Since Daniels easy re-election bid this past November, a number of Republican party faithfuls have claimed to have had a moment of serendipity, touting Daniels as a “person to watch” in national politics, possibly at the presidential level. Hmm.  I believe we did watch him from 2001 to 2003 as George W. Bush’s pick for Director of the Office of Management and Budget.

We watched Daniels oversee a $236 billion annual surplus turn into a $400 billion deficit during his 29-month tenure. And, here is a good one – in 2002, Daniels helped discredit a report by Assistant to the President on Economic Policy Lawrence B. Lindsey estimating the cost of the Iraq War at between $100-$200 billion. Daniels called the estimate “very, very high” and stated that the costs would be between $50-$60 billion.

Excuse me?  What a wrong-headed estimate.  The cost of the war – in monetary measure – is now approaching $600 billion dollars and will more than likely top $1 trillion dollars or more when it is all said and done.  Yep, Mitch Daniels – wrong for Indiana and certainly wrong for the nation.

Let’s hope he really means it when he says he has no aspirations to politic at the national level.


  1. Lord knows… we don’t need another “you’re doing a heck of a job..Brownie” guy pushing this country farther down the tubes!!

  2. Someone at US News & World Report wrote an article promoting Daniels for Prez in 2012. Naturally, some of the people who think he is hot stuff think that would be just dandy. I wonder if some people are being paid to promote Daniels on blogs and newspaper comment sections.

  3. John and Mary:

    I absolutely think that there are those out there who are pushing him as a candidate – perhaps not for money but for some sort of benefit.

    I just can’t imagine why anyone would want him as a candidate. He may have fooled a lot of Hoosiers, but he sure didn’t last long in D.C. where he ran the budget into the ground and totally underestimated the cost of the Iraq war.

    He reminds me of a little emporer who, when he doesn’t get his way (as happened once the Dems took control of the House), throws a tantrum and sulks in a corner.

    • Speaking about budgets, Obama’s staff is doing sooo much better than Mitch ever did! 1 trillion in 2009 and 1.6 trillion in 2010…or about 2.6 trillion more in debt during just half of his presidency. That is 20% more debt in 2 years after it took 230 years to reach 12 trillion total. If he sounds, looks, and walks like a Socialist… he is! I guess he and his administrations idea of utopia looks something like a broken down, poor, disfunctional Cuba-like system. He and his supporters can save us all a lot of misery and just move to Havana, now! … start a trend, be an American boat person!

    • Let us see… Obama is president and admitted to doing cocaine and marijuana. I wonder if our wonderful media friends will vet our next president as well as they did obama?

  4. Daniels’ remarks recently that people who had complaints about the privatized DFR were just disgruntled former welfare cheats tells you a lot about the man. He obviously has contempt for people in need. Charlotte, I’m not anywhere near being a political insider, but I have heard from several people in the know–including some Republicans–that Mitch Daniels *is* a little emperor who has to get his way.

  5. Emperor. That’s one I’ve not heard. I have some names for good ole Mitch too. But, they tend to rhyme with his name. lol

  6. My friends, you couldn’t be more wrong about Mitch Daniels.

    Indiana has become a beacon of economic stability in a country that has been rocked by economic turmoil.

    Fact: Mitch Daniels balanced Indiana’s budget and has even produced a $1 Billion (with a B) surplus. Without raising taxes… that’s right, Indiana has NO DEBT and hasn’t had to saddle tax payers with the burden!

    Fact: Indiana has an extensive ten year infrastructure improvement plan that is FULLY FUNDED. No DEBT!

    Fact: Indiana has capped property taxes for homeowners at 1% beginning next year. What other state can say that in this economy?

    We need a President who will run this country like a business and get us back to profitability. If we fail to do this soon, nothing else will matter because we won’t be able to pay for any of it – keeping the homeland safe, environmental protection, public education, the list goes on and on.

    Use your common sense, how long can we tax and spend our way to economic stability? Trillion dollar bailouts, no accountability. The federal government is broken – republican and democrat a like.


