Tuesday, January 18, 2005

This is What You Want, This is What You Get

Worst fears have been confirmed. Governor Mitch Daniels is a Republican of the new mold- not at all a fiscal conservative, but something they self-describe as “fiscally responsible”.

In his State of the State Address tonight, Daniels begun to make good on the implied threat that he would raise taxes to balance the budget. His recommendation to lawmakers is that state income taxes should be raised 1% for those who earn $100,000 or more. Indy Star story.

Fiscal conservatives wanted a Governor who would cut spending at the least, and possibly even cut taxes. What they- and all Hoosiers- got was a liberal Republican, one who believes in the progressive income tax.

One line stuck out, and I was glad to see the Star report it: "The wolf is not at the door, he is inside the cabin," Daniels said. Actually, Daniels is the wolf, and the cabin is the Statehouse.

What is remarkable about this brainburst is that it Hamilton County takes the lion’s share of the credit for electing Daniels. County GOP Vice Chair Charlie White mustered over 700 volunteers in support of the Daniels' campaign. Some thanks White and Hamilton County gets for their effort. Hamilton County is also where a preponderance of those earning $100,000 or more live. Why not just stop by everyone's house to personally slap their faces?

Daniels had the incredibly bad form to recommend a temporary income tax. To paraphrase Will Rogers and speak common wisdom, there is nothing quite as permanent as a temporary tax increase.

This is obvious. It’s so obvious that even a Democrat from Gary could scoff at Daniels’ claim. From another Star article:

Rep. Charlie Brown, D-Gary, "whoever heard of a temporary tax increase?"

Fiscal conservatives have been sold out at the top. The next question is: Will the legislature follow? You can tell that Republicans want to support their man Mitch, but know that promises have been made not to raise taxes.

Rep. Gerald Torr, a Carmel Republican whose constituents would be disproportionately affected by the one-year income tax increase, said he'd like to talk to Daniels about including a provision to refund the tax increase when the state's finances improve.

Torr, whose party took control of the House with 52 of its 100 seats in the last election, said: "There are a lot of us who aren't terribly excited about a tax increase."

Fiscal conservatives had pinned their hopes on Daniels and have been let down. When will you learn?

You need to vote Libertarian if you ever want a significant budget or tax cut. Republicans clearly lack the courage.