that the Republicans can conduct business even if they Dems high tail it to IL like they did last year to block the right to work legistalation.
    I won’t spend it until i get it, but odds are there will be something. the incoming gov. Pence is an awesome guy too. We will continue to shine in the Midwest.

    Thumb up +4

  7. Stranded in Sonoma

    January 3rd, 2013

    …but leaving communities searching for money to pave roads, hire police officers and keep teachers.

    If those communities would cut out all of the useless programs, like giving clean needles to junkies, they’d have plenty of money for required services. The problem is that they create a program that should never have been started in the first place. Then when a budget crunch comes, they cut funding by 10% to everything, instead of cutting the useless programs by 100%.

    Why is there never a headline that says Government program ends as its intended goal has been achieved?

    Thumb up +7

  8. Cynic

    January 3rd, 2013

    Daniels 2016

    Thumb up +1

  9. Extirpates

    January 3rd, 2013

    Cutting taxes the best method for raising government revenue. Ronald Reagan proved this in California and Nationally. Tax cuts triggered the longest period of economic growth in modern history.
    Raising taxes only serves to diminish revenue for any government.
    Tax increases are imbecillic.

    Thumb up +2

  10. Stranded in Sonoma

    January 3rd, 2013

    @Noodengr — Hey, we got Governor Moonbeam Jerry if it’s Brown flush it down here in The People’s Socialist Quagmire of California.

    Yeah, I’m laughing too. Because otherwise I’d be crying.

    Thumb up +2

  11. Death_By_Farts

    January 4th, 2013

    Proud to be a Hoosier.

    Noodngr, you are correct.
    Last election, the people of Indiana said “FUCK YOU” to liberals.

    Obama lost here, we got conservative Mike Pence as Gov, and a supermajority of Republicans in the state legislation.

    True, Donnely beat Murdock….But Murdock has only got himself and his big mouth to blame.

    Thumb up +1