A Reminder About Mitch Daniels

By Stacy Drake

There was a lot of hype online following Mitch Daniels speech at CPAC Friday. The part of the speech highlighted and praised was when he said:

We face an enemy, lethal to liberty, and even more implacable than those America has defeated before. We cannot deter it; there is no countervailing danger we can pose. We cannot negotiate with it, any more than with an iceberg or a Great White.

I refer, of course, to the debts our nation has amassed for itself over decades of indulgence. It is the new Red Menace, this time consisting of ink.

While I agree with his sentiment, it is curious that he cites the nation’s debt as “an enemy” and the “new Red Menace.” Considering his role in creating a substantial portion of said enemy, that is “lethal to liberty.”

Mitch Daniels served as director of the Office of Management and Budget from January 2001 through June 2003 under George W. Bush. During that time, the federal budget surplus was at $236 billion when he started, then declined to a $400 billion deficit by the end of his tenure.

Way back in 2003, Time Magazine published an insightful article about the Bush administration’s handling of the federal budget, the subsequent national debt, and the politics that accompany such an environment. The Time writer also garnered a statement from then budget director Daniels. He wrote: (emphasis mine):

With the Bush White House projecting a $304 billion federal deficit this year, plus annual flows of red ink as far as the eye can see, it’s fair to say that Ross Perot’s crazy aunt is back. In the 1992 campaign, the folksy, jug-eared Texas zillionaire rode public anxiety over the stagnant economy — specifically the burgeoning national debt he compared to a crazy aunt in the basement no one wanted to mention — to the best third-party showing in a presidential election in 80 years.

Budget deficits became such a potent political issue that Bill Clinton was forced to abandon much of his economic agenda so he could push through a deficit-reduction plan in 1993. A year later, a pledge to cut spending and eliminate the deficit helped sweep Newt Gingrich’s House Republicans into power for the first time in 50 years. The lesson: politicians who didn’t pay homage to balanced budgets paid later, at the polls.

Or so it seemed. After a few golden years of surpluses, deficits are back with a vengeance. Though he ran for office promising to keep the government treasury in the black, Bush’s budget proposal predicts deficits of more than $300 billion through 2004 — and doesn’t envision a new surplus in any year before a second Bush term would end. Bush claims he made it clear in the 2000 campaign that he would accept deficits in times of war, recession or national emergency, though White House staffers have failed to find an instance when he actually said that. In any case, says Mitch Daniels, Bush’s budget director, “a balanced budget is a high priority for this administration; it is not the top or the only priority.”

One would think that an impending “new Red Menace” would rank near the top of the priority list, but it didn’t. Americans eventually grew tired with the fiscal irresponsibility of that administration. So they shunned it’s party and bought a different bill of goods from a charismatic senator who promised “change.” The rest is history…

The bottom-line is that the left exploits hypocrisy like a squirrel exploits nuts. In a hypothetical Daniels campaign, any mention of the debt will bring a litany of fingers pointing back at Daniels for his own part in setting the current spending trend and financial catastrophe we find ourselves in today. And believe me, the Obama people most certainly have Mitch Daniels number. After all, the person who wrote that Time Magazine article I noted above, was James Carney. The same James Carney (aka “Jay” Carney) who replaced Robert Gibbs as Obama’s Press Secretary.

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7 Comments

Filed under In The News, Politics

7 responses to “A Reminder About Mitch Daniels

  1. Thanks for the reminder. It is odd how he thinks the debt is a problem now, but wasn’t a problem then. He is trying to make himself out as the candidate who takes hard positions and tells others what they do not want to hear, yet his flip-flop on this issues raises the question of whether he is really serious about the debt, or whether it is all a marketing ploy to differentiate himself from the others.

  2. Joy

    At first, I was totally bowled over and thought we had found a REAL “Crusader” against “the new Red Menace” – “an enemy lethal to liberty, even more implacable than ever [we] have defeated before,” etc. etc. – i.e., Radical Islam!! But, oops – was I mistaken! Here, the former Director of the OMB, is now railling against the national debt!! Of course, the debt is definitely the elephant in the living room – but I would suggest that his hyperbole would better suit the monster that is once more banging at the Gates of Vienna!!
    Since my family name is Daniels – and the only other public figure to carry that moniker is the great country western performer, CHARLIE Daniels – I’m already well disposed toward MITCH Daniels (think of it – a Daniels in the White House!!). However, IMO, Sarah Palin SO out-classes him on the national political scene that I’ll just have to shelve my narcassist dream of a Daniels in the WH and continue with my strong support of Palin…

    • Gary P

      Actually, Daniels was in the White House. He was Bush’s OMB Director. You have a better namesake in Charlie Daniels! For that matter, in Jack Daniels. 🙂

      We have a stack-o-stuff today, and some more on Daniels coming. Think “death panels” and union thugs.

      It’s funny how all of these guys show themselves.

  3. keatssycamore

    So Mitch Daniels has been Indiana’s governor since the beginning ’06 and is positioning himself as the fiscally conservative republican of citizens’ dreams. Yet halfway through his second term, I find that the following information about Indiana’s fiscal house:

    “The state faces a $1 billion gap between the state’s revenue and expenses in the state’s next budget, which includes the need to build up reserves by $500 million.[6]

    The Indiana State Budget Committee held hearings in November and December 2010.[7] Committee Chair State Sen. Luke Kenley estimated that lawmakers will need to reduce current spending approximately $1 billion to avoid a tax increase.[7]”

    And I find that the Mitch Daniels’ plan to close part of that BILLION dollar gap in Indiana revenue and expenses is the following:

    “Governor Daniels’ budget to the State Budget Committee on Jan. 13, 2011. The budget proposal calls for spending $13.76 billion in FY2012, and about $13.98 billion in FY2013. At the end of the biennium, the state will have a surplus of about $725 million, bolstered in part by shifting $200 million in unused accrued interest from the state’s Public Deposit Insurance Fund that has languished since the 1930s.[11]

    So basically Mitch went to Washington in the early 2000s and learned how to steal money from a government program (Social Security trust fund raids under Bush become Public Deposit Insurance Fund raids in Daniels’ Indiana) that was designed and agreed to and passed into law and practice for one particular reason and, because the program was/is successfully running a surplus, Daniels simply takes that money and spends it on a bunch of other general fund stuff it was never intended to fund when legally created. All while claiming the budget deficits aren’t as “big” or “real” as we all know they would be if not for all the robbing Peter to pay Paul.

    Indiana state budget – Sunshine Review

    These facts are sadly emblematic of the honesty-level present when listening to today’s crop of Democrat and Republican “fiscal hawks”. Where’s H Ross with some charts when you need him?

    • Gary P

      Thanks for the information. People really need to understand Mitch Daniels is not what he seems.

      We have more about him coming as well.

    • Gary P

      Thanks for the information. People really need to understand Mitch Daniels is not what he seems.

      We have more about him coming as well.

      Sarah Palin is the answer. She’s not only balanced out of control budgets, she’s created big surpluses. Asking her to create a surplus in the federal budget may be too much, but if anyone can get the budget in line, it’s her.

  4. Pingback: Sarah Palin National Review Online Poll: Rich Lowry Hardest Hit | A Time For Choosing

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