    • Be careful whenever Mitch or his friends say something is “broken”. It usually means he and his computer geek friends at IBM are getting ready to take it over and make it a train wreck, like they did the welfare benefit delivery system in Indiana. If you like what corporate greed did to Wall Street, go ahead and let Mitch take over Pennsylvania Avenue and see what happens with unchecked capitalism. As far as the property tax cap goes, unless property assessments are also being overlooked, what makes the difference? He’ll never get this Hoosier’s vote.

      • Funny thing about that welfare issue in Indiana… after using data and analysis to confirm moving forward with the project, he and his team instituted a feedback loop to check on the process and expenditures for the project and when unexpected issues derailed their progress HE ADMITTED IT AND FIXED IT rather than keep his head in the political sand while trying to cover with untruths, denials, and finger pointing. That is the mark of a leader, not like those in office in some places who “can do no wrong” even though leadership, common sense, and business sense don’t matter when the prime interest is self and power and their key is to buy votes from the public and within the politico. Smells like corruption.

    • What are you thinking? The unemployment rate is one of the highest in the nation. He is privatizing everything but people are still losing jobs. When he claims to get jobs in Indiana, 3 people have lost a job to the one he gets in. And don’t forget about the schools here. He has “saved” money by not giving the schools any financing. Teachers are losing jobs. More children are crammed into a classroom. Children are suffering. But “Good Ole Mitch” looks like he is balancing the budget. Indiana’s educational system will show the results after he has left us to ruin the federal government.

      • Mitch still claims the 100+ jobs at a soydiesel plant, and it isn’t going to be built. That made the Indy news.

      • Hmmm… when it comes to education the main variables in success are personal responsibility, family support, and family stability for the student… NOT more gov’t spending… hmmm. More educational money down a rat-hole instead of working on the root cause of educational failure… hmmm… sounds like another lib solution. This message sponsored by the gACLu (the GetAClue Foundation).

  7. Hmm… well he must have learnt something, as Indianna is now one the only US states with a balanced budget. Now even if he was a poor personal budget overseer he seems to be handling an executive position well, or at least preventing negative interference, something that he could do in the Oval Office as well. Let’s just not put him charge of Treasury.

  8. GovntIsFlatBroke:

    Let me see if I have this right:

    1. Indiana is on the top deck of the Titanic while it is slowly sinking. Being in a better position than surrounding states is not much to brag about – since almost all states are in trouble. As I said – the top deck. Keep watching the layoffs and our economy – that beacon to which you refer is almost out.

    2. Mitch Daniels wanted to raise taxes as soon as he took office in 2005 and promptly was smacked down by his own party. The below article shows that the Indiana House nixed his request to raise income taxes. His own party stopped him. And don’t forget, he did raise cigarette taxes and the sales tax subsequent to the property tax fiasco.

    Here is a quote from the article with the link following:

    “Only days after he assumed office, the governor caught everyone by surprise when he, whom President Bush had called ‘the blade’ for his budget carving as former White House budget director, proposed a one-year income tax increase while acknowledging that he would be able to balance the budget over two years without a tax increase. While conservatives in the House rejected the option of tax increases, Senate President Robert Garton put yet another tax hike option on the table: raising cigarette taxes.”

    Click to access pr-in-senate02-24-05.pdf

    3. Daniels’ ten-year infrastructure plan is just that – ten years. The lease agreement underlying the fund for infrastructure will be gone in ten years and then what? Since the lease will last 75 years, that means 65 years without any additional funds. In fact, it is less than ten years now because the lease went into effect in 2006. Keep smiling for the next eight years, and then you can figure it out.

    4. As to the property tax cap, it is simply a stunt. Think about it – if we need more money, all that has to be done is reappraise property values upward. My appraised value jumped $44,000 in this past round despite a tanking real estate market. No property tax reduction for me. I ended up arguing the amount and got it cut, but even with the cut, I am paying 50% more in property taxes.

    Don’t forget, the state has had to borrow to support the unemployment compensation fund. And, this year’s budget? More new prisons but a slash in higher educational funding by 4%. You know, that funding that supports institutions which prepare our students to compete in the market place. Isn’t Daniels always championing keeping our graduates here in Indiana instead of watching them flee the state?

    So, keep up the Daniels’ cheer leading, but I really think you should look at the overall way that Daniels has accomplished his balanced budget. He has used smoke and mirrors – but I am sure he doesn’t care – after all, he will be long gone when we reap the winds of his actions.

