Mitch Daniels Political Views
The governor of Indiana from 2005-2013, Republican Mitch Daniels was mentioned as a possible candidate for the Republican nomination for President in 2012 before ultimately deciding to stay out of the race. Before becoming governor, Daniels served as the Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) under the Bush administration, a stint that has given him a reputation as a strong policy wonk when it comes to matters of federal spending and the federal budget deficit. Daniels has high approval ratings in his home state and is seen by many as a possible Republican Presidential Candidate in 2016 if he chooses to leave his current job as President of Purdue University. This hub will attempt to take an unbiased look at the Governor's views on a number of important political issues.
Mitch Daniels on the Issues
1. Budget and Economy: Governor Daniels is generally conservative on economic issues and has expressed concern over the federal budget deficit and what he sees as out of control government spending. In 2011, he explained his worries by stating "the level of government spending we are engaging in may soon leave us with a defunct, bankrupt, destitute economy. If we don't find a way to restore the goose to good health, we will soon run out of golden eggs." Daniels did support a temporary 1% increase in state income tax on individuals earning over $100,000 a year during his first term as governor in an attempt to close the state's budget gap. Daniels has also imposed a ceiling on property taxes in the state of Indiana.
2. Health Care: Daniels helped expanded health care coverage to 130,000 Indiana residents through the Healthy Indiana Plan in 2007. The measure expanded coverage to some uninsured Indiana residents and gave residents the option of using a tax advantaged Health Savings Account (HSA) to help pay medical expenses. Daniels has expressed a desire to repeal the Health care Reform bill passed by Congress in 2010, seeing the Indiana plan as a better model that individual states could follow as opposed to a national system of health care.
3. War on Terrorism: Daniels has given mostly vague responses when asked about the war in Afghanistan. In an interview in June 2010, Daniels responded to a question about US foreign policy under the Obama administration by saying "peace through strength has been totally vindicated." He continued, "we have to ask questions about the extent of our commitments. If we go broke, no one will follow a pauper."
4. Immigration: Daniels has not expressed a comprehensive immigration reform policy. In an August 2010 interview, when asked about the recently passed immigration law in Arizona, Daniels responded: "if the legislature wants to look at such a law, I would be glad to work with them on it. Again, I think Arizona has every right to pass that law. And it may well be an ideal fit for their circumstances. We are not in the same situation they are, and may not need the same sort of approach, but I'm open to it."
5. Social Issues: In the summer of 2010, Daniels called for a "truce" on social issues, calling for candidates from both parties to focus on the economy, budget deficits, and the war on terrorism. Daniels did explain his opposition to gay marriage in 2010, telling reports: "On gay rights, I expressed support for the traditional definition of marriage, and for the protection of Indiana's existing statute against judicial overthrow, but I also issued an executive order barring any discrimination by state government on the basis of sexual preference."
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