March 17, 2005


Apostasy in Indiana (Robert Novak, March 17, 2005, Townhall)

Until Jan. 18, nobody dreamed of comparing Bob Taft to Mitch Daniels. The Ohioan with the famous Republican name is despised in his own party as a tax increaser. In contrast, as President George W. Bush's Office of Management and Budget (OMB) director, Daniels was a tax-cutting supply-side advocate. But in his State of the State address Jan. 18, the newly inaugurated Daniels stunned Hoosiers by proposing a one-year increase in Indiana state income taxes from 3.4 percent to 4.4 percent for people making $100,000 or more a year.

It is difficult to exaggerate the surprise in Washington at Daniels's apostasy, linking him with Taft. If this veteran political hand takes the tax increase route out of his budgetary problems, does that suggest Republicans are toying with abandoning their stand against any federal tax hike -- party doctrine ever since the senior George Bush's politically disastrous 1991 increase?

States have to balance their budgets--nations don't.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 17, 2005 7:34 AM

Not so. States with a growing GDP can borrow money every year, as long as the debt to GDP ratio doesn't increase beyond a certain point.

Posted by: Bret at March 17, 2005 11:55 AM

If I were Daniels, I would be insulted by being compared to Bob Taft. Daniels is, by all accounts, a bright hard working guy. Taft, OTOH, is a bad tempered dope.

Posted by: Robert Schwartz at March 17, 2005 12:31 PM

"States have to balance their budgets"

There are TWO ways to do that. Mitch Daniel chose the wrong one.

Posted by: h-man at March 17, 2005 12:33 PM

One of the great things about being a Democrat is that when a Republican is elected to clean up your messes, they immediately become his messes, and you can criticize his actions no matter what they are (even if they are, as in this case, the solution Dem would have approved if still in office.) The other way, when the Dem follows, the GOPer is always responsible, and the Dem excused even when the Dem solution make things worse. The classic example is Herbert Hoover.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at March 17, 2005 1:11 PM

Indiana runs a pretty tight ship compared with Ohio, even though it does have a history of graft. A minimal temporary tax increase in the first year will be irrelevant by election time. There aren't that many individuals in Indiana making 100Gs.

Posted by: bart at March 18, 2005 10:41 AM