  9. Charlotte,

    The state has no hand in how your property is appraised, your county assessor does. Also, the way property was appraised was changed prior to Mitch taking office. The change allowed the assessor to use comparable properties in the same market to develop a market value for your property. The reason why our property taxes are going up is because the law (passed before Mitch took office) allows the assessor to use comparable values from two years prior. So, your current tax assessment reflects the market value of your property in 2007 (prior to the downturn in real estate). I think this is a bad law, but maybe we won’t think so in two years when our assessed values should theoretically go down.

    Also, if you have a problem with your assessment contest it with your county assessor. If you can prove that the market value from two years earlier is wrong, then they will adjust it downward. I have personal experience with this – it is effective.

    As for the infrastructure plan, two points. First, this plan is extenstive. We aren’t just filling potholes (something most states cannot do right now). We are actually going to construct a brand new highway from the central part to the southern portion (among many other projects). Second, imagine the interest earned from $3.8 billion – I calculate that interest to be around $185,000 per DAY.

    The bottom line is that government is not an efficient manager of assets. By passing the toll road off to a private entity the road is being maintained better and in the process it is creating JOBS in Indiana. Last year alone, the lessee of the road spent $88 million on maintainence/upkeep, with 97% of those contracts going to Indiana businesses.

    The whole reason why Obama wants to focus on infrastructure in his stimulus package is because improving/creating infrastructure creates jobs and development. Just with the I-69 extension project alone, southern Indiana will benefit with hundreds of million dollars of development, new jobs, etc. Indiana will simply be a better place to conduct business and when businesses relocate and invest here – which they have been doing at an exceptionally high number under Mitch, jobs are created and tax revenue expands. Rather than finance our children’s future and drive us further into debt as Obama is doing with his ‘stimulus’, Mitch is playing with house money.

    I will smile for eight years, and then I’ll see that the funds from the toll road have been used to make Indiana an even better place to do business. Rather than looking at Indiana like the top deck of the Titanic, I like to think of it more like the Oasis in the middle of the desert

  10. Government:

    I notice you didn’t have anything to say about Daniels’ failed attempt to raise taxes. I also didn’t say the state had a hand in my property taxes. I said the tax cap is a worthless stunt. It looks good but it does nothing. Assessed values can be manipulated. Two years ago my assessed value was $84,000 – this year it jumped to $128,000. I did call, and I got my assessed value changed – despite the adjustment downward, my taxes still increased 50%.

    So when the state-wide assessment begins this year, I should see my assessed value go down since the market is down. Right? I would almost bet you that my assessed value is up there to stay, and my taxes won’t go down. Thus, my point, just raise the assessed when you need to increase funds. Again, the cap means nothing.

    The state’s unemployment rate is now over 8% – higher than even the national average. Daniels is in deep trouble. He has ridden high so far on pipe dreams because many Hoosiers have failed to ask tough questions and let him bully his way through the legislature. You will notice that when the Dems took control of the House a couple of years ago, he all but disappeared. Sulking, no doubt.

    I can’t imagine that you are satisfied with a ten-year influx of money from the toll road and 65 years of nothing. Roads continue to deteriorate. The fact that we will have 65 years without the benefit of incoming lease funds shows how inept Daniels is at managing. As I said he won’t be around, so what does he care. The 3.8 billion will be gone in ten years, and then where will Indiana be? This was his idea of a quick fix which looked good to him and to his Republican buddies.

    Indiana’s future will extend far beyond the ten years’ of smiling you describe. It is that future that will end up slighted by Daniels’ maneuvering and manipulation.

    • Who has run Indiana any better? Our recent poor excuses of Governors dug a pretty big hole for our state. We have been a laughing stock for years and that is no longer the case.

      I suppose you plan to sell your home for the newly assessed value and planed to do so before the tax increase.

      You complain of short sightedness in Indiana, but likely support our current presidents plans to crush our country with record amounts of debt.

  11. Elkhart and LaGrange oounties have over 15% unemployment. Nothing Mitch has done seems to have helped in the northern counties, and his lack of environmental concerns will harm the area.

  12. We had a surplus when Daniels took office. He blew through that within his first few months in office, taking his pet projects and trying to see them through. I am impressed we now have a surplus, I will give him that.

    The Governor’s office does not care about the environment. it really doesn’t care about Indiana’s people either.

    He can tout his bringing new jobs to Indiana but they are not good jobs. These are jobs where a few get the high pay and the rest stay within the confines of the working poor. Indiana has one of the largest percentages of working poor in this country.

    Now, following up what he tried while serving Bush, he is cutting funding to all the PBS stations in Indiana. To put it mildly, there will be 12 to 15 firings in our station to make up for the shortfall we will have next year, if his budget goes through. That is basically our entire production staff. With no production staff there will be no more people to do underwriting spots, to bring in more revenue, to broadcast his State Of The State addresses. we do this every year for him and this is how we are repaid??

    Daniels is an arrogant little man. The only reason he got re-elected is that there really was not a good Democrat to challenge him. I wished his opponent all the luck in the world and even voted for her but I knew it was a lost cause. I don’t think he will ever run for president and if he does, he won’t win.

  13. Mitch just fired all the employees who worked at the state parks in Indiana. He’s heading up a new ‘YOUTH PROGRAM’ that will fill all the jobs that were once occupied by people with families, bills and mortages. The Youth Program he has designed will make any youth between the age of 18-24 a whopping $8 an hour. If the ‘youth’ is on unemployment for any reason, and the reasons are huge in Indiana, then he/she has to apply and accept the job at the state park. Doesn’t matter where the ‘youth’ lives or if there will be transportation issues, the ‘youth’ has to accept the job. And the kicker is, the other employees who were fired, will not really get to get unemployment compensation because they are not considered permanent employees. The greedy lil’ ass will get to come on TV and promote this Youth for Indiana program and forget to fill in the blanks of how it is manufactured. He’ll also forget to state that he is forcing these 18-24 year old ‘youth’ to work. Kinda like slave labor?

      • Well, Doris, it depends on the value of the job. I am sure, since you indicated that you are a behavioral scientist, that you have learned about “comparable worth.” If the job is vital, the pay will be more.

  14. Why was it that when Michigan fails it was Bushs fault, yet when Indiana fails it is Mitchs fault. Just curious.

  15. Looks like Mitch might be a winner with all the negative comments by you clowns. Enjoy the next 18 months, 2010 is coming, and so are people who foolishly voted for Obama, Pelosi, and Reid err Moe, Curly, and Larry.

  16. Jim:

    Gosh, if you call a “winner” someone who can’t even estimate something as major as the Iraqi conflict correctly, then you are really a sad person.

    In case you don’t remember, Mitchie “misunderestimated” (sorry couldn’t resist that since he was Bush’s toadie) the cost of the Iraqi occupation as costing about $40 billion. What a twit, the war is now approaching $700 billion.

    He spent just 2 1/2 years in the White House under Bush – taking a budget surplus to a deficit. Yep – what a manager.

    Let’s face it,if the Indiana economy had been in the state it is now – Jill Long Thompson would be governor. Daniels made it in for a second term before things really went downhill. He has been virtually invisible in the last two legislative sessions. Why? Because the Little Napoleon lost control of the House, so he didn’t have his run of the place like he did when his party controlled.

    And just to clarify – I voted for Obama. I did not vote for Pelosi or Reid.

    • I would be ashamed to admit that I voted for obama, Bush might have driven us into a ditch with help from his democratic controlled House and Senate, but obama is taking us over a cliff. I wonder how many sheep will follow him this time?

      • Clarissa:

        I am not ashamed I voted for Obama – the alternative was McCain, who would be no better than Bush. For all the attacks against Obama, at least he has had the guts to take on big interests in the health care field and Wall Street – something that would never have happened under Republican leadership and never will.

      • One problem that is undenyable even by you. Obama did not address any real reform called Fanny and Freddie. The wall street bill also exempted his buddy Warren buffet from the regs. Same crap, different politician. Saying he tackeled the hard stuff?? Not really. Largest deficiets ever. Anyone can print money. Bailouts to unions. 26 billion to the teachers union this week alone. Did you happen to see what is taking place in Atlanta? It is a classic situation where the govt builds dependants and folks like you who believe housing is a right, cause mass failure. Look at the video, thousands of people with their arms streched out to the man. The founders would be very dissapointed in our situation. The pictures look like something out of a third world country. Low income housing by the govt, please, we already have it in the private sector, its called a trailer court, or old house. And the glory is, I dont pay for them.

        Obama is a failure, actually let me rephrase that. LIBERALISM AND THE PROGRESSIVE MOVEMENT are failures. Obama just happens to be the one in charge right now.

        Do you think Obama deserves his money back from Harvard, as he clearly did not get an education.

  17. MITCH 2012!!!!

    This guy is great from what I have read. His speech at a college graduation was fantastic. He apologized for his self serving, me first, comfort loving hippie generation otherwise known as the baby boomers.

  18. Terry:

    I take you are not a Hoosier – either that or your reading range is terribly limited. You didn’t attend the speech, so I am curious as to how you have now determined that Daniels is presidential material.

    As I said, he couldn’t even estimate with the least bit of accuracy how much the Iraq war would cost. He has virtually destroyed the Indiana welfare system while increasing the big bucks for IBM to try to fix what they didn’t get right. His fanaticism with privatization only shows how narrow-minded he is.

    As to the self-serving, etc. comment. I bet you don’t know any other generations like that do you? How about Generation X, Generation Y, and the Millenials?

    I am from the ’60s, and I don’t owe anyone any apology. If Mitch Daniels wants to become an apologist all of a sudden, then let him. It won’t get him anywhere.

    • You do owe the next generation an apology for facilitating the influx of drugs and a “free love” mentality that has led to the break down of family and social structure. As a person in the behavioral sciences who is dealing with the third generation victims of this mentality, I find your denial of responsibility typical and sad.

      • Doris:

        No, I don’t owe anyone an apology. Drugs and sex have existed and have been problems long before my generation. If you have studied history at all, you should know that.

        Actually, your mentality of continuing to place blame on a generation three times removed is sad and irresponsible. How about some blame for the materialistic nature of our country? The Reagan generation of “I have to have this and that?” How about placing blame on parents who do not have the courage to tell their children, “No, you can’t have a car” or “No, you can’t have that iPad?”

        Really, it truly is sad that someone in behavioral sciences can’t find any other reason than blaming a generation from the 1960s for all the woes of this country. You certainly have a myopic view of responsibility. Each generation is responsible for its own actions, period.

        By the way, instead of blaming my generation, I would imagine you could also bring in birth control (around for decades), modified divorce laws (changed in one form or another for two centuries), independent women (have existed ever since the beginning of time), and on and on. Society changes, and it is a combination of all generations that make those changes.

        I wonder what all of you who study behavior will do hundreds of years from now when no one remembers my generation? Still beat the drum of “it’s all the hippies fault” even though the ’60s is only a faint glimmer in history? You have certainly given my generation much more power than it actually had.

  19. If Mitch is a twit for a bigger deficit, what the hell is Obama with a 1.3 trillion deficit in the first 6 MONTHS.

  20. Charlotte,
    You are so partisan. It’s ridiculous.
    1.) There has never been a war in the history of this country that has been accurately budgeted.
    Ask President Obama how he feels about the need for additional budget in Afghanistan. The Revolutionary war budget was bailed out by the French, the Civil War resulted in deficits. Right down the line, wars have been impossible to predict.

    2.) While Daniels was working on the state license branches, it was a disaster. I had to renew my plates during that time and I had a 6 hour wait. Any computer change creates chaos. It doesn’t mean it shouldn’t go forward. Our state license branches are awesome today. FSSA was a wreck before Daniels started this project. There was fraud, corruption, mismanagement and worst of all, we had a mess with caseload and kids lives were at risk. You’re going to have to wait til this project is finished before you assess it. My money is on that it will function better when it is finished. One of the things you are going to have to come to grips with is that there are people who are receiving benefits who shouldn’t be. And they are going to gripe when the system throws them out. Fact. Doesn’t mean that they should be getting benefits. Mitch agrees that the system needs some tweaks. Obviously, you don’t know anything about automation. Otherwise, you would understand it takes some pain to get the results.

    3.) Mitch has brought more job growth to Indiana than any other state has seen. We were just named the 12th most friendly environment for business development and job creation in the union.
    Not bad for the rust belt. Daniels has leveraged bioscience companies and our state university system to bring about great new jobs and training opportunities.

    You’re really jealous that there isn’t a single democrat out there that is worth a crap, aren’t you? Sorry about that. There aren’t too many good republican leaders, either. But Daniels is one of them.

  21. Activities and Societies: Trial Lawyers of America – Student Chapter
    Midwest Environmental Law Caucus

    OK, never mind. That explains a lot. You probably like John Edwards. That beacon of integrity.

  22. Brockster:

    You appear to have chosen ad hominem attacks rather than rational discussion; therefore, anything you say has limited value. There ya go – my own ad hominem attack back at ya!

    Of course, Indiana has been named one of the most friendly to business – it has been done at the expense of the environment and workers. Try reading about actions he has taken against the environment.

    How about his wildly successful attempts at privatizing the welfare system? Wow, that really worked, didn’t it? Appears all he has done is line the pockets of his big business friends with that one.

    He has a Little Napoleon complex. His recent outburst about the appeals court voter ID decision showed how little control he has over his temper. Really, what a childish tantrum to throw because he didn’t agree with the decision.

    And, really, throwing in Brown Mackie – has nothing to do with my blog. And, John Edwards? Old history, but maybe those are topics that you find appropriate since you have nothing better to discuss.

    By the way – for future reference – your spelling of “judgement” is the accepted British spelling – we use “judgment” in the United States, so get with it.

    And, finally, your observation that I am partisan shows how little attention you paid to the title of my blog before you began your ad hominem rants. I make no secret that I am partisan – for heaven’s sake – that is what most blogs are about.

  23. Ya know….

    Anyone notice a few of the commentators on this post – Debrockman, Iceironman, Terry and Jim, all have a similar writing style ? Just so happens they all think Mitch Daniels is muy fantastico and obviously have very (unrealistic) high hopes for the man.

    I’m going to go out on a limb here, but could they all be, possibly be, the same person posting under different pseudo names to falsely give one the impression there is tons of support for Mitch running for Prez in 2012, but in reality there is not ?

  24. I truly enjoy the wild back-and-forth comments on this site. Thank you for entertaining me, and for occasionally giving me something to ponder. After a long day of working with high school students, it is nice to see such calm, rational discussions taking place.

    Also, while you’re correcting spelling errors from visitors, you might note that you misspelled “hominem” in the first sentence of your previous comment to Brockster.

  25. For all you nay sayers regarding Mitch Daniels and Indiana, I guess you are just a little LESS bitter than you would be if you lived in ANY of the surrounding states, given that our State is in MUCH better shape.
    Enjoy your miserable existence!
    Oh and Charlotte, you made the best “Mr. Obvious” statement ever:
    “And just to clarify – I voted for Obama”. Gee I never would have guessed.

  26. I have not researched Mr. Daniels enough to know whether I would vote for him. However, even I can tell that weighing someone’s administrative and economic forecasting abilities based on their estimates of the cost of a war that changed policies a few times and had to respond to unknown variables, is unfair at the least.

  27. Leann:

    Hmm – wouldn’t you think then that he would have avoided the obvious and NOT given an estimate? After all, if the wages of war are that quixotic, why give an estimate to be later proved wrong?

    Or was he trying to justify his boss’s estimate of how much the war would cost?

  28. Why NOT give an estimate of the unemployment rate that is quixotic only to be proven wrong by 30%. Or was Obama just looking for money to throw at his civilian corps, including SEIU, Americorps, and Acorn. Did you see that now NY state prisoners can be work for these folks?? Just like the communist revolutionary Van Jones wanted.

  29. Ice:

    I am sensing that you see a “Red under every bed.” Sounds kind of like the days of Joe McCarthy where fear and hatred overwhelmed this country and witch hunts against good people took place.

  30. daniels was cum laude in high school and his ivy league education…it was not his doing regarding the surplus becoming the 150% defecit..he was taking orders from a devil disciple in the ways and means of george w…

    everywhere else where he was allowed to govern, he was tremendous and results were prosperous…..

    and the marijuana joint arrest at princeton? want accountability?…he surfaced and re-surfaced it every time he embarked on paid or volunteer employment services…

    mitch daniels is who you want-wether u know it or not…